Monday, September 27, 2021

I USED TO

Today’s Reading: Psalms 42-44

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

 

Fleeing from King Saul, David and his men spent time among the caves around the oasis of Ein Gedi. They certainly would have appreciated the fresh water falling from the desert plateau above. There are several waterfalls of differing sizes that flow down to the Dead Sea nearby. Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.”

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 44:1-2a

We have heard with our ears, O God,

Our fathers have told us,

The deeds You did in their days,

In days of old:

You drove out the nations with Your hand,

But them You planted…

 

“The good old days” may not have been so good after all! We have a tendency to exaggerate how good it was in days gone by. Psalm 44 reviews some bad days too. It is obvious that God’s long-term purposes include the good and the bad events of our lives. Today’s reading ends with a prayer; God will put the final period to the history book of our lives!

In the first two chapters of our Bible reading, Psalms 42 & 43, the same question is asked in each of these writings…”Why are you cast down, O my soul?” The words “cast down” were very familiar to the shepherd King David. When a sheep is on its back, it is unable to turn over and get up. It will lie there and eventually die unless someone helps it to turn over. We need a shepherd who cares about us, and in fact we have such a Shepherd. In both Psalms we find the life-saving answer to being “cast down.” It is “Hope in God!” An answer to the question, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” may be found in the previous verse, 42:4, “I USED TO GO…TO THE HOUSE OF GOD…” Worshiping together with others, along with the teaching of God’s Word by a caring shepherd pastor, will put us back on our feet; we’ll be able to feed on green pastures and drink from the still waters.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, my soul thirsts for You like a deer in the desert looking for water to drink. I hear “the noise of Your waterfalls.” I drink from Your Word and Your refreshing presence. I pray that I will be faithful to go to Your altar, “To God my exceeding joy” (43:4). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m in church every Sunday. Some Sundays I’m asked to bring a message from God’s Word, but at my age, most Sundays I’m there to be blessed by the ministry of others. I’m no longer “cast down.” As both Psalms 42 and 43 tell me, I’m no longer “disquieted.” Life is sorted out. I’m content, and my spirit is calm and peaceful. The Apostle Paul writes, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some.” I’m reading from the New Testament, Hebrews 10:22-25. If for some reason I don’t get out to church, I’m conscious of an emptiness in my life that day.

Norma-Jean and I lived for 18 years on the farm and in the farmhouse where she was born. We kept sheep for many of those years. When it came time to sheer the sheep, I would help to turn the sheep over onto their backs (cast down). They resisted, of course, but I learned how to do it successfully. We sold the wool, but most of all we enjoyed the sheep. Norma-Jean was the true shepherd. She helped many as they were being born. Some of the little lambs she had to feed from a bottle. They knew her and she knew them by name. When she called them, they came running. I could call all day and they would ignore me! Like our Lord, she spent much time with the sheep and they knew her voice.

Yours for green pasture and still waters,

David

Another waterfall in the beautiful desert oasis of Ein Gedi.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

A HORRIBLE PIT

Today’s Reading: Psalms 40-41

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

 

Located in the ruins of the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest, is the pit that Jesus was lowered into for the night, just after His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. Caiaphas’ house is now covered by the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, which is located in Jerusalem. The windows cut in the stone were for the guards to keep watch over the prisoners who were in this horrible pit.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 41:9

Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,

Who ate my bread,

Has lifted up his heel against me.

