Tuesday, July 21, 2015

THE DECREE

Today’s¬†Reading: Ezra 5-6

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem on the slope of the Mount of Olives. On his first visit to Jerusalem, Boris Yeltsin ordered that the onion-domed spires on this Russian Orthodox church be reguilded with golden paint.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Ezra 6:14

So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying [preaching and teaching] of Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, and they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes King of Persia.

 

In yesterday’s reading we were introduced to Kings Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes of Persia. It seems that they ruled between Cyrus the Great and Darius. In this interim period construction on the new Temple was stopped. A holocaust threatened the Jews until Queen Esther came on the scene (read Esther 3:12-14). Also we may want to read Esther 4:15-17 and Esther 7:4-6. In just over two weeks we’ll be reading the entire book of Esther.

Let us persist in our readings. The history of this period can be confusing. Hang in there! The Jews in the province of Judea held onto their vision. Two preachers made a big contribution to lifting the spirits of the people. Let’s read from the first preacher today, and the second tomorrow (Haggai 1:13-15 and Haggai 2:1-9). In spite of Haman’s threat to have all the Jews killed, they kept the faith. God had His Esther, and her uncle Mordecai, in the Persian Palace.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I understand that You do not violate human free will, but I thank You that You do put people in place, and You do create circumstances that cause people to be willing to do, of their own free will, what is right. Please Lord, I pray that You’ll continue to do this in our world today. I volunteer for service, Lord, if I can be of any help in Your cause. In the Name of Jesus, the greatest Volunteer, I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union and her satellite countries, the “Evil Empire.” But even there God was at work. In 1985 Crossroads made it into the Soviet Newspaper, Pravda, with the story of our unusual contract with Prague for the creative content of our “Pavilion of Promise” at Expo ’86 in Vancouver. I have lots of stories out of this period as to God at work in these officially anti-God countries.

Yesterday I wrote of the deliverance of many Jews from the USSR. Today I have a Christian story. I was speaker on two evenings during the first ever gathering of Christian leaders from all 15 republics of the USSR. This invitation resulted from the 1989 release of our Crossroads Creation TV series in prime time. Friends from Finland had translated it and made it look like we were speaking Russian. One morning I sat at breakfast with five Pastors. One of them, I thought, had the worst case of arthritis ever. However, it appeared to be in only one hand. I had to ask about it. The Pastors knew what was coming and they laughed. The man with the twisted fingers said, “I was teaching my children about God and was ordered to stop. They put me in prison and broke my fingers one at a time. With each finger they offered to stop if I would sign a paper admitting my guilt and promising to stop my teaching. Each time I refused. Now, however, they have called me in and offered to fix my fingers by re-breaking them, this time under anesthetic, and said I could continue my teaching as I pleased. But I said, ‘No!’ I get a lot more attention when I preach using this hand to help make my points.” Loud laughter broke out amongst the Pastors. I felt like crawling under the table. I was not worthy to be in the company of such strong followers of Christ. Here I was, the guest speaker, and I was learning much more from them than they would ever learn from me. That evening, after my message on “The Church After Persecution Ceases,” I was kissed (Russian men kiss other men on the lips) at least 500 times. I’ve got to report that I simply tolerated it with the grace God gave me, but at the same time, I rejoiced with them because we all knew that the “70 years of the dark red night of atheistic rule,” as they called it, was almost over. They likened it to the 70-year Babylonian captivity of Israel.

Yours, like Esther, wanting to be at the right time and the right place in order to serve God and people,

David

P.S. We brought a Mobile TV production unit over to Moscow from Leningrad (the name had not yet been changed back to St. Petersburg) and videotaped this conference. A news report was carried on 100 Huntley Street. If I can find that video, I’ll attach it to the blog, perhaps next week some day. In the meantime, the picture below shows doors continuing to open.

1992 – Prime Minister Brian Mulroney told Boris Yeltsin about the Crossroads ministry and our Russian students studying television at our School of Broadcasting and Communications. To me, this was a confirmation of God’s will being done over the years since my first visit to Moscow in 1968. After 70 years, the captives to atheistic communism were set free. Yeltsin’s first trip outside Russia was to Jerusalem to walk where Jesus proclaimed freedom to people everywhere.

15 thoughts on “Tuesday, July 21, 2015

  1. Amen, David! Thank you for sharing about the Pastor with the twisted fingers–how humbling to our knees. Here’s for the victory of Jesus in Russia and your dedication with the Crossroads team to get the message there and keep it there.

