Monday, January 13, 2020

AWAKE! AWAKE!

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 51-52

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

 

Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. Jesus made His home in Capernaum, which is located on the north end of this Lake. His habit was to awaken and pray even before sunrise. Like the rays of early morning light break through the clouds, so we should expect to receive God’s Word for the day. Psalm 119:130a tells us that “THE ENTRANCE OF YOUR WORDS GIVES LIGHT!!!”

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

 

Key Verse: Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

 

Three times in today’s reading, God’s people are told, “Awake! Awake!” Three times God speaks through His prophet Isaiah and says, “Listen to Me!” God wants our undivided attention! Whatever it takes to move us to bring the Good News of Jesus is beautiful in God’s sight, even our feet! The “Good News” in today’s reading is that Messiah (Christ) will come to us. His feet, beautiful because of the message He brings, have brought Him not just to the mountains seen in the above picture but to those places where each one of us have experienced His “Peace,” His “Good things,” “Salvation,” and the fact that “God reigns!”

Isaiah wants to be wide awake and listen to the message of the One who has come to be a Servant of mankind. Specifically, he tells us about the death of the Messiah, and the total surrender that would take Him to the Cross and render Him unrecognizable because of the beatings He suffered. “His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of man” (Isaiah 52:14). His beautiful feet were nail-pierced, as was the practice in Roman crucifixion. Read Psalm 22:14-18 and Luke 23:33-49.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will be fully “Awake!” You’ve reminded me six times about this in today’s reading. You’ve also reminded me three times to “listen” to You! I’m awake and I’m listening. You are telling me that I am to have the beautiful feet of one who, like Messiah, has the responsibility to bring the Good News to everyone I meet, and that I must support those who go to the end of the earth to bring that Good News to all! I ask for grace to sacrifice my resources, my time, and my very life in Your greatest of all causes. I pray in the Name of the One who has gone before me, Jesus, Messiah, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There were eight beautiful feet that brought Wallace, Douglas, Delbert and Merrill to that grade 12 high school classroom, where I watched their lives carefully from September to November that fall. Not only did they pass my tests for what a true Christian should be, but they shared the “Good News” of Jesus with me. The previous summer, I worked full time for the local Chrysler dealer and then part time during the school year. There were beautiful feet there too. The witness for Jesus was strong! I knew the Gospel, but as a result of my mother’s death when I was 12 and my father’s departure when I was 15 for his mission field in Egypt, I had run away from God. After grade 11 high school in a Christian boarding school, I was informed that I was not welcome to return to that school, because of my rebellion. Therefore, I ended up living with my oldest sister and her husband, moving to Pembroke, Ontario, and meeting people who, along with my sister, brought me “Good News,” “Peace,” “Glad tidings of good things,” and who proclaimed, “Salvation!”

With my time, energy, resources, and all my heart, I want to do the same for others! I may have more time to give. I definitely have more energy, and I have some resources to give.

Yours for feet that bring “Good News!”

David

Sunday, January 12, 2020

THE MORNING BY MORNING SEARCH

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 49-50

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

 

“Morning by morning,” Orthodox Jews read the Torah and other holy books in a library that is part of the Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) of Jerusalem.

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

 

Key Verse: Isaiah 50:4

The Lord God has given Me

The tongue of the learned,

That I should know how to speak

A word in season to him who is weary.

He awakens Me morning by morning,

He awakens My ear

To hear as the learned.

 

No doubt the people of Berea, Greece, read Isaiah. They did as we are doing daily in this blog. They “searched the Scriptures daily to find out if these things [the message Paul preached] were so” (Acts 17:10-12).

Search Isaiah 49 and discover the birth of “Messiah,” and that “He” (God) would tell Messiah’s mother what His Name would be. For the third time Isaiah speaks of Messiah as a “Light to the Gentiles” (Isaiah 9:2, 42:6 & 49:6). Messiah was rejected (49:7a). Messiah’s mission statement is introduced (49:9). Let us think of a Person who lived among us whose life and death fits these descriptions, who arose early every morning to pray (our key verse). Search for and read Mark 1:35. Jesus did this! Whose back was struck and whose beard was plucked out? (50:6). Let us take time, “Morning by morning” to “SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray, as our key verse says, that I will “know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.” Awaken me “morning by morning.” Awaken my ear that I may “hear as the learned.” Then grant me, I pray, that I will, with wisdom, boldness, and consistency, share with others what I am learning. I ask these blessings in the Name of the One who never failed, Jesus Messiah (“Christ” in Greek), Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There are great places everywhere in which we gather to worship. I expect that Pastor Blackburn will bring a strong message from God’s Word which will nourish and strengthen us for living! It was after a week of fasting and prayer by members of this church that I was awakened the second Monday of January of 2012 and I heard that “still small voice” prompting me to learn to do this two-year blog journey through the Bible!!!

