Friday, June 19, 2020

TO BE SERVED OR TO SERVE?

Today’s Reading: Matthew 19-20

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 seeks God in St. Gabriel Church, a Greek Orthodox church in Nazareth. This is the place where some believe that the angel appeared to the Virgin Mary announcing that she would give birth to Jesus. In the crypt of the church flows what is called “Mary’s Spring,” an artesian well from which the people of Nazareth would draw their drinking water.

Key Verses: Matthew 20:27-28

And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

 

There are several key differences between the structure and leadership of a typical company and the Church. The first difference is apparent in our key verses. Usually in a secular setting, a leader emerges who is hard-driving, ambitious, and strives for a higher position. This is entirely the opposite of Christ’s teaching regarding the Church. Only the humble should lead; they lead not from a place of pride, but from a position of serving. Another difference has to do with power. In the Church, the “Chief Executive Officer” is always the Chief Servant, and we seek to serve Him, the Lord Jesus, instead of ourselves.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Jesus, please make my heart more and more like Yours – a servant’s heart. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I learned a lot from my Dad. He was a farm boy who served in WWI, had an earned doctorate, served as a college President, and served God in Egypt as a missionary for 21 years. Twice when he came home on furlough, he was assigned to a country charge (Pastoring two or more congregations). He kept coveralls and boots in the trunk of the car. He would visit from farm to farm, find the farmer, and ask if he could help him clean the cow stable. When I had a day off school, I’d be there with him. After an hour or so of work, he would say to the farmer, “Do you suppose we could have prayer with you and your wife?” He was never turned down. The churches filled up and people came to know Christ.

Yours as a slave of the One who washed other people’s feet,

David

P.S. A few years back, I was interviewed by Jim Cantelon on the 100 Huntley Street telecast during Father’s Day week, and I shared about my father. If you would like to watch it, click HERE for part one and HERE for part two.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

I AM THERE

Today’s Reading: Matthew 18

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 boy holds onto the family donkey in the Nazareth Village, a wonderful reminder showing what Nazareth may have been like when Jesus was a boy.

Key Verse: Matthew 18:20

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

Were you in church last Sunday? Were there two or more people there? Then He who cannot lie was in the midst of the worship in a special, unique way. Norma-Jean sang a song for me from the piano recently: “He is here! Listen closely! He is calling out your name! He is here! You can touch Him! You will never be the same!” Just the two of us were worshipping, and we experienced the presence of Jesus. When we confront problems and difficulties, we are not alone. He is here! It’s a fact! Minister to someone today. You can assure that person that HE IS HERE!!! Just as certain as Jesus was present to heal in Galilee, He is with you as you minister in His Name!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, please send Your Holy Spirit upon me so that I will be totally confident of Your presence, particularly as I meet with others. Your Word declares that You inhabit the praises of Your people. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Nik Walenda walked over Niagara Falls on a tight rope. If you watched it on TV you would have heard this Spirit-filled believer worshipping. He was heard all over the world saying,”Thank You Jesus! – Thank You Lord! – Praise You Lord! – I worship You Jesus!” Over and over, when the sound of the broadcast took his words, he was worshipping. A great congregation, including Norma-Jean, our two grandsons, David and Adam, and I, were praising God with him. More recently, he did the same kind of high-wire worshipping as he crossed the Grand Canyon! (here is a link to a secular report about it). Like Nik, when I need to experience the presence of God, I begin to worship. I’ve had the honour to know the Walenda family personally as they have appeared several times on the 100 Huntley Street telecasts. They stretched a high wire above the back parking lot of the Crossroads Centre, walked across, did acrobatics, and witnessed for Jesus on live television across the continent (you can watch our report on Nik’s Niagara Falls crossing here).

Yours for walking in challenging circumstances,

David

P.S. Throughout this 730 day trip through the Bible, I will point out the repetitions that emphasize the truths contained in our readings. In today’s reading, Jesus is recorded speaking of His Father four times.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

THINKING GOD’S THOUGHTS

Today’s Reading: Matthew 16-17

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

 

An hour drive north of the Sea of Galilee is Caesarea Philippi, also known as Banias. Here you can view the remnants of the Temple of Pan. It was here that Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” Peter’s answer to that question is today’s key verse.