    Matthew Ward – I Will Worship You–WOW!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIjxfgd5ddY

    We will worship You in the beautify of holiness. We will worship You on bended knee. Amen, indeed! Blessings fellow saints!

  2. “May God give us faith to fully trust His Word though everything else witness the other way.” –C. H. P.

    “When is the time to trust?
    Is it when all is calm,
    When waves the victor’s palm,
    And life is one glad psalm
    Of joy and praise?
    Nay! but the time to trust
    Is when the waves beat high,
    When storm clouds fill the sky,
    And prayer is one long cry,
    O help and save!
    When is the time to trust?
    Is it when friends are true?
    Is it when comforts woo,
    And in all we say and do
    We meet but praise?
    Nay! but the time to trust
    Is when we stand alone,
    And summer birds have flown,
    And every prop is gone,
    All else but God.
    What is the time to trust?
    Is it some future day,
    When you have tried your way,
    And learned to trust and pray
    By bitter woe?
    Nay! but the time to trust
    Is in this moment’s need,
    Poor, broken, bruised reed!
    Poor, troubled soul, make speed
    To trust thy God.
    What is the time to trust?
    Is it when hopes beat high,
    When sunshine gilds the sky,
    And joy and ecstasy
    Fill all the heart?
    Nay! but the time to trust
    Is when our joy is fled,
    When sorrow bows the head,
    And all is cold and dead,
    All else but God.”
    –Selected from Streams in the Desert, Cowman.

    I will try to find the original author of this poem and post it.

    • Author unknown; poem found on p. 216 of Streams in the Desert,
      ©1925 by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

      “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried:
      he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.”
      II Samuel 22:31

  3. WOW! To the beautiful church!
    WOW! To the man with the crooked fingers!
    WOW! To you David
    WOW! To Beverlee’s poem and song!

    Amen David. Here am I God. Send me!!

  4. Yes, Amen! What a report on history of Israel and ministry to Russia,David. And your posting, Beverlee and others stirs my heart. They are still asking for Bibles for Russia. We live now in a great time of ministry which will not always be this way. Remembering your request today Sah as well. Blessings saints!

  5. could you pray for me I had a falling seizure yesterday there were many
    who helped me in Walmart. I was with my older sister who did help me physically.
    Today I have a big headache and am doing alright otherwise.
    Lianne Hogg

    • Lord God thank you for all those who helped Lianne when she was at Walmart and thank you for her sister who also helped Lianne. Thank you Lord that Lianne recovered and is able to continue to sing praise to YOUR NAME and post her blog asking for prayers! Lord God You know exactly what is going on with Lianne, You have a plan for her, I am thankful that she is resting better today, please continue to heal her, remove her headache, give her complete healing from top to bottom, thank you for continuing to provide her with all her daily needs, thank you for all who are parying for her full recovery, we love you Lord God, we love Lianne, she is our sister in Jesus Christ, we desire for her to have a healthy, happy life, full of grace and wisdom and thank You Lord God that she is Your precious child! In Jesus Name we Pray amen amen amen

    • God, we lift up our sister Lianne to you and call for an angel of light to continually surround and protect her from further seizures. We ask for her complete healing in the mighty name of Jesus, amen, amen, and amen.

  6. Lord please help me! Now I have ants in the kitchen! ! Lord I have You and Your angels watching over me! You will keep me safe and protect me from all danger! I have someone coming on Friday to spray and clean up the ants! Thank you Lord. May our conversation be pleasant! May they give me a good discount!
    Thank you Lord for swimming! I LOVE IT! AND IT IS SO GOOD FOR ME! AND THE LIFEGUARDS ARE THE BEST IN NORTH AMERICA! AND I MEET OTHER WONDERFUL CHRISTIAN PEOPLE! IT IS SO GOOD LORD, THANK YOU.
    Lord God I ask that You will give me the energy to vacuum and tidy up!
    I pray Lord that You will keep my place safe and my neighbourhood safe and pleasant and kind to one another. Thank you Lord for the daily blessings! AMEN AMEN AMEN

  7. Amen to prayer for Lianne…for total healing!!

    Lord I pray for Sah…just to start, one step at a time, and before you know it, your place will be clean…Lord, all things are possible in You.

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