 

In yesterday’s Psalms, that big word “I” was repeated over and over. Today the words that stand out are “my” and “me.” At least 35 times we are directed inward to think about ourselves. Psalm 40 starts out, not with a pity party for poor “me,” but with a powerful declaration of what God has done for David. He testifies that God has (1) inclined to me, (2) heard my cry, (3) brought me up out of a horrible pit, (4) set my feet on a rock, (5) established my steps, and (6) put a new song in my mouth. From verses 4 to 10 there is more positive confession. Then David seems to slip off the “Rock,” and back into that horrible pit. He writes, “My heart fails me…”

In Psalm 41 there are some directions for staying on the rock and out of the pit. (1) Blessed is he who considers the poor. (2) The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. (3) The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive. (4) He will be blessed on the earth. (5) The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness. Then David’s feet slip again as we read verses 4 to 9. But let us not despair; he’s back up again for the last 4 verses of Psalm 41. One of the reasons the Psalms appeal to us is that David is so very human. We can identify with his struggles and his triumphs!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, help me to wait patiently for You. Please set my feet on the Rock and keep me there by Your presence and power. You have given me the doxology of Jude 1:24-25. I confess Your ability to keep me from falling back into that horrible pit. I pray this with confidence that I am standing firmly on the Great Rock, the Lord Jesus Himself, Amen!!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve had the opportunity several times of descending literally into the “horrible pit” in which Jesus was kept overnight, beneath the palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest. It’s clean now, but when Jesus was there it was filthy; excrement would perhaps have covered the floor. Just next to the pit is the torture room where prisoners would be tied and whipped. I am overcome with the horror of it all. Jesus subjected Himself to this outrage when He could’ve simply spoken a word and set Himself free. He did it so that I, and millions of others, could be rescued from the pit of self pity and despair. He went down so that He could reach under all humankind and lift us up to stand on the unshakable Rock, which is Himself. He cleans us up through the cleansing of His blood (1John 1:7) and keeps us clean by the washing of water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26).

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, recorded a message which I would like to share with you. It ties in with David’s lament about his own familiar friend who has turned against him (click here).

Yours for standing firm on the “Rock,”

David

This is the torture chamber area where prisoners were scourged. It’s located in the lower levels of Caiaphas’ house where Jesus spent the first night after His arrest and before His trial and crucifixion.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

TAMING THE TONGUE

Today’s Reading: Psalms 38-39

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 an “arrow loop” in the wall of Jerusalem’s Zion Gate. These were slots in the walls through which defenders would shoot arrows in ancient times. We may not shoot literal arrows, but Jeremiah 9:8a says, “Their tongue is as an arrow shot out.” Zion Gate is located in the southern part of the Old City. This gate was used by the Israel Defense Forces in 1967 to enter and capture the Old City. The stones surrounding the gate are still pockmarked by weapons fire. This entrance leads to the Jewish and Armenian quarters (wider photo below)..

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 39:1

I said, “I will guard my ways,

Lest I sin with my tongue;

I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,

While the wicked are before me.”

 

There’s a very big word here which has only one letter, the letter “i”. In these two Psalms, “i”, or actually the capital “I”, appears 19 times. Could it be that we focus on ourselves too much and not enough on God? Our tongues provide the most obvious indication of what’s going on inside the “I”. David, Solomon, Paul and James all wrote about the problem we have with our tongues. James even wrote that our tongues can start a forest fire (read James 3:1-10). Dangerous or what? David writes that he can stop sinning with his tongue by guarding his ways and restraining his mouth with a muzzle. We muzzle dangerous dogs, but is this the best way to keep us, as humans made in God’s image, from backbiting and attacking one another? Self (the big “I”) control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). The Spirit produces this fruit of self-control in our lives, not the big “I”. The Apostle Paul follows his description of the fruit of the Spirit with these words, “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (the “I”) with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). Therefore, controlling our tongues is possible by yielding daily to the Spirit of God. It will take time for good fruit to grow and ripen, so that if someone takes a bite out of us, they will taste the goodness of Jesus, who dwells in every believer.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your servant David, twice in today’s reading, compares our lives to “vapor.” Like the morning mist, my life seems to evaporate. I ask, “Where has time gone?” Therefore, Lord, I pray all the more fervently that You will make every moment and every word I speak or write count for good. Fill me up to overflowing, I pray, so that from the overflow of Your Spirit I will bless others with the words my tongue speaks. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For some reason the sitcom which featured Archie and Edith Bunker comes to mind. I remember that when Edith would be making her point rather emotionally, Archie would say, “Stifle yourself!” I’m laughing as I imagine the scene, but in reality it was no laughing matter to be a part of such a dysfunctional family. Perhaps the essence of comedy is the difference between what I am as a person and what I know I should be. It’s much easier and more fun to laugh than to cry. Archie’s instructions to his wife, “Stifle yourself,” never worked. Edith’s tongue kept right on upsetting Archie in every episode.