Yours to encourage us all to “SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!!!”

David

P.S. In yesterday’s blog I wrote some things about China and the people of Chinese descent who live by the millions all over the world, blessing the countries where they live. In today’s reading, Isaiah 49:12b speaks of those from “Sinim.” This is China! While seeking to have a Christian pavilion in the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, I found an amazing story of Chinese Jewish people who lived in an area of Shanghai where Jews had lived since the Assyrians practiced ethnic cleansing on the northern Ten Tribes of Israel. The Chinese are proud of the safe haven they provided for Jews during the Nazi-inspired Holocaust.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

“PROGNOSTICATORS” OR “A MORE SURE WORD”

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 47-48

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

 

A young man embraces God’s Word while standing in front of the Colosseum in Rome. Over and over in recent readings, the words, “Thus says the Lord,” appear. God desires to communicate with His human family. Romans 10:17 tells us that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

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

 

Key Verses: Isaiah 48:17-18

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,

The Holy One of Israel:

“I am the Lord your God,

Who teaches you to profit,

Who leads you by the way you should go.

Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!

Then your peace would have been like a river,

And your righteousness like the waves of the sea…”

 

Chapter 47 prophesies the fall and humiliation of Babylon years before it rose to become a world power. The polar opposites of God’s Prophetic Word are the efforts of astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators (47:13). The horoscopes in our newspapers contain clever generalities, as does the slip of paper inside a fortune cookie, but, as Isaiah points out, these things cannot “stand up and save you.” Babylon’s eventual destruction is inevitable as prophesied by Isaiah.

Chapter 48 prophesies that God, who has allowed His people to go through the “furnace of affliction” in order to refine them, will not forsake them. When these prophesied events come to pass, as they did, God’s people will know that their God is the “First” and the “Last” and is the One and Only God!! Isaiah 48:16 gives us a glimpse into the nature of God, One God in three Persons, “Lord God” (the Father), “His Spirit,” and “Me” (the One sent by God, God the Son). The Hebrew scholars point out that in 48:16 the singular verb, “Have sent,” is used with the plural subject. Is this a mistake in grammar or is this the verbal inspiration of the Word of God pointing to the Trinity? We see this in other places in the Hebrew Scriptures. For example, in Genesis 1:1, God, (Elohim, a plural word) “created” (a verb which is singular). Isaiah says that “The Lord your God”…”teaches” and “leads.” We should experience the result, “peace… like a river” and “righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Again today, Lord God, I ask for continued effectiveness in doing as Isaiah 48:20 urges me to “declare, proclaim…With the voice of singing,” and to “utter it to the end of the earth.” I pray that this blog, along with a multitude of other ministries, will be more and more effective than ever in convincing people everywhere that You exist and that You “are a Rewarder of them that diligently seek” You (Hebrews 11:6). I ask for these opportunities in the Name of the One Who has fully communicated Who You are, Father God, Your Son and my Saviour, Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

A while back Norma-Jean and I had dinner at a Chinese food buffet restaurant in Brantford, Ontario. I opened the fortune cookie and discovered a generality on the paper inside which could apply to anyone. It said that I would meet someone that would change my life for the better. Actually that has happened many times during my many years on earth, but the most far-reaching and forever change happened when I met Jesus Christ through believing His Word (John 6:37-40), and my life was forever and ever altered! When I saw the word “prognosticator” in today’s reading, I thought of that cookie. I also thought of what the Apostle Peter has written to us in 1 Peter 1:15-21. He declares, “We also have the prophetic word made more sure!”

