Friday, August 7, 2020

“WELCOME” – GOD

Today’s Reading: Mark 15

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 right-hand side).

Here, I (Reynold) placed my Bible, open to Mark chapter 15, on the actual paving stones that Jesus would have walked on while carrying His cross. Through the centuries the city has been built up over the road, but the original stones can be seen in the lower area of the Sisters of Sion Convent.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Mark 15:38

Then the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

 

In our readings over the next few weeks, we will visit the books of Exodus and Leviticus. The origins of the “veil” are in these books. The “veil” was a symbol of the separation between a holy, all-powerful God and His sinful, weak people. Entrance to the Holy of Holies was restricted to once a year, when the High Priest would go beyond the veil to make atonement for the sins of the people. When Jesus died, the veil was torn open from top to bottom – from God to man – by an act of God. As a result, we can “COME BOLDLY BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE” (Hebrews 4:16). The Holy of Holies stood open, an invitation to all to approach the Throne of God through the blood of Jesus which He, as our High Priest, sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in Heaven. Please find the time today to read Hebrews chapters 9 & 10. Our minds will be illuminated and our hearts moved by a greater understanding of what happened in Heaven at the moment Jesus died here on earth.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Heavenly Father, because of the torn veil, Jesus’ body, I come boldly into Your immediate Presence. Jesus’ death has made this possible. This is the greatest honour I could ever have. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I’m not asking for anything. I’m filled with awe as I soak in Your Presence. Amen! and Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The photograph for today of “Gabatha,” the paving stones which formed the floor of the Roman Governor’s courtyard, bring a special memory to me. Norma-Jean and I first walked on these stones in 1968. Our guide for the convent was a Nun who was quite cold and distant. The next time we came, the same Sister was radiant and began to sing while standing on those stones, “He is Lord. He is Lord. He is risen from the dead and He is Lord.” I said to her, “What has happened to you? The last time we were here you were very formal, but you’ve changed.” She replied, “Oh, I know Him now.” There was a charismatic prayer meeting weekly for those who lived on the Via Dolorosa, and she had been born again and baptized with the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave her utterance (John 3:3-5 and Acts 2:4). An encounter with the Holy Spirit changes everything.

Yours for living in the immediate Presence of God,

David

Thursday, August 6, 2020

INTENTIONS

Today’s Reading: Mark 14

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 right-hand side).

On the other side of this security fence is the region of the ancient town of Bethany. The fence was constructed in 2003 to protect Jerusalem from attacks from terrorists. This view is from Bethpage on the southeast side of the Mount of Olives.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Mark 14:29

Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.

 

The INTENTIONS of JESUS were clearly revealed in His declaration that the Bread and the Cup were His Body and His Blood. His suffering and death in our place was about to take place. Nothing could turn Jesus away from this. On the other hand, there was Peter. His INTENTIONS were great, but his actions were so very human. In the courtyard of the High Priest, Peter could not stand up to the waitresses who identified him with Jesus (Mark 14:71-72). The Bible is totally honest. Peter was a man of God who became one of the leaders of the early Church. His example shows us that it is impossible to follow Jesus in our own strength. Oh, how we need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Fifty days later, after the Holy Spirit filled them on the Day of Pentecost, Peter was boldly proclaming Jesus on the streets of Jerusalem. That day, approximately 3,000 people became believers (Acts 2:41). The Holy Spirit enabled him to carry out his INTENTIONS!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, John the Baptist said of You, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11b). I need You, Lord Jesus, to baptize me now. I ask You for Your Power to come upon me (Acts 2:4). I wait in Your Presence, expecting the same outpouring of Your Spirit as on Peter and the others throughout the history of the Church.Thank You, Jesus! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I identify with Peter. Before Jesus baptized me with the Holy Spirit, I found it nearly impossible to stand before people to share Jesus. After, I was amazed at how bold I was. I preached on the street, on radio and on television. I saw open doors of opportunity everywhere. I was very aware that Peter had spent three years being taught by Jesus, Himself, and before that no doubt he had studied the Scriptures for years in the synagogue with the guidance of a rabbi. I surely needed Bible College studies. I started with a correspondence course and then enrolled in Eastern Pentecostal Bible College in Peterborough, Ontario (now Master’s College and Seminary). For me, a thorough knowledge of God’s Word and the Power of the Holy Spirit made all the difference. What a joy to serve the Lord Jesus Christ!

Yours for effectively sharing the Word of God in the Power of the Holy Spirit, the only way to effectively implement His INTENTIONS,

David

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

WATCH

Today’s Reading: Mark 13

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 right-hand side).

Nazareth Village is a unique place where visitors experience life in the first century. Pictured above is a synagogue as it may have looked at the time when Jesus read prophetic words about Himself from the prophet Isaiah (Luke 4:16-20).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, Click HERE.

Key Verse: Mark 13:35-37

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming — in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning — lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!