By God’s Spirit, Who, according to the Scriptures, lives in me, I can have a tongue which follows the instruction given by Solomon, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

Yours for words “fitly spoken” to people around us and in prayer to God!

David

A wider view of the Zion Gate described in the photo above.

A Message from Ron Mainse…

It was on this day in 2017 that my father, David Mainse, went home to be with the Lord. He desired that this “100 Words” two-year journey through the Bible be continued after his passing. I am privileged to help out in fulfilling his wishes by reposting his daily blogs!

If you’d like to learn more about David Mainse, his memorial website can be found HERE. Also, below is our family’s original announcement of his passing…

Rev. David Mainse
1936-2017

Mainse Family Announcement of the Passing of David Mainse:

It is with great sadness yet divine peace that Norma-Jean and the entire Mainse family share the news of the passing of their beloved David. He went into the presence of his precious Saviour on the morning of September 25th, 2017, surrounded by his family, ending a 5-year battle with MDS leukemia. The Lord graciously extended his life 3 years beyond what the doctors initially predicted, allowing his family and friends to enjoy for a little longer his deep wisdom, caring heart and passionate encouragement.

David was a beloved husband to Norma-Jean for 59 years (as of September 19th) and also leaves behind four children, daughter Elaine and her husband Bruce Stacey, daughter Ellen and her husband Nizar Shaheen, son Reynold and his wife Kathy, and son Ron and his wife Ann, as well as 16 grandchildren with many spouses, and 13 great-grandchildren…all of whom have been amazingly blessed and forever influenced by his genuine love and Godly example.

David’s passion for Jesus spilled out into every area of his life and fueled him as an enthusiastic evangelist, visionary leader, and beloved mentor to so many. Having been in TV ministry since 1962, David was greatly loved by countless people with whom he connected daily, sharing the love of Jesus and wearing his heart on his sleeve. He was a man of impeccable integrity whose public and personal life were in clear alignment, enabling him to powerfully impact the masses and the individual…especially his family. Through his words and actions, David lived out his oft-quoted words, “One soul is worth more than the whole world.” His life-long desire was to see precious lives transformed for all eternity through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ…a desire he satisfied with great success.

Although he will be greatly missed, David’s influence will live on through his family, the ministry he founded (Crossroads), and the many lives he touched and inspired in his beloved Canada and around the world during his 60+ years of ministry.

Friday, September 24, 2021

FRET NOT THYSELF

Today’s Reading: Psalm 35-37

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

 

In 1667, Pope Clement X commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini to build a second fountain in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, which closely followed the design of the Maderno Fountain on the north side of the square. The Bernini Fountain was completed in 1677. In the distance you can see St. Peter’s Basilica and its dome. In our reading today, the psalmist, David, wrote of the Lord, “For with You is the fountain of life” (Psalm 36:9a).

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 36:8-9a

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,

And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

For with You is the fountain of life.

This is not a dull, unexciting existence, but a life of fullness, a river of God’s pleasures, and for us, a “fountain of life!” In the first eight verses of Psalm 37, the words “DO NOT FRET,” begin and end a list that can guarantee us a joy-filled life. (1) Trust in the Lord. (2) Dwell in the land. (3) Delight yourself also in the Lord. (4) Commit your way to the Lord. (5) Rest in the Lord. Now, let’s go back over these five and ask ourselves whether or not they are happening in our lives.