Yours for reading, underlining, understanding, digesting and then with the spiritual energy derived from all this, proclaiming God’s message to the “end of the earth,”

David

P.S. Over 25 years ago, Crossroads began working with a group of Toronto Pastors from Chinese language churches. We produced, financed, and released weekly telecasts on Toronto’s multilingual TV station. After about two years, we encouraged the pastors to incorporate, raise their own finances from the Chinese churches, and strike out on their own, with God’s enablement. Today, this television ministry, called “Showers of Blessing Evangelistc Ministry” (SOBEM), is reaching multiplied millions all over the world, providing a mighty utterance to “the end of the earth” to all those who understand the languages of China. At the 20th anniversary of that great ministry, I was given the plaque pictured below. Here is a musical sample of this ministry. The song is called “There is a God!” With the official atheism of the People’s Republic of China, this message is so very powerful! (click here).

Click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, January 10, 2020

LOOK

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 45-46

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

 

God’s handiwork is beautifully on display in Meteora, Greece. The fall colours and the cliffs make for a spectacular view. You can also see some of man’s achievements as you look high atop the cliffs at the Monasteries. Such a scene makes one wonder how some people can miss doing as our key verse says, “LOOK”!!!

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

 

Key Verse: Isaiah 45:22

Look to Me, and be saved,

All you ends of the earth!

For I am God, and there is no other.

 

God’s credentials for making such a statement as we read in our key verse are clearly presented here. (1) God revealed the name of Cyrus, the king of Persia (Iran), before he was born, who would restore the slaves from Babylon (Iraq) to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and the walls of Jerusalem after he had conquered Babylon. Only God knows the future! Back up to Isaiah 44:25. God “frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives the diviners mad!” Thus God says, “Look unto Me and be saved!” (2) He reveals His right to say those Words by His creation and maintenance of nature (Isaiah 45:8b), “I, the Lord, do all these things.” Our key verse is repeated for emphasis in 45:22, “Look to Me and be saved…” As we continue to read Isaiah, we will come across dozens of personal pronouns such as He, Him, Whom, etc. Only one Name can be exchanged for those pronouns. Read Hebrews 2:9-10!

This emphasis is continued in Isaiah 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.'”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, the message to “Look…and be saved” must be shared with the entire world. I pray for wisdom, vision, determination and opportunity to tell people everywhere how to be saved!!! In the Name of the One who lived, died, and rose from the dead to provide salvation, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I take personally the commission of Jesus to believers to “Go into all the world (ends of the earth) and preach the Gospel (Good News) to every creature.” There have always been missionaries willing to risk health, life, material possessions, everything! I ask myself, “Could I have done more to support these people?” I answer, “Yes!” I’m determined more than ever to pray, give, and even go! Crossroads, the sponsor of my blog, is literally reaching to the ends of the earth as I type this. Check out some of the ways Crossroads Christian Communications is making God’s message available around the world and expressing His love in very practical ways (click here). My wife and I are committed to supporting these kinds of efforts, as well as many other initiatives, for as long as we live, and if Jesus does not return before our passing, through our Last Will and Testament!

Yours for telling everyone to “Look…and be saved!!!”

David

Thursday, January 9, 2020

GOD KNOWS OUR NAMES

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 43-44

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

 

A flooded river bed, now dry, makes its way from the high country in Israel to the dry and arid region of the Dead Sea. The roots of the trees can find water which remains underground. Even in dry times we can reach down in our prayers and Bible studies to tap the life-giving underground water Source. God has promised to “pour water on him who is thirsty” (44:3a).

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

 

Key Verses: Isaiah 43:1, 44:3

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,

And He who formed you, O Israel:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by your name;

You are Mine…”

For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,

And floods on the dry ground;

I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,

And My blessing on your offspring;

 

Our Scripture reading for today begins with the fact that our God is a personal God! No doubt Isaiah’s readers will have brought to mind stories such as that of the Prophet/Priest Samuel. God called “Samuel” by name. Read 1 Samuel 3:1-10 and realize that God knows each one of us by our names. God called a man who was persecuting His people. In Acts we read of the man who became the Apostle Paul, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:1-22).

