Sunday, April 19, 2020

ONE WHO EMBRACES

Today’s Reading: Habakkuk 1-2

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

 

Seleucia was the seaport from which Paul and Barnabas left with John Mark for their first missionary journey (approx. AD 49, see Acts 13:4). Part of the ancient (man-made) harbour can still be seen. In AD 70 it became the base for the imperial Roman fleet. In the light of our key verse, imagine the military and merchant navies sailing over the vast seas. The breadth and depth of the seas are symbols of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord which is predicted for a future time by Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2:14).

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

 

Key Verse: Habakkuk 2:4, 14

Behold the proud,

His soul is not upright in him;

But the just shall live by his faith.

…For the earth will be filled

With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,

As the waters cover the sea.

 

“Habakkuk” means “One who embraces.” This prophet, motivated by love, embraced his people by warnings of imminent attack by the Chaldeans (Babylonians/modern Iraq) and by God’s mercy and restoration at a later time. He reminds Jerusalem that God is “from everlasting,” and that He is “The Holy One,” Who is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.” When Jesus bore the sins of the world in His embrace He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Could Habakkuk 1:13a be the reason that Jesus was forsaken? Think about it!

The Lord gives His answer in chapter 2. We are thrust forward to future times when God’s message will be common knowledge, written on “billboards,” as one translation of Habakkuk 2:2 puts it, or would you believe television or even a blog? The 16th century priest, monk, teacher, and pastor, Martin Luther, staked his life on the words of Habakkuk 2:4b, words which are quoted in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38, “The just shall live by his faith.” For more of Luther’s story click here. A special person in my life, George Upton, said to me, “Jesus reached out His arms to embrace the whole world, and we nailed His hands to the cross.” Indeed that embrace does encompass the whole world today because of His cross.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Your disciples, Lord Jesus, were puzzled and no doubt filled with fear as they tried to piece together what they knew about the Messiah from their Hebrew Bibles (read Isaiah 53). I pray for the discipline to spend time today thinking about these things. I’m filled with wonder, love and worship for Your amazing grace revealed in the Gospels, which the Apostles were yet to write. Amen! Amen! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My son, David Reynold, our photographer, and his wife, Kathy, call their ministry, “World Embrace” (WE). Please pray for them as they embrace the people of Uganda (click here for a prayer focus).

I’m overcome with emotion just now, and I must pull myself back to loving God with my mind, and not just my heart, in order to complete the blog. It occurs to me that discoveries of natural laws, which God built into the cosmos, would revolutionize our ability to communicate God’s truth (all truth is God’s truth). Here I am typing on a laptop computer and posting what is written at the speed of light around the world. In 1517, Martin Luther, a 33-year-old theology professor at Wittenberg University, walked over to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and nailed a paper of 95 theses to the door, hoping to spark an academic discussion about their contents. I’m nailing this blog to a satellite 22,500 miles above earth, and “the earth” is “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). Of course, just as Luther’s words were not read by all, so not all will read my words here. Nevertheless, the potential is there for wide, in-depth coverage (like the sea). During the Second World War years, 1939-1945, I travelled to church each Sunday in the same way that Habakkuk might have travelled, by horse and carriage (buggy). No, we were not Amish. Millions of country people did this.

Yours for putting God’s message to humanity on billboards, on television, on the internet, and also communicating one-to-one God’s love and salvation,

David

P.S. Behind the Crossroads Centre in Burlington are the satellite dishes which, like billboards, make the message plain so that “He may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2). Also, Crossroads has used billboards such as the one below on Bloor Street, Toronto.

The view from the top of the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario. You can see several satellite dishes in the background. This was during the summer of 2012, when we featured a full-sized replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle as part of Crossroads’ 50th Anniversary celebrations. My grandson, Adam Mainse (Ron & Ann’s son), was one of our tour guides.

Another view of a satellite uplink dish from the roof of the Crossroads Centre. The faithful sacrificial prayers and financial support of partners in ministry (you and me) make it possible to send God’s Word around the world.

A billboard in downtown Toronto in the late 1970’s advertising a new program called “100 Huntley Street.”

8 thoughts on “Sunday, April 19, 2020

  1. Amen, the earth is being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Even during this pandemic, Christians will be bolder to speak out for Christ. And there will be many testimonies from Corvid-19 survivors I expect. I am surprised there are no bloggers on here today and was wondering what happened. Trust all are safe!

    • I’m here Ger, I have been watching our Church Service and others.
      I am so sad that Mountainview Seniors Residence in my town has 8 dead and a total of 81 infected, That includes 18 staff members, I know several people in the building and I have been praying for them. God is in control and I trust him totally.
      Safe in and stay safe everyone.
      Eleanor M.

    • Sorry everyone, I did not have my computer from Saturday morning to this morning so was unable to post. Very disappointed after loving this blog and being devastated to just hear the news of the Nova Scotia shootings. How very very sad and upsetting. Praying with all the saints. God bless you all.

  2. I am sorry to hear that Eleanor and I believe the mass shootings in Nova Scotia also may be the reason for not hearing from some of our bloggers. I am watching the news now about that and it is tragic. I trust our bloggers from there are safe.

  3. Amen Ger, Eleanor, Rob

    I prayed David’s prayer and read his exposition of today’s scripture; and his personal comments.

    Thank you Ron for posting all the pictures; In 1983 I was blessed to take part in the 100Huntly Street services,

    Today is Uk Easter.

  4. blessings to everyone; it sure is a wizzy wazzy world; I pray for all to be healthy; I rebuke the devil; I pray the Blood of the Lamb over our families;friends;Christians’ Missionaries;leaders of our countries; yes; Lord; lead us; guide; forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us in Jesus Name I pray amen amen amen

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