Saturday, February 20, 2021

THE ESSENTIAL MESSAGE

Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 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).

 

Here is the view of Athens from the Acropolis down towards the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Here is the view of Athens from the Acropolis down towards the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 2:1, 4

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God…And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

 

Athens, where Paul preached his famous sermon on Mars Hill, was very different from Corinth. In Athens, he did use “excellence of speech” as he debated the philosophers (Acts 17:16-34). In today’s reading Paul has moved about 40 miles south to the largest city of Greece, Corinth. Athens was the intellectual centre. Corinth was the commercial centre. Because of its location on a very narrow strip of land between the Adriatic and Aegean Seas, almost all shipping to the eastern regions of the Roman Empire passed through Corinth in order to avoid the dangerous trip around the southern peninsula. A canal was dug in 1893 for the ships, but back in the first century A.D. it took at least a week to haul the ships on rails or great wagons up and over to the opposite Sea. Meanwhile thousands of sailors, government officials, military personnel, businessmen, etc. would have a week of leisure. Paul, who financed his mission here by making tents, would’ve had no trouble selling everything he made to accommodate the travelers. It has been estimated that there were at least 5,000 prostitutes in Corinth.

I wrote the above in order to set the stage for Paul’s ministry, which will unfold for us as we continue over the next few days to read and consider these two letters from Paul to Corinth. The intellectual discourse of Athens would not get a hearing there. Demonstration of the Spirit and of power was absolutely essential in order to get anyone’s attention for the preaching of the Gospel. I’m way over 100 words….sorry.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, just as Paul had to understand the cities in which he communicated Your message, help me to understand the people and places where I live and witness for You. Please show me when and how to make Your case for believing in You. In Your Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Back in the 60’s and 70’s I read the Bible from cover to cover once a year, three chapters a day and five on Sunday. I encouraged others to do the same. Our ministry published study guides which were ordered by readers in advance. I discovered that by the time we reached Joshua, almost 80% of those who started with me had dropped out. In the 80’s and 90’s I moved our readings to two years through the Bible, moving from the Hebrew Scripture to the Greek, with alternate books for variety and balance between the Old and New Testaments. Approximately 80% of those who started with me in the new reading program ordered the materials and completed the entire Bible. These publications are out of print now, so I’ve moved into the brave new world of cyberspace just for you!!!

Yours for God’s gift of sanctified stubbornness in not giving up,

David

These are the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. The Temple construction began in the 6th century BC.

These are the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. The Temple construction began in the 6th century BC.

14 thoughts on “Saturday, February 20, 2021

  1. Remarkable photos and history lesson with today’s scripture reading. Praying David’s prayer and giving thanks for where God has placed us. Continued prayers for Luisa’s husband, Joseph, for freedom from pain, rest and healing. So happy to hear you are able to join him, Luisa. God’s blessings upon you, fellow saints in the Lord. May you have a spectacular day!

    “There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2 ESV

    God Will Make A Way – Don Moen, with lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsMAXhc0QTs

  2. A Wonderful answer to our prayers (God opened a door for Louisa to be able to visit Joseph)! Enjoy those precious times, Louisa. Beautiful & timely music, Beverlee. It carried on too another Wonderful praise song. Have a blessed day all.

  3. Sacrificial stubbornness, more like fuel for our engine to go out in wisdom to share the truth
    For that while set people free. Hallelujah.

  4. Lord God, thank You for Paul, and for all who encourage us to turn our eyes upon Jesus. Bless all Your people today, wherever they may be. May their witness help many to turn to You, in Jesus’s name, amen

  5. Amen to the prayers. So glad God has blessed you Luisa and your husband with your visits. I really struggle with the institutions that don’t allow visitation of loved ones during this time. Stress is very hard on those that are trying to heal or are just alone.
    May God’s healing hand reach down and touch your husband and take away all his pain. May our governments soon realize the harm these lockdowns are doing to our countries.
    God Bless each and everyone.

  6. I am so thankful that we have a merciful God who understand each one’s needs. Praising him for making it possible for Luisa to visit with her dear husband joseph. I will continue to hold the both up in prayer.
    Blessings to all, Eleanor M.

    • Agreeing with all your prayers, in Jesus’s Holy Name.
      Charlene, Hope Sheldon is well-recovered.
      Luisa, may you and your beloved husband be enwrapped in God’s Peace, Comfort and Love.

      • Agreeing with Laur for your son Sheldon, Charlene. We pray he has fully healed from his cancer. 21 weeks is a long haul for treatment. God bless you.

  7. Glad that the Lord is making a way Luisa to be with your husband during this difficult time. Would appreciate prayer as well as yesterday my heart failed me and blood pressure dropped suddenly when I was scooping snow. I managed to crawl to the phone and call an ambulance and spent the night in the hospital and had tests. They released me today and said I had no heart damage but I am weak and I now need to learn to get help with the snow removal close to the house. I have help with the main driveway. Just talked to my friend Eddie who said he will help next week. Thank you saints. Appreciate any prayer offered to get through this winter and I know Luisa and her husband needs help as well.

    • I am very sorry to hear this, Ger. It is too much for you to manage on your own. God will provide the help you need, I am certain of it. Please stay in and keep your toes warm and legs elevated. Rest well with Jesus. 🛌🏽 🙏🏾

  8. Amen to every comment and prayer above.
    Continuing to pray for all mentioned on this blog.
    God is faithful and true, He will make a way always,
    in Jesus’ Great Name, Amen.

  9. Thank you dear friends for all the prayers. I was told they would allow me to visit my husband if I could provide proof of a negative COVID test. I went yesterday to have the test and got my results today…well before 24 hours. I believe that is an answer to all your prayers because I was told it would take 2-3 days to get the results. I am sitting in the hospital room visiting with my husband, right now. Praise the Lord! (Joseph is asleep)
    He still needs a lot of prayer for a healing miracle as the doctors suspect the cancer is progressing and that could be the reason for the seizure as well as swelling of the brain which the CTScan revealed. We need a miracle and our God is the Miracle Worker.
    I am also praying for your requests…for Sheldon and Ger. May God intervene in your situation in a miraculous way!

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