Isaiah 44 describes the efforts of men to create new gods and then represent them by images made of wood and stone. In contrast, the true, One and only God, is not a creation but is the supreme Creator! Man does not imagine Him, nor do we name Him. He names Himself! And to think that Almighty God can call us by our individual names! Let us take time right now to listen for God. Is He calling us by name with that “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). When we hear His voice, it is truly like a refreshing drink of water for the thirsty soul.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You said, “My sheep know My voice”! (John 10:27). I am one of Your sheep Lord, so it follows that all I have to do is quiet my spirit and listen carefully. I hear You calling me and telling me, “I know your name and I love you!” I pray that I will love You back more and more, Lord Jesus! 1 John 4:19 declares that “We love Him because He first loved us.” Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have on my laptop screen a page of icons. I can click on “Concordance” and type in a few words of a verse, and it immediately finds the reference so that I can then open my Bible and read the verse in its context. For example, this morning I did not use the Concordance app, but put the words “still small voice” into the Google search engine. It said that for those words there were 430,000,000 results in 0.16 seconds!!! All this boggles my mind. I may not know how this all works, but I do know with the certainty of God’s Word that God knows my name, and He calls me by my name! Through the years, when I needed a particular chapter and verse and my son-in-law, Rev. Nizar Shaheen, was nearby, I would give him two or three words of the Scripture I wanted to find. He would immediately tell me where it was found. I’ve never found anyone else with such a memory.

The story of Nizar’s conversion to Christ is an amazing one, and today’s first key verse is a big part of his testimony. He fell from the minaret of a mosque under construction and his brothers thought he was dead. They laid him in the back seat of a car to take him to the hospital when they saw signs of life. Lying there he heard a voice saying, “Nizar, Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine!” Click here for an interview I did with Nizar in 2003, where he tells this amazing story of our great, personal God Who knows each of our names and Who created each one of us for His purpose. I’ve just read again Isaiah 43:7-11 and committed myself again for today to be as verse 10a says,”You are My witnesses”!!!

Yours in recognition of the fact that God not only knows our names, but He knows everything about each one of us and He loves us!!!

David

P.S. Below is a picture of the life-giving waters of the Jordan River right after my grandson, Eric Mainse (Ron and Ann’s son), was baptized by Nizar and me a few years ago.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

FEAR NOT

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 41-42

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

 

Here you can see a rolling stone that crushes dates. It is located at Neot Kedumim, the Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This place is a Biblical garden and nature reserve which attempts to re-create the physical setting of the Bible. The judgment of God, which nations bring upon themselves, is often likened in Scripture to the process of “threshing” or “winnowing” (Isaiah 41:15 & 16).

 

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

 

Key Verses: Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

 

God says “FEAR NOT” three times in Isaiah 41! Why not fear? Firstly, because God says, “I am with you”! (41:10). Secondly, because God says, “I will help you”! (41:13b). And thirdly, He says again, “I will help you”! God tries to get this message through to all people at all times throughout human history. God has a history of inspiring the recording of the fulfillment of the prophecies He has given through His prophets and through the greatest of all Prophets, Jesus Christ. In 41:21-23 God challenges all the gods (so called) of the nations to prove the reality of their power by the test of prophecy and its fulfillment! The reality is stated in 41:24. He says to these gods, “You are nothing and your work is nothing.” Therefore, people of the true God, “Fear not”!!!

In Chapter 42 the “Servant” of the Lord is now clearly identified as a Person rather than a nation. The identity of this Person will become more and more evident as we continue our readings in Isaiah. Read the New Testament quotation of Isaiah 42:1-4 (see Matthew 12:17-21). Let’s read again Isaiah 42 with Jesus clearly in our minds, identifying those statements which Jesus fulfilled.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, as the writer to the Hebrews says in Hebrews 2:9a, “But we see Jesus!” May I “see Jesus” over and over again here in Isaiah’s writings! And may I “see” Him with perception, insight, and with 20/20 clarity of vision. As a result, I pray that I will comprehend more fully than ever Who Jesus really is in all His wonder, love and grace. In His Name I ask this. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My “daughter-in-love,” Ron’s wife, Ann, checks over my punctuation, etc. before my blog is posted. One of her articles fits in beautifully with my blog from yesterday. I’ve asked her to put here just a portion of her story below. Thanks Ann!