Key Verse: Matthew 16:16

Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 

Six verses later Peter actually rebuked Jesus. Jesus tried again and again to tell His disciples that He would be killed and would rise again. For some reason He could not penetrate their preconceived beliefs in the Christ who would overthrow the Romans and establish Israel as a sovereign state. So Peter moved from thinking the thoughts of the Father to thinking his own thoughts, receiving this response from Jesus, “Get behind Me Satan.” Peter’s mind was the battleground in the war between the Father, God, and the liar, Satan. To which voice will you listen? How do you know which voice is truth? The answer is to know God’s thoughts as revealed in His Word. This is the very reason this two-year journey through God’s written Word is so important!

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Please, Holy Spirit, do for me as Jesus promised. Guide me “into all Truth.” Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In 1954, I rented a hall in a northern Ontario village and began a Sunday School for my public school students and others. People began to regard me as a minister. For example, a lady named May, about 70, showed up at my door and announced, “Win is dead (her railroad-engineer husband). I want you to take his funeral.” I said, “I’ll find a minister.” “No” she said, “He told me that you were the only one who prayed with him, and if you don’t do it, I’ll just stick him in the ground without a service.” I stood in front of the coffin in May’s little cottage and said something like this, “We don’t know why God would take Win.” Actually, Win was 85 and had a heart condition. After the burial, back in my one-room apartment, I confessed that I didn’t know God’s Word well and I took my Bible, opened it, and placed it on my head, saying to God, “With Your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, I will learn to think Your thoughts, and I will then be able to speak with assurance.” Then I went to Bible College and set out on a lifetime commitment to know God’s thoughts. In the first month at the college I was required to memorize 50 Scripture verses. I walked up and down the corridor outside my room hugging my Bible. It became so precious to me.

Daily learning His thoughts,

David

P.S. Our daughter, Elaine Stacey, has the very Bible that I mentioned above. It was a gift to me for Christmas 1952, less than a month after I had made my lifetime decision to follow Christ. I remember that it was falling apart after constant use for years, and I bought a new one. Some time later Elaine asked for my old Bible.

 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

TRUTH

Today’s Reading: Matthew 15

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

 

The present-day entrance to the historic village of Capernaum. The sign reads “Capernaum The Town of Jesus.”

 

Key Verse: Matthew 15:9

And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

The third commandment (Exodus 20), “You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain,” includes worship not founded solidly on a true understanding of God’s Word. Moses, upon his descent from Sinai, discovered the people worshipping with the practices of the religion of Egypt. Satan went into the religion business because he wanted to be worshipped. What Lucifer failed to receive in Heaven, he convinces men to invent on earth. The ancient temples of Egypt were an effort to copy the approach to God in Heaven with “the god of this world” depicted by an image in the inner chamber. Daily, daily, daily read God’s Word.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord Jesus, I worship God in Your Name with an ever-increasing understanding of the Scriptures. I read, mark, inwardly digest the written Word, the Bible. You promised the “Spirit of truth ” will guide me into all Truth (John 16:13). I ask now for that guidance as I meditate on Your Word. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In my first year of Bible College, I was required to memorize 50 Bible verses. I had learned memory verses in Sunday School, but this was different. I was required to quote all 50 verses one after the other. I’ll never forget the aftermath of that exercise. I took my Bible and hugged it to my heart, walking up and down the hall, worshipping God for the gift of His precious Word. The Holy Spirit transferred the Word from my head only, deeply into my innermost being. The result? “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).

Yours for a pure heart,

David

P,S. I’ve just read John 4:20-24. The pictures below are from when I preached on Father’s Day in 2014. Looking back to pleasant, God-blessed days is an encouragement.

Preaching the Father’s Day service at The Church on the Queensway in Toronto in 2014.

Myles’ dad, Todd Neilson and Papa, Bruce Stacey, were on the platform with me as I presented Myles with a special book from his Great-Grampa. The book contains 50 responses from my blog partners to Myles’ question (see blog posting from August 28, 2013).

Myles loves his new book from Great-Grampa!

Monday, June 15, 2020

WALK ON WATER

Today’s Reading: Matthew 14

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

 

A calm settles on the Sea of Galilee, just after a storm.