The results of practising the above are summed up in Psalm 37:23-25. We may want to reread these verses, taking time to meditate on them, and then pray the following prayer.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Grant me the grace to not fret! I am trusting You! I am dwelling with You! I am delighting myself in You! I commit my way to You! Having made this confession, I now rest in You! I pray that the One who lived this way 100% of the time, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I’ve invited to live in me, will enable me to live as He lived! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Psalm 37:37 brings laughter to me as I read it. When I was a student at EPBC, now Master’s College and Seminary, in Peterborough, Ontario, we, a few students, carried out an odd practice for about two weeks. Some of us would carry in our pockets a marker pencil, and if anyone came across less than humble in a statement or attitude, out would come the marker, and an “X” would be placed somewhere on that person. The original English translations rendered verse 37, “Mark the perfect man!” We had a great deal of fun, but there were actually two messages here. First, I must not think of myself too highly, and second, I should not be so judgmental of others. The New King James translation, which I use for this blog, does not use the word “perfect,” but “blameless.” I learned that I am “in Christ,” and because of Him and Him only, can I be “perfect,” which I’ve come to understand means “complete” or “blameless.” For a New Testament reading, I suggest Ephesians 1:1-23. The words “in Christ” or “in Him” are repeated at least a dozen times. So…as the old English says, “Fret not thyself!!!”

Yours for Joy in our Journey!

David

Another photo angle on the Bernini Fountain in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

BLESS AND BE BLESSED!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 33-34

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

 

At the entrance to the modern city of Jerusalem is a light rail bridge, known as the Jerusalem Chords Bridge. It was built in 2008 and symbolizes King David’s harp.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 34:1

I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 

The words, “the Lord,” occur 26 times in these two Psalms. There’s a saying about “the Lord”… that “He’s either Lord of all or not at all!” There should be no half-way measures in our faith! The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). The primary work of the Spirit of God in the earth is to make Jesus known as Lord of all. This blog is intended as an extension of that sublime purpose.

How do we “bless the Lord?” We please Him! We worship Him! We live a life which brings the smile of His approval! We read His Word and meditate on His Word daily! We pray in faith, believing Him for His response! We share His Message in our personal witness and in our support for ministries that are proven by researched fact to be effective in reaching the peoples of the world with the Good News of Jesus’ death, resurrection and the gift of forgiveness of sin and eternal life through Jesus Christ. So we can list some of the ways we bless God. Now let us think of the ways He has blessed us and is blessing us. It’s no wonder that we identify with King David when he writes, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Hallelujah! We magnify You O Lord! Bless Your holy name! Amen! Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will do as David did, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Grant that I will experience Your blessed Presence at all times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Norma-Jean, my wife, is a multi-tasker. My tendency is to focus on one thing at a time. I guess that’s one of the general differences between men and women. However, I’m learning to multi-task in my commitment to King David’s statement, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” I don’t always speak the words of praise out loud, but they are there in my mouth at the tip of my tongue. It’s the same with Paul’s encouragement to “Pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Yours for giving thanks in everything!

David

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

BY HEART!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 31-32

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

 

King David’s Tomb is a site traditionally believed to be the burial place of David, King of Israel. It is located on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Notice the harp, violin, and musical notes on the drapery that covers a sarcophagus, a stone casket. Songs, hymns, and poetry in the Hebrew language are the inheritance we have from King David. Jesus would have sung David’s songs in Hebrew. Our English language translators have done a great job in capturing the beauty of David’s language, particularly in the King James Version (1611 to about 1770 English). One of the reasons the New King James Version (the 1970s) is used in this blog is that while moving to modern English, the translators managed, for the most part, to keep the beauty and accuracy of the original English translations.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 32:5

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

 

The key verse should sound familiar to us because of our common human condition. David shows us that the only way we can experience the freedom and joy God intends for us is through acknowledging and confessing our sin. A New Testament teaching we should read regularly is 1 John 1, the entire chapter.