Yours for “seeing” Jesus and “soaring” with Him,

David

“Called to Soar”

By Ann Mainse

(Excerpt from an aritcle in the January, 2014, Crossroads Compass magazine)

There’s a story of a traveler who came upon an eagle’s egg. He searched for the nest but found nowhere to return the egg. So the man did the next best thing. He put the eagle’s egg into a nest with chicken eggs. Eventually, the egg hatched and the eaglet fit right in with the other baby chicks. He clucked and scratched and pecked around and basically lived as a chicken for years. And then one day he saw a glorious sight. High up in the sky, with wings outstretched, was a magnificent bald eagle. Something stirred within him. Something called him to come up high.

“What’s that?” he asked a nearby chicken. “That is an eagle,” the chicken replied, “the king of the birds. He soars and flies and has unlimited freedom – something we will never have.” Upon hearing this, the chicken-eagle hung his head in sorrow and ignored the urge to join his brother high above the clouds. Sadly, he lived the rest of his life clucking and pecking and scratching. He never knew he could fly.

What a sad story. But what is sadder still is that for many of us, that is our story. We have the ability to fly, but we choose not to.

In the book of John Jesus announced His gift to us when we accept God’s Grace through the Cross…

“…I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” ~ John 10:10 (MSG)

What a gift!  But how many of us are actually living the more and better life?  Because of what God-the-Son, Jesus, has done through the Cross, we don’t have to be grounded. Life… real life… abundant life… can be ours.

We are called to soar. We are offered the wings of eagles

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.” ~ Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

God’s amazing Grace – which is available to everyone – is calling us to soar. And once we have experienced it, once we have shed our chicken-eagle perception, we no longer want to ignore the call of freedom, the freedom that is found in more and better life.

There’s an age-old question that has been circulating for years: “Why don’t Christians live just like the rest of the world?” In light of all we have to gain, perhaps the better question would be…

“Why would we want to… when we can soar?”

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

“BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!” – GOD

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 39-40

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

 

This bronze eagle, found in Pella Greece, is now on display at the Archaeological Museum. It sure looks like this eagle is “mounting up with wings,” as our key verse tells us. Let’s all stretch our wings and fly onward and upward in our relationship with God!!!

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

 

Key Verse: Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.

 

In his book, Isaiah gives us God’s Word! Isaiah said to King Hezekiah, “Hear the Word of the Lord!” (39:5). Hezekiah would pray and God would answer through His Prophet. This was the way it was in Old Testament times. False prophets were plentiful and they would distort God’s message, or simply make up something and claim they had heard from God. This was a dangerous time for God’s people. They did not have the book of Isaiah, let alone Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As John wrote in his first chapter, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God!!!” The Apostle Peter’s words in 2 Peter 1:15-21 bring together “our Lord Jesus Christ” and “the prophetic Word.” Essentially, God summed up all He had to say to the world in His Son and our Saviour and Lord, Jesus. Read Matthew 17:1-8 and note the words, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. HEAR HIM!!!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O Lord God, I pray for grace to follow You so closely that I will know all that You are saying to me. You promised that “My sheep know My voice.” By this I know that I am hearing directly from You and not just from someone else speaking for You, as the true prophets like Isaiah did. You, Lord Jesus, are the One of Whom Isaiah wrote, “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom” (Isaiah 40:11a). What assurance I have in the knowledge that You are holding me and that I am hearing from You! In Your Name, Jesus, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m so glad I’m able to get to church regularly. I know that I hear New Testament prophecy, as described in Revelation 19:10b, “Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” On the birthday of the Church, Peter took as the text for his message the words of the Prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:14-21). Peter said that as the 120 spoke of Jesus on the streets of Jerusalem, they (sons, daughters, all of them), were prophesying. These were New Testament prophets. I want to daily share Jesus. In this understanding, when I do this blog each morning, I’m functioning as a New Testament prophet. And so are you when you share Jesus with someone!  A few years ago Pastor Kevin Shepherd launched a campaign for the New Year called, “Because I said so!” Most people in attendance signed up and were given a sticker to put in a prominent place. I put my sticker on the back of my cell phone. It reminds me that God’s promises can be relied upon! For the past two years I have received a text message each week with one of God’s promises selected by the Pastor. One of them was our key verse, and again I’m encouraged to “Wait on the Lord…mount up with wings as eagles.” Because God said so, we will “run and not be weary,” and “walk and not faint.”

Yours for hearing and understanding God’s Word to each one of us,

David

Some of my family members praying for me in the hospital, including my great-granddaughter Janice, who just turned 3 on New Year's Eve.

