Friday, February 12, 2016

THE PRIZE

Today’s┬áReading: Jeremiah 39-41

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

 

This statue of Cola Di Rienzo was erected in 1877 near Campidoglio, Italy, where he was killed. Di Rienzo was an Italian medieval politician and popular leader in the mid-14th century. As far as we know, the people of Jerusalem did not make sculptures of their most famous leaders, otherwise there would’ve been statues of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, and Josiah. These men all accomplished great things, unlike the king in today’s reading who was disgraced and executed by the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 39:18

“…For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me,” says the Lord.

 

Our key verse gives us the eternal perspective of God as He sees the future deliverance of His people. This should help us to realize that when we put our trust in God, regardless of present circumstances, we’ll eventually win the “Gold”.

Chapter 39 – After 18 months of siege, the Babylonians broke through Jerusalem’s walls, burned the city, captured King Zedekiah, killed his sons in front of him, blinded him and took him to Babylon in chains, never to return to Jerusalem. Such was the end of one who had repeatedly heard the Word of God but ignored it. Zedekiah brought this on himself. God had done His best through Jeremiah to warn the King (2 Kings 25:4-7).

Chapters 40 & 41 show us why Jeremiah won God’s prize for his life. The Babylonians released him from Zedekiah’s prison and offered him position, land and freedom in Babylon, but he chose to stay home and minister to those left behind in the ruins of their country, where wicked and violent men such as Ishmael were creating continued havoc. Our choices also should be to stay where we are most needed, serving the Lord faithfully.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will consistently do my very best to win the prize of life, here and now, as well as eternally. Lord, Your Word tells me that my works will be “revealed by fire.” The “wood, hay and straw” will be burned up, but the “gold, silver and precious stones” will remain (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). I’m asking for grace to “strive for the prize.” In the Name of the One Who has gone before me, the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I cannot help but recall the first gathering ever of the leaders of various Christian denominations in the history of communist Russia and the former 14 additional republics of the Soviet Union. Undeservedly, I was invited to be the speaker at two nights of this conference. With the help of a Finnish ministry, we had earlier released across the Soviet Union the first ever Christian-produced TV series in the Russian language on prime time television. I had the privilege on these telecasts of interviewing leading scientists, philosophers, etc. about God’s creation. The USSR was officially atheist, and our goal was to create doubt in the minds of those who believed that God did not exist. As was the case with Jeremiah, pastors had been severely persecuted. One pastor I met had badly twisted fingers on his right hand. I asked him what happened. He said that the local authorities had broken his fingers, one at a time, to try to make him deny his faith in God, but he refused. I felt like crawling under the table at which we were sitting. I was not worthy to be in his presence, let alone be the guest preacher. I weep at the memory.

Yours for striving for the “gold” that will remain through the fire,

David

P.S. Prior to the invasion of Iraq (Chaldea/Babylon) by the American coalition of nations, billboards were everywhere which pictured the brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein, with his hero, Nebuchadnezzar.

Saddam Hussein and King Nebuchadnezzar on a billboard in Iraq. This modern would-be emperor tortured and murdered tens of thousands of his people. He allowed his sons to have “rape rooms” to which they took any woman that they wanted. This was evil personified!

8 thoughts on “Friday, February 12, 2016

  1. GOD ordained that this precious tortured Pastor brother with the twisted fingers hear from GOD and HE used one of HIS own FAITHFUL servants – (YOU) David to deliver “HIS” message. You’ve earned your stripes DAVID.
    I came back from India I year ago today & our contact person- a mighty man of GOD,- Pastor Emmanuel met us at the Hyderabad airport in India. On our 6 hour drive east to Varajiwada, he related his spent time & torture in a Hindu prison cell where he spent time for simply “preaching the Gospel of our LORD JESUS CHRIST” to his own Hindu people; he says- the same gospel you -Pastor Terry, take for granted in America. I too, wanted to hide and in my heart, I felt so humble as this man of GOD showed no bitterness, no anger,but genuine LOVE for GOD and a tremendous love for his own hundreds of thousands,( and probably millions) of Indian people who need to hear this gospel truth that JESUS CHRIST loves each person and died to “save” them by HIS DEATH on a cross. AMAZING LOVE, HOW SWEET THE SOUND, THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME.
    Rev. Terry FELVUS- Grassie.

  2. Thank you Pastor David for your insightful comments. Thank you for your giving of yourself to us through this blog. Besides many other avenues where you reach out to those on your pathway!!!

    PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW, PRAISE HIM ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW, PRAISE HIM ABOVE ALL HEAVENLY HOSTS, PRAISE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST; AMEN!!!

  3. Dear David, today’s scripture readings are so important in the history of the Bible and our understanding of the destruction of Jerusalem. I listened to our reading more than once so I could wrap my head around all the changes in power; your explanation helped very much. Such violence and arrogance of the bigoted leaders–and on the hands of our faithful Jeremiah–such wisdom through faithfulness; whereas such lack thereof by Gedaliah. The photo of the billboard of Saddam Hussein, with his hero, Nebuchadnezzar and the caption explaining it is more than disturbing. The poor people of Iraq, especially the women, having to suffer under the hands of such an evil tyrant! It went further than the rape of women by his sons. They went to wedding receptions and removed the brides before they had the honour of losing their virginity and retaining the sacredness of their purity for their husbands. They purposely raped virgin brides to steal their worth and devalue belittle and scar them for life. That is the devil at work–he goes as far and deep as he can to cause pain beyond comprehension. It is reminiscent of Hitler and the death camps where the poor Jews were stripped of all dignity, barely kept alive and subjected to unimaginable acts of indecency. On the joyful side of today’s blog, the photo of the statue of Cola Di Rienzo in Italy is utterly divine! I am sorry I am so late posting a comment, today. I have been working on a painting. I am so in love with the colours; flow of the ocean waves; sunset and sky; how I wish I could post a photo! The beauty of God’s creation is all around us! God’s continued blessings dearest saints in the Lord!

    For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

    Forever // Brian Johnson & Bethel Music // Tides Official Lyric Video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ__W9VH9Lo

  4. todays comments were very unsettling;
    I truly desire that we can see the goodness of God’s world, yes, there is great horror done even today but I would much rather give thanks to God and ask Him to help us to protect our neighbours and friends and families the best we can with His help! That means speaking up to our leaders, letting them know that they have a responsibility to govern with peace and sensibility, if our leaders won’t even do this, then we need to turf them out and pray for Godly leaders and pray that Christians get off their butts and speak up and let our neighbours know that we care for them……

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