There are two other verses in today’s reading that we may want to read again. Jesus began His ministry quoting His Bible during His wilderness fasting, and now here are His last words from the Cross quoted from this psalm/hymn composed by David (31:5). Let’s move to these words, “Make Your face shine upon Your servant” (31:16). Back in Psalm 4 David writes, “Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.” David is borrowing from Moses here. Moses taught us a three-fold blessing which we use in our benedictions even today. Check it out from Numbers 6:22-27.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, my prayer today is Psalm 32:5-11. I’m reading this to You Lord! Thank You that as a result I can “be glad,” and I can “shout for joy!” Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

From my childhood the expression “to know by heart” meant I had memorized a poem for recitation to my public school teacher in front of the class. In Sunday School I was required to recite the weekly memory verse “by heart.” My mother and older sisters made sure I had it right. Again and again Jesus quoted from His Hebrew Bible. He’s my example of the importance of the “Word.” I’m learning daily to count on the Holy Spirit to bring to my memory Scriptures which I’ve learned by heart that show me how to respond to the need at hand. Please join me in reading John 16:7-15. The Holy Spirit guides within the authority of the written Word of God. I’ve learned to always check with Scripture, and to take the next step and actually pray the Scriptures.

Yours for proclaiming the joyful message of salvation through Jesus,

David

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

TURNING MOURNING INTO DANCING

Today’s Reading: Psalms 28-30

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

 

On the Sea of Galilee, a statue beside the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy shows Peter kneeling before Jesus after His death and resurrection.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 30:5

For His anger is but for a moment,

His favor is for life;

Weeping may endure for a night,

But joy comes in the morning.

 

It’s hard to imagine the despair that David tried to express in Psalm 30. He was running for his life from his father-in-law, King Saul, whom David would follow as king. After a desperate prayer, David would always end with praising God, together with a statement of his unwavering faith in God’s power and God’s willingness to deliver him. David knew the continuing anger of Saul and the weeping it caused. This is not the way with God! We know that God wants life and joy! Yes, God is angry with sin, but when we ask His forgiveness, His anger toward us ceases. We do need to weep in repentance, not in self pity. Joy is the result!

In Psalm 29, the phrase “voice of the Lord” is repeated six times. The problem is that we are not good listeners most of the time. Hopefully this blog quiets us sufficiently so that we can hear what God has to say. Psalm 28 should result in a spirit of rejoicing because of our confidence in God’s answers to our prayers. God hears our voice much better than we hear His! We may think that those around us don’t listen to us, but God is a GOOD LISTENER!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I thank You for listening to me when I pray. In this I have complete confidence. Therefore, I pray for all those people that come to my mind. . . . (name them). Help me to care about those things about which You care, O Lord. I pray in the Name of the One who rose early every morning to spend much time in prayer, Jesus, Himself! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My eyes have been drawn to read again and again Psalm 30:11a, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing.” I don’t often dance, but there are times when joy is so strong that I break free of my reserve, and away I go! It happened at least once on live television when a young man, who had escaped from an Eastern European communist country, was playing a lively tune of rejoicing on his violin. Some may remember Georgian Banov. I’ve attached a clip of that spontaneous dancing (click here).

Yours for turning mourning into dancing!

David

Monday, September 20, 2021

YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE

Today’s Reading: Psalms 26-27

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

 

Light breaks through the turbulent clouds on the dome of the Santi Luca e Martina church in Rome.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the strength of my life;

Of whom shall I be afraid?

 

Like diamonds when the light strikes the many facets, so is the content of these two Psalms given to us by God and His shepherd king David. Let us join David in his prayers. He prays, “Vindicate me – Examine me – Try my mind and my heart – Redeem me and be merciful to me – Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice – Have mercy upon me and answer me – Teach me Your way, O Lord.” He encourages us to – Walk in integrity – Walk in truth – Tell of all God’s wondrous works – Dwell in the house of the Lord – Behold the beauty of the Lord – Inquire in His temple – Wait on the Lord – Be of good courage!!! As a result of prayer and of taking courage from God, David can state, “I shall not slip – My foot stands in an even place – The Lord is the strength of my life – My heart shall not fear – I will be confident – I will sing praises to the Lord – The Lord will take care of me!”