Some of my family members praying for me in the hospital, including my great-granddaughter Jadice, who was 3 years old in this photo. I’m deeply touched by the simple faith of a child.

Monday, January 6, 2020

POWER IN PRAYER

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 37-38

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

 

Many believe that this southeast corner of the Temple Mount area is what the Bible referred to as “the pinnacle of the Temple” (the place where Jesus was taken by Satan, who tempted Him to jump off because the angels would protect Him – Matthew 4:5-6). The southeast point is the highest point overlooking the Kidron Valley below. This temptation came when Jesus was nearing the end of an extended period of prayer and fasting. As we will see in today’s reading, prayer and a Word from God are the means whereby we receive strength to overcome every attack of Satan.

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

 

Key Verses: Isaiah 37:15-16

Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying: “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth…”

 

Isaiah 37 teaches us that fervent prayer is effective to change circumstances in the world around us! Isaiah 38 teaches us that fervent prayer is effective to change our personal circumstances! In desperation, Hezekiah tears his royal robes, puts on sackcloth and goes to pray in the Temple. Isaiah’s advice to him was to “lift up your prayer!” (37:4b). When Hezekiah received the threatening letter, he again went to the House of the Lord, opened the letter, and “spread it before the Lord” (37:14). Then he “prayed to the Lord!” As a result, Isaiah received a message from God for Hezekiah…”Because you prayed to Me…!” On the personal matter of the terminal illness from which Hezekiah suffered, it appears that he may have just rolled over in his bed and “prayed to the Lord!” (38:2). As a result once again, Isaiah was sent to Hezekiah with God’s answer…”I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears, and I will add to your life 15 years!” (38:5). What is the message for us? PRAYER! PRAYER! and more PRAYER!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m praying some of the words of Hezekiah. For national and international concern I pray, “THAT ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH MAY KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE LORD, YOU ALONE!!!” For my personal needs I reverse the words of Hezekiah in 38:1b and ask that I will “LIVE” and not “DIE.” Grant that I may “take root downward and bear fruit upward!” (37:31b). “Undertake for me!” (38:14b). I pray this in the Name of the One “Who…offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears…” the Lord Jesus Christ!!! Amen!!! (Hebrews 5:7).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

[Note: This was originally written by David Mainse January 6, 2016]

It’s time for my personal testimony of healing! Two years ago the cancer specialist, oncologist/hematologist, who had originally diagnosed my MDS acute leukemia said, “Remarkable” and “Jaw dropping!” From what looked to me in the mirror like a rack of bones in August 2013, I have gained 30 pounds and even my grandsons were impressed to feel grandpa’s muscle. “Remarkable” is the right word. Thanks everyone for your prayers!!! Also, as Isaiah prescribed a human remedy to Hezekiah’s illness (a “poultice” – 38:21), a bone marrow test was just done at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, and I won’t have the report for several days yet. I believe that I may be like Hezekiah and have “15 more years.” Let’s see…in 15 years I’ll be 94! I can’t keep the smile off my face. Of course, like Paul, I long to depart and be with the Lord (read Philippians 1:19-26). But in God’s plan, I just may be needed down here for a while yet!

Yours for continuing in the centre of God’s will for our lives through prayer, prayer and more prayer, and through God’s intervention in response to our prayers,

David

Sunday, January 5, 2020

SEARCH

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 34-36

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

 

This Book of the Lord was well used to the glory of God by my Father, Dr. Roy Lake Mainse. The notes attached are for a sermon entitled, “Time to be fully dressed.” If it is enlarged to the full size of the screen I can read his writing. He believed that we need to “Search from the Book.”

 

Key Verses: Isaiah 34:16a, 35:10

Search from the book of the Lord, and read:

Not one of these shall fail;

Not one shall lack her mate.

…And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,

And come to Zion with singing,

With everlasting joy on their heads.

They shall obtain joy and gladness,

And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

Chapter 34 points out the desolation that will come upon Zion (Jerusalem) but the birds and animals will continue as usual. In Genesis chapter one, God created living creatures before He created man. To this day they find a mate and produce after their own kind. When we search the Book of the Lord, we find this to be a fact!

Chapter 35 is a beautiful promise of restoration. The words of our second key verse form a joyous song that we may have sung in the past (I unsuccessfully looked for a Youtube video of the song for us to link to).