Key Verse: Matthew 14:31

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Peter, the man of faith and doubt, boldness and fear, is one of us. His faith carried him out of the boat, but his doubt immediately brought big problems. Don’t be too hard on Peter. Those still in the boat were safe, but they missed a great experience with Jesus. On the walk back to the boat, I think Jesus held Peter, and Peter surely hung onto Jesus for dear life. Later Peter’s memory was greatly improved by the power of the Holy Spirit. The result?…faith and boldness marked his total life. Are you willing to sink and look like a big fool? Or are you just playing it safe?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I know You won’t let me down as I let go of the boat and start walking. Grant me the grace to attempt the humanly impossible. May I not be discouraged by the comments of those still in the boat. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There are several things that could’ve sunk the ministry of Crossroads. The money was not on hand to do some of the major initiatives we undertook (e.g. Pavilions in four World Expositions). In two of the Expos, we were sinking, but Jesus was there to catch us. He had said, as He did to Peter, “Come.” As leader, I had stepped out of the boat, and so did our Board of Directors, as did our fellow team members, and our supporting partners. In Spain alone (Expo ’92), at least 53,000 people registered decisions for Christ. The Archbishop of Seville said weeping, “My people, my people need this message.”

Yours for walking on water,

David

Sunday, June 14, 2020

JESUS IS SEARCHING FOR YOU!

Today’s Reading: Matthew 13

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

 

Could Jesus have taught from this very boat? It’s 2,000 years old. This is a boat that was discovered about 20 years ago in the Sea of Galilee, when the water level was low. It is called “The Jesus Boat” because it is from the time of Christ. The vessel is 9 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and 1.25 metres high. It may have functioned as a ferry boat, but its measurements also suit those used by fisherman employing a dragnet that was “cast into the sea,” as described in Matthew 13:47-48.

 

Key Verse: Matthew 13:45-46

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

 

There is nothing that can equal the value of the Kingdom of God. What could possibly be worth as much as the love of God, the sacrifice of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, and fellowship with the Heavenly Father? The merchant sold everything to acquire the “Pearl”…citizenship in God’s Kingdom. A Kingdom has a King, and our King is not a constitutional Monarch with no real authority. King Jesus is Lord over all. Complete obedience is a given. There are serious consequences to disobedience. The King has given laws such as, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbour as yourself”…the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Your Majesty, thank You for allowing me to be constantly in Your presence. I honour You by the gift of everything I am and ever will be. I’m Yours! Your will is my command. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m sad to report that I have not obeyed the greatest of all the commandments most of the time. It’s that word “all” that does me in. That’s the reason I love to quote the most often repeated verse in the Bible…”His mercy endures forever.” King Jesus loves me as a father loves his child. He encourages me to start all over again every day. As I type this blog, I’m praying that today I’ll serve Him 100%. I’m fully aware that “All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I’m also fully aware that as I ask forgiveness, the next verse kicks in…”Being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

Your brother in the Grace of Christ,

David

P.S. I want to try my best to explain here today how to know that when you die you will go to Heaven. When I was a teenager, I decided to believe that Jesus was not lying when He said, “The one who comes to Me, I will never turn away” (John 6:37). Do you believe that? You can decide now to believe it too.

(1) There is a wall between you and God that Jesus will tear down and remove when you ask Him to. That wall is called “sin.”

(2) So I ask you to read this prayer (That means you are talking to God). Say it out loud if you are alone or if you are with someone who loves you. Believe the words you are saying! “Lord Jesus, You died for me on the cross so that all the sin and wrong I’ve ever done can be forgiven. You promised that when I pray such a prayer, the wall that separates me from You and Heaven is removed. God forgive me! I need You in my life for the present and for ever and ever in Heaven some day. I believe Your promise and therefore I invite You into my life and You will never, never turn me away. I am Yours, and You are mine for always! Thank You Father God! Thank You Jesus! Amen!!! I believe this! I know it’s true!!!”

Did you pray this prayer? Yes? Then it’s very important to tell another human being as soon as possible. If you are with someone else now, tell them! Or here’s another very helpful, easy way to do this. Call one of my prayer partners who are at the prayer telephones 24/7. It’s a free call. Please, please do it right away if possible. Here’s the telephone number to call: 1-866-273-4444. A caring non-judgmental person will answer your call and will help answer any questions you may have. You don’t have to give your name unless you want to, but if you do share your name and address, we’ll send you an important booklet that will help you in your new walk with the Lord. I’ll check with our prayer partners to read the notes they will take about your telephone call. You are the most important person in the world to God. This is why I care!

David

Saturday, June 13, 2020

YOUR TREASURE CHEST

Today’s Reading: Matthew 12

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 Nazareth, the first century “Nazareth Village” re-enacts life from 2,000 years ago.