Now, why not confess out loud the words of our key verse! Are we ready to face another 24 hours of life? Yes! Yes! Yes!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O Lord, today I’m joining king David in his prayers. I’m making those prayers an integral part of my petitions to You! I wait on You Lord! You are strengthening my heart! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m thinking just now of the absolutely essential elements of loving and serving God which David highlights for us. In the 1970s, the song, “You Light Up My Life,” sung by Debbie Boone, was at the top of the pop charts for weeks. As I chose the key verse, “The Lord is my Light,” I was thinking of Debbie as she sat in the Green Room preparing to go out on the set of 100 Huntley Street. I may have told this story in a previous blog, but she was in Toronto performing the role of Maria Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” production in a local theatre. My contact with Debbie was through her dad, Pat Boone, who had been our guest several times. As we prayed together, Debbie began to cry. I heard her say, “O Lord Jesus, it’s been so long, so very long.” She had obviously been so preoccupied with her role in such a famous production that she had neglected having a daily experience of the Presence of God. One of my reasons for this daily blog is so that I will never have to say, “It’s been so very long.” My son Ron just told me that I wrote about Debbie Boone in a previous blog, and we linked to a 100 Huntley Street interview with her. In case you missed it, here it is again.

One more thing…out of the thousands of guests I’ve had the privilege of interviewing, there were several who quoted Psalm 27:10 as their personal experience, “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” I cannot imagine what life would be like if I didn’t know that God is taking care of me!!!

Yours for getting to know God better each day,

David

Sunday, September 19, 2021

THE CROSS, CROOK, and CROWN!!!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 23-25

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

 

The Golden Gate, also known as the Eastern Gate. According to Ezekiel 44:1-3, the Messiah will one day return to the Temple Mount through this gate. The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sealed off the Golden Gate in 1541 in an attempt to prevent the Messiah’s entrance.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalm 23 is classic literature and worthy of memorization. Even better than this is that it is true! We may want to read it aloud slowly, meditating on each line, applying it to our personal experience. David, the shepherd king, knew from childhood the literal truth of his words. Jesus, perhaps thinking of this Psalm, said, “I am the good Shepherd.” Let us add to David’s words the words of Jesus found in John 10:1-18. Jesus speaks of sheep and shepherds 20 times. He says that “The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”

Yesterday we read the Psalm of the CROSS. Today, the Psalm of the shepherd’s CROOK. Then in Psalm 24 we have the Psalm of the CROWN. Psalm 24:7-10 are also worthy of memorization. In the PAST, there is the finished work of Jesus on the CROSS! In the PRESENT, His shepherd’s CROOK is our constant source of guidance and protection! In the FUTURE, the CROWN…Jesus as “the King of Glory shall come in.” Amen! Amen! Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, the third Psalm in today’s reading is my prayer. I pray for You to (1) “Show me Your ways,” (2) “Lead me in Your truth,” (3) “Remember Your tender mercies and Your loving-kindnesses,” (4) “Pardon my iniquity,” (5) “Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,” (6) “Look on my affliction and my pain,” (7) “Forgive all my sins,” (8) “Keep my soul and deliver me,” (9) “Let me not be ashamed,” (10) Let integrity and uprightness preserve me.” ….. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m truly lifted up in my spirit as I sit at my laptop computer. I don’t know how anyone could read, “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in,” and not feel a surge of emotion! There’s another reason my spirit is lifted up…Happy 59th anniversary Norma-Jean! Thank you for your amazing commitment to me on September 19th, 1958 (see photo below). You are more beautiful to me than ever!!