Chapter 36 follows this promise with the terrifying threat against Jerusalem by Sennacherib’s mighty army. Sennacherib made two big mistakes. His messengers offended God by their over confidence in their own ability to conquer Jerusalem in spite of any intervention God might make. The Assyrian also overlooked a humble praying man, King Hezekiah. Sennacherib returned home leaving his dead army in the fields outside Jerusalem. In the temple of his god, his own sons murdered him as he worshipped. Click here for a poem by Lord Byron from 1815 that tells the Bible story.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, as I meditate on this story, I’m reminded that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10a). You are an awesome God! I rejoice in You with singing, and I am silent before Your all-powerful and eternally-wise judgments! Teach me more and more of Your ways, O Lord I pray! In the Name of the greatest Teacher ever, the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask these mercies. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

[Note: This was originally written by David Mainse January 5, 2016]

Yesterday I checked out of the Juravinski Cancer Centre where I was participating in an experimental treatment. I feel great! However, I’m aware that my physical condition, like my spiritual condition, is not dependant on feelings. I need to rest on fact (the doctor’s report) and Fact (Holy Scripture)!!!

Yours for Truth!!!

David

P.S. I’m already two years past my “Best before” date or my predicted “Expiry date.” God is in control.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

THE KING OF KINGS, THE GREAT ROCK

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 32-33

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

 

Here the path goes under a great rock when making your way through Petra. Petra has been called, “The city half as old as time.” With amazing rock formations all over the lands of the Bible, it’s obvious why Bible writers likened our security, the solid foundations of our faith, and even the character of God to a “Great Rock.”

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

 

Key Verse: Isaiah 32:2

A man will be as a hiding place from the wind,

And a cover from the tempest,

As rivers of water in a dry place,

As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

 

Isaiah ministered during the reign of four kings. Again and again Judah was under attack from surrounding nations and in danger of being destroyed. In this setting our key verse takes on added meaning. Isaiah’s call from God included a vision of the true King of the Universe! The prophetic message of Isaiah was to point his people to this King of Kings!!! To place our faith in any other source of apparent help is to court disaster. Political alliances and sophisticated weaponry are but false security. We can be like King Hezekiah who looked beyond present circumstances and focused on Almighty God!!! Read Isaiah’s vision of the Lord once again, and we’ll understand more fully the reason for his total confidence in God (Isaiah 6:1-8).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will remember the King that Micah 5:2 says will be born in Bethlehem. King Jesus, I’m celebrating Your birthday on each of 365 days this year! I give You my worship like the shepherds and, as modelled by the wise men, I give a present of myself and what I have as sacrificial offerings! I ask for grace to be faithful and not forgetful 24/7!!! I pray this before the eternal throne in Heaven in Jesus’ Sovereign Name! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

100words.ca is a love gift to King Jesus! My sons give of their time to this joyful effort, as do I. Reynold’s travel and time to take spectacular photos are his gift to us at no cost to the ministry of Crossroads. Thank you, my son, for your daily gifts! Ron’s gifts of preparing the format for this blog, monitoring it and posting it…along with his wife Ann’s help…is a gift of love to Jesus! Thank you, Ron and Ann, for your gifts! All who participate by sharing the blog with others are giving gifts of love to Jesus! I’m asking today that you share the blog with more people. If you have a Facebook, Instagram or twitter account, can you post a suggestion to all your friends today to check out 100words.ca? Remember that anyone can start with me any day and, in two short years, read the Bible cover to cover with the help of 100words.ca! I’m trusting God to help me do this every morning without fail, so that busy people will gain a more comprehensive understanding of God’s revelation to His human family. I pray that God will make this blog to be, as our key verse says, “Rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land!”

Yours so that we will learn to think the thoughts of God daily,

David

P.S. The photo below is of the Crossroads Centre. It is seen in the distance down below the Niagara Escarpment. It was taken by Ron with my iPhone camera from the top floor of the highrise where Norma-Jean and I had an apartment. My grandson, Adam, added the big red arrow and circle. From this Crossroads building flow “rivers of water!” Dry places around the world are irrigated by the electronic flow of God’s life-giving streams!!! The prayers and love gifts of God’s people make this possible!!!

Click on the photo to enlarge it.