Friday, December 10, 2021


Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 4-6

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


Hierapolis was an ancient city located on hot springs in classical Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and currently comprise an archaeological museum designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many architectural grave monuments in Hierapolis. The oldest graves are of the Hellenistic Period (1st and 2nd centuries BC). “BC” denotes before Christ. One wonders if Christ preached to the person memorialized here as well as the writer of Ecclesiastes. First Peter says that Christ preached to the imprisoned spirits who formerly were disobedient (e.g. the people of Noah’s day, etc. Read 1 Peter 3:18-22).

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


Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 5:2

Do not be rash with your mouth,

And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.

For God is in heaven, and you on earth;

Therefore let your words be few.


In Nelson Mandela’s book, Conversations with Myself, he wrote, “Spiritual weapons can be dynamic and often have an impact difficult to appreciate, except in the light of actual experience in given situations. In a way they make prisoners of free men, turn commoners into monarchs, and dirt into pure gold. To put it quite bluntly, Duggie [his friend], it is only my flesh and blood that are shut up behind these tight walls.” According to some of those who visited Mandela in prison, he read his Bible daily. No doubt he read the words of our key verse about “words.” I’ve read Mandela’s words at his trial before his 27 years in prison. He was very intelligent then, but after he emerged from prison, he was not only smart, but very wise with his words. Thousands of hours in a private and secret place can develop wisdom. Ecclesiastes is part of what is known as “Wisdom Literature.”

Mandela and John Bunyan both had prison experiences. In 1678 Bunyan wrote Pilgrims Progress while in prison. The word “vanity” appears eight times in today’s reading. Bunyan tells us of two men, Christian and Faithful, who visit “Vanity Fair.” Here they are mocked for their desire to proceed on to the “Celestial City.” Faithful is executed and proceeds to Heaven. Christian is remanded to prison but escapes and proceeds on his journey. For a good summary of this story click here and check out the fourth paragraph.


Lord God, as I meditate on the words I’ve read today about “the tears of the oppressed,” (4:1b) and seeing “the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness” (5:8a), I pray that the example of a Nelson Mandela would challenge me to change as he did during his 27 years of prison. Then may I do my best to change my world first, and then to help where I can to make change for the better in the world around me. I pray this in the Name of the One, who more than any other, changed everything…Jesus Christ! Amen!!!


In my recent reading about Mandela, I noted that in his call to affect political change, he made a deliberate decision to be private in his expressions of his personal faith. He does put in his book, Conversations With Myself, the fact that he taught Sunday School at one time, and he reflects on his education in Wesleyan Methodist schools. He also takes considerable space in his book to tell the story of “The Trial of Christ by Pontius Pilate” (pages 223 – 227). Jesus obviously had a major impact on Mandela’s life.

Yours for grasping God’s eternal truths and never letting go, holding and speaking the truth in love,


P.S. The name of one of the entities that make up the Crossroads Family of Ministries is “Tricord.” This name is from Ecclesiastes 4:12b, “A threefold chord is not easily broken.” Click here for information about Tricord (try clicking various items in the “Catalogue” at the top, such as “Documentaries”).

10 thoughts on “Friday, December 10, 2021

  1. Lord God, thank You for Godly men and women who show and tell of Your love and saving grace; who bring the message of the fact that Jesus died to save sinners; that He lives to give eternal life to all who will come. As David prayed, Father, help all those who are under oppression, especially those in Nigeria and other places where evil is rampant. Restrain that evil, Lord, we ask in Jesus’s name, and bless and multiply the children of Truth and Light. Be glorified, Lord God, throughout this world, in Jesus’s great name, amen

  2. No one can know just when the rapture will occur but a great falling away will precede it with rampant persecution.That may be in its embryonic stage today?But…it has to take place.God bless
    Who To Follow.

    When the church is closing on the earth,
    Know that Satan will soon appear,
    For his church will soon rebirth
    The demons to hold the world in fear.

    Till the Son of God appears again,
    After the true Church is raptured,
    The world will know evil’s reign
    When love became deceived and captured.

    But know that when Jesus reappears,
    We will return with Him also,
    As Christ will close the last years,
    Then you will know Who to follow.
    GW (Bill) Marshall,‎01August,2020

  3. Amen to all prayers!

    I wonder if Mr. Mandela ever felt discouraged in his prison cell, I suspect he did, and yet he grew in inner strength and wisdom and became a great leader.
    Sometimes I become discouraged and fearful in these difficult times that we live in…and yet I have this growing sense that we are all alive today in these times for God’s purpose.
    That, if we are willing, our Father in heaven has assigned each of us jobs to do no matter how old or young we are!
    Something as small as a smile at someone, or praying for our world is huge…so my fellow bloggers this gives me a sense of purpose and hope and peace as each morning I try to do this…..our Heavenly Father is our protector and our shelter!

    • Anne, I totally agree with your comments.
      We are all here for God’s purpose.
      May His Will be done throughout our world,
      in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

    • Anne I also agree with what you said. also
      I want to thank you for yours Prayers for Edward and I from yesterday. They are very much appreciated. We are doing alright at the moment and are taking it one day at a time. We have an amazing God and He is absolutely in control, so we are leaving all in His hands. Bless you and all on this blog. I am praying for Luisa and her husband Joseph and Beverlee.

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