The destruction of the Temple happened in 70 A.D. We are still living in the times predicted by the Son of God who was also the greatest Prophet. The fig tree, the symbol of Israel as a nation, has been given new life. Never before in human history has an ancient nation been reborn with their own territory, and never before has a dead language been fully restored (Hebrew). What is the core message of today’s reading? JESUS IS COMING AGAIN SOON! Most people live their lives oblivious to this fact. Over 500 references to His coming in power and glory are in the Bible. If we lived in the continuous awareness of His coming, how different our lives would be!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I praise You for the truth of Your soon return. Please give me the alertness to be constantly watching for Your coming. May my life, my witness for You, my finances, and my deeds be pleasing in Your sight, so that I will not be ashamed at the moment of Your return. I pray this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I heard a preacher say, “Who will be taken up with Jesus when He comes? Answer: Those who are taken up with Him now!” My wife, Norma-Jean, tries to make sure that I don’t get distracted by the daily pressures of life, forgetting that Jesus could return at any second. I think she averages at least once a day saying, “David, Jesus is coming soon.” It’s her way of keeping me on the “straight and narrow,” I think. In turn, I remind her of the same. I’m looking out the window to the east as I type this. The stars that I saw earlier have disappeared, and our star, the sun, has cast a pre-dawn light across the sky. I’m deeply moved to think that Jesus could come today. One of my main intentions in doing this blog is to help keep all who join me from sleeping spiritually. It’s time to “rise and shine!”

Yours in keen anticipation of His soon return,

David

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

THE WORD AND THE POWER

Today’s Reading: Mark 12

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 right-hand side).

Through a passage off the north side of the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of the platform on which the Temples of Solomon, Ezra and Herod were built, is a collection of Jewish holy books. This man is reading an ancient scroll protected by glass. A Torah scroll is a handwritten copy of the Torah or Pentateuch, the holiest book within Judaism. It must meet extremely strict standards of reproduction. Written entirely in Hebrew, a sefer Torah contains 304,805 letters, all of which must be duplicated precisely by a trained sofer or scribe. This is an effort which may take as long as 18 months.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Mark 12:24

Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?…”

 

Jesus taught that we learn about God by knowing both the Scriptures and the Power of God. There are those who concern themselves with one or the other, and who fail to have both the Word of God and the working of the Holy Spirit in a balanced Christian life. Failure to give attention to both will produce a lopsided and ineffective believer. Therefore, we should take quality time reading God’s Word in a systematic way (this blog will help), and after we’ve heard from God, take time to pray fervently for the infilling of the Holy Spirit for the new day of service. This chapter begins with the parable of those who were unwilling to recognize the servants that the owner of the vineyard had sent to them. With a diligent effort to balance the head and the heart with Scripture and the experience of God’s Spirit, we will not fall into error or fanaticism.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father God, Your Son and our Saviour showed us how a Christian should live in balance. May He live fully in me so that Your Word and Your Spirit will produce daily the fruit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a balanced way (Gal. 5:22-25 and 1 Cor. 12:4-11). I pray this through the Person of Jesus Christ, in whom I live. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Before I write this blog, I know that in order to communicate as I should, I must spend time reading God’s Word, meditating on that Word, and an equal time in prayer. I try to spend the same amount of time on my personal devotions as I do writing these words. This discipline goes back to my earliest days in witnessing for Jesus. I really messed up a great opportunity to win a man for Christ by a lack of wisdom (“He that wins souls is wise” Proverbs 11:30), and a failure to keep filled with the Holy Spirit. I watched this man turn away from God. I cried out to God in my private time and was taught the reason for my failure…the lesson of today’s blog. One other lesson from today’s reading: When God counts the amount of our giving of offerings to Him, He counts the size of our gift by how much we have left over after we’ve given, not the actual cash value of our gift. Think about it the next time you give.

Yours for both the Scriptures and the Power of God,

David

Monday, August 3, 2020

FORGIVENESS

Today’s Reading: Mark 11

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 right-hand side).

These steps at the southern entrance of the Temple Mount once led into the Court of the Gentiles. You can still see the Triple Gate archways that were bricked over. These main gates to the Temple were called the Hulda Gates. An impressive staircase was added to enable the thousands of pilgrims to walk into the Temple.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, Click HERE.

Key Verse: Mark 11:26

…But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.

 

In the first 10 verses, Jesus meticulously fulfills prophecy (Zechariah 9:9 & Psalm 118:26). He then follows up by communicating His authority over nature, the fig tree, and over the activities surrounding the worship of God in the Temple. Mark concludes this chapter by quoting the religious leaders saying, “We do not know” (verse 33). Their biggest concern seemed to be the politics of the day. The core message of this passage concerns FORGIVENESS. This has eternal importance for each of us. Unforgiveness blocks the forgiveness we all need from God. Jesus warns us in a most forceful way. This is one truth that we MUST RECEIVE and ACT UPON TODAY! (How about every day?)