The Islamic Sultan Suleiman in the 1500’s may have sealed up what is known as “The Golden Gate” (picture above), but when Messiah returns to the Mount of Olives, from which He ascended into Heaven (directly opposite the gate), a few stones will never hinder His entrance into the Temple Mount area. The angels said to the astonished and bewildered disciples of Jesus after He had ascended and disappeared from their sight, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven.” Suleiman, as a Muslim, said he believed that Jesus was a great prophet, but his Jesus was not the “SAME” Jesus. Suleiman did not believe in the death of Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb of God. He did not believe in the literal physical resurrection of Jesus out from among the dead who showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs. I’m expecting the return of the “SAME” Jesus of whom Psalms 22, 23 and 24 speak!!!

Yours for knowing and loving “THIS SAME JESUS” (see Acts 1:1-11),

David

On this day in 1958 (September 19), norma-Jean and I were married!

Norma-Jean and me in 2013.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

WHY?

Today’s Reading: Psalms 21-22

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

 

The Church of Annunciation in Nazareth is spectacular, and when the light enters through the stained glass, the beauty of man’s expression through sculpting can be seen. Moses had the sculpture of a serpent placed on a pole foreshadowing the fact that Jesus took our sins and sicknesses upon Himself on the Cross (Numbers 21:7-9, also John 3:14,15). Today’s reading, which clearly details the crucifixion of Jesus, was written hundreds of years before the Romans had even devised this specific means of excruciating death.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 22:16b-17

They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me…

 

In today’s reading, Psalm 21 communicates the joy we experience in the knowledge of God’s strength. When the Apostle Paul was struggling, God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect (complete) in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9a). In Psalm 22 we learn that the Saviour took our weaknesses on Himself so that He may make us strong.

Jesus quoted from Psalm 22 as He suffered on the Cross. He cried out the words given to David as a prophecy of the suffering Messiah, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”). Jesus, in His humanity, asked, “Why?” We are learning the answer to His question as we read God’s Word daily. There are many other references in Psalm 22 to death by crucifixion. Crucifixion was unknown for hundreds of years after David’s time, yet he wrote, “They pierced My hands and feet” (Psalm 22:16b). We read in that Psalm at least eight statements which refer to the words and events spoken and experienced by Jesus on the Cross. A number of New Testament readings illustrate the truth of David’s prophecy. Here’s just one reading for us (John 19:20-24). Compare that with Psalm 22:18, “They divide My garments among them and for My clothing they cast lots.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You revealed the sufferings of the Messiah King to the shepherd king in advance. I pray that You will reveal to me in a new way the historical fact of the crucifixion of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I humbly bow at the foot of Jesus’ Cross. Lord Jesus, You did this because of Your love for me and for all people throughout all time. I give my life to You as the best way I can express my love to You. As David sang, “A posterity shall serve Him” (22:30), and his last words in Psalm 22, “They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this.” Lord Jesus, here I am. Please help me to declare this fact to everyone who will read and listen. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m overwhelmed just now as I think of the dozens of places in the Hebrew Scriptures where the sufferings of Jesus are foretold. No one else who ever lived could step into the fulfilment of these prophecies. The first one was written by Moses in Genesis 3:15, where the “Seed of the woman” would be bruised. Throughout all of Holy Scripture, the seed was, without exception, from a man. Isaiah, of the tribe of Judah, wrote hundreds of years before Jesus was born of the virgin, “Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

Yours for declaring that “He has done this!”,

David

P.S. I came across a beautiful rendition of the hymn that begins, “Alas, and did my Saviour bleed and did my Sovereign die…” by Isaac Watts. We don’t know David’s melody for “The Deer of the Dawn” to which Psalm 22 was originally sung. Click here for the Sharon Singers and this unique rendition of “At The Cross” with a different melody. Be blessed; meditate on Jesus’ sufferings on our behalf, and share the blessings.