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I ask for grace to forgive others and the grace to accept the forgiveness offered to me by others. Having done this, I am confident that as I ask for Your forgiveness for my sins against You, Lord God, You forgive me. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I can’t help but refer again to my minister Dad. He described some religious leaders of Jesus’ day, and often today also, with this couplet: “They wobble in and wobble out, and leave the people all in doubt.” The “we do not know” answer to a question about the great prophet John the Baptist is not acceptable. Immediately after our marriage in 1958, Norma-Jean and I accepted the call to pastor a congregation in Brighton, Ontario. We had lots of sports for our youth, and it came to my ears that a neighbouring pastor had called our Church, “The Brighton Sports Centre.” I was hurt by this and to my shame I nursed a grudge until the Holy Spirit pushed me to go to this pastor and to ask his forgiveness for not forgiving him. He didn’t even know that I knew what he had said. I was forgiven, but, as far as I knew, he continued to believe that sports were not right for the activities of a pastor and church. I had to let it go. Nevertheless, several teenagers came to know Jesus as a direct result of the friendships developed through sports.

Yours because of “forgiveness,”

David

Sunday, August 2, 2020

POSSIBILITIES

Today’s Reading: Mark 10

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 right-hand side).

The Jordan River is 251 kilometres (156 miles) long and flows from the Galilee (approximately 600 ft below Sea Level) south to the Dead Sea (approximately 1,300 feet below Sea Level). Currently, the river serves as the eastern border of Israel and the Palestinian Authority West Bank. On the east of Jordan’s waters is the Kingdom of Jordan.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Mark 10:27

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

 

God has established humanly impossible standards. Why? Because He desires that we will learn that “with God all things are possible.” We can’t reach those standards on our own. “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Jesus is the perfect manifestation of the Glory of God (please read John 1:14). In His response to the rich young ruler, Jesus establishes God’s standard. Our possessions must never become more important than our obedience. This young person found it impossible to surrender his wealth for the sake of Jesus. Notice two insights into this story: (1) Jesus loved this man. (2) The youth was truly sorry that he found it impossible to obey Jesus. Perhaps after Jesus’ death, resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower people, and the establishment of the Church, this man was among those who gave away their possessions for the sake of Christ (Acts 2:45). We don’t know, but remember, “with God all things are possible!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord Jesus, I can’t follow You on my own. Therefore, I’m asking for special grace every day. With Your presence and power, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

When my great-grandson, Myles Neilson, was four years old, he announced to me that he would never kill an animal. I said, “What if a lion was about to eat you and you had a gun…would you shoot the lion?” He thought about it and said, “No. I would raise my hands and say, ‘Stop!’ and God would tell him to stop!” He paused again and then said, “Well, maybe lions don’t listen to God very well.” This gave me the opportunity to tell him the story of Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6). In verses 13 to 16 of today’s reading, Jesus gives a profound truth about children. I have learned much from children. Once I’m sure I heard God’s still small voice speak to me saying, “David, you’ve become far too sophisticated. Be childlike as you once were, and you’ll see many more of My mighty works than you do now.”

Yours from a childlike heart,

David

Saturday, August 1, 2020

TRANSFORMED

Today’s Reading: Mark 9

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 right-hand side).

This photo of Mount Hermon was taken from about 45 kilometres south of the mountain and nine kilometres north of the Sea of Galilee. I (Reynold Mainse) was standing at an elevated point in Meshushim Stream Nature Reserve. A peak in this area rises to 2,236 m (7,336 ft) and is the highest elevation in Israeli-controlled territory. The Hermon range covers an area of about 1,000 square km, of which about 70 are under Israeli control. This mountain range is shared by Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. The Jordan River’s main source of water comes from the melted snow off of Mount Hermon. Mt. Hermon may have been the “High Mountain” referred to in today’s reading.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Mark 9:7

And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”

 

Why Peter, James and John? Did Jesus show favouritism? God always responds according to our level of commitment. Do we want to see Jesus in new ways? Then ask God for a greater desire for Him. Why Moses and Elijah? Jesus had tried again and again to share His coming death with His disciples, but they didn’t get it. Moses and Elijah were two servants of the Lord who, at one point in their lives, had become so discouraged that they asked God that they would die (Numbers 11:15 and 1 Kings 19:4). Perhaps they were the only human beings who could begin to understand Jesus’ feelings as He faced death. Yes, Jesus was 100% Human, and this record establishes that Jesus is also 100% God. The voice of God the Father burned its way into the memories of the three disciples. Later in the chapter we learn that “fasting and prayer” is another evidence of our level of fervency. Why be fervent? One reason is because of the reality of “hell fire” (9:43,47). There’s a lost world that needs Jesus before it’s too late.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, like Peter, James and John, I’m sticking close to You. May I, too, hear the voice of the Father, and may I fast and pray so that I may see Your mighty works. Amen and Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

It was at the altar during August I952 at a Camp Meeting. I had just turned 16 when God made it crystal clear to me that I was called by Him into the full-time ministry of His Church. I had been praying for some time that God would do me the great honour of giving me such a call. I wanted with all my heart to spend my life working as an ordained minister of Christ. That summer I had spent weekends helping Bob Johnson plant a new congregation in the village of Madoc, Ontario. Bob’s picture was on our High School wall as having qualified for several scholarships, yet here he was, sleeping on the floor of a little apartment, because he did not have the money to buy a bed. That example of sacrifice increased my desire to make the same commitment as Bob. If I had been offered a comfortable salary, a nice house and an established pulpit for some future time, I don’t think that I would’ve been interested.

Yours for a high level of fervency in hearing from God and in serving Him,

David