 

Key Verse: Matthew 12:35

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”

 

It was 4:00 a.m. and there it was…City of Toronto garbage truck #100 stopped on Jarvis Street picking up garbage. Just the morning before on the 100 Huntley Street TV show, we had suggested that everyone put the accumulation of their life’s “garbage” out at the curb and Jesus would take it away. Any evil things you treasure will eventually destroy you if you fail to get rid of them. As you join me daily in reading the Word, you’ll know what is evil and what is good. This blog is good treasure. Store up the good things consistently every day. You’ll bless others and yourself with good things!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Jesus, forgive me for all the sin and wrong I’ve done. I put all these things out of my life. You promised to take away all my sin. Thank You! I treasure the good things You’ve given me. I will bring them out to bless others. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Before moving to Burlington, Ontario, our TV studios were located in downtown Toronto. Every morning at approximately 4:00 a.m., I would drive up Jarvis Street for my early morning time in God’s Word and in prayer. I had committed to spend at least an equal time in prayer and the Word as I would spend that day on live TV (90 minutes). During the drive, a huge billboard faced me with a picture of a scantily clad woman. I was angry. I wanted only to think of my beautiful wife. After a couple of days of putting those evil thoughts “out at the curb,” I would deliberately look to the other side of the street before that billboard appeared and would pray fervently for the people of the night, that our Nite-Lite show — on ’til 4:30 a.m. — would reach their hearts with the love of Jesus!

May God bless you with lots of GOOD today,

David

Friday, June 12, 2020

THE INVITATION

Today’s Reading: Matthew 11

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

 

A view of the Jordan River south of the Galilee.

 

Key Verse: Matthew 11:28

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest

The next two verses show how that “rest” is experienced. No doubt Jesus had fashioned perfectly fitting wooden yokes for oxen in order for them to fulfill their purpose in life. The hands of the Carpenter are still busy carefully fitting you for service. Jesus invites you now to “Learn from Me.” And the result is … “You will find rest for your souls.” The book of Isaiah is filled with personal pronouns which could only be replaced with the Name of Jesus. If you find time, read Isaiah 55. Meditate on the invitation to “Come” and on the results of coming to the Lord.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Father in Heaven, Your Son and my Saviour says “Come to Me.” Here I am. I’m Yours now and forever. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As a teenager I walked down the aisle at a “Youth for Christ” rally to give my life to Jesus. An older man stood beside me, asked me my name, and said, “David, have you come to Jesus tonight?” I answered, “Yes.” Then he opened his Bible and asked me to read John 6:37. I read out loud the words of Jesus, “The one who comes to Me, I will by no means cast out.” Then the man said, “Now David, what does Jesus do?” I answered, “He receives me.” The next day I said that promise over and over. It’s a fact; I have come to Him. I am His!

One with Christ and with all who have come to Him,

David

P.S. As I write this, Norma-Jean and I have been living with our eldest daughter, Elaine, and her husband Bruce Stacey. Prior to now I was in hospital, but now am a hospital outpatient. Pneumonia was the culprit. I’m doing much better now. Our son Ron made sure that the blog continued without interruption. Please keep me in your prayers. I wish only to live until my work here is done.

I couldn’t resist putting one more picture here. Two years ago now, when I was already past my predicted expiry date, I rode my 1996 motorcycle from Florida to Canada. Norma-Jean’s advice and my maturing years have caused me to trade the motorcycle for a 1998 van. Good idea at my age?

 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

“FOLLOW AFTER ME!” ~ JESUS

Today’s Reading: Matthew 10

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 modern-day Nazareth, “Nazareth Village” re-enacts daily life from the time of Jesus, 2,000 years ago.

Key Verse: Matthew 10:38

And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

One thousand years before the crucifixion of Christ, King David, in Psalm 22, wrote, “They pierced my hands and my feet” (verse 16b). Crucifixion was unknown at that time. Yet at least 10 statements in that Psalm describe the sufferings of our Lord. Likewise, God knew in advance all about your journey bearing the cross. His provision of Grace for you is all you need for today. So whatever sacrifice you are called to make will be worth it. Joy will be yours. Hebrews 12:2 tells you of Jesus, “Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross.” This is your “Journey into JOY!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord Jesus, I am Your follower. Therefore, I have no alternative but to “Take up my cross.” I do so in obedience to You. Please grant me the grace not only to endure, but to enter into JOY! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

A response from one of my blog participants was “How can I have a faith like yours?” I don’t claim great faith…childlike faith, yes! I’m convinced that the maximum and the minimum faith is simple OBEDIENCE. Last night and again this morning I made this confession, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). This confession has been my habit for years. I don’t plan to stop as long as I live.

In Christ’s Love and Service,

David

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

IT’S HARVEST TIME

Today’s Reading: Matthew 9

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

To view a two-minute video version (“vlog”) of today’s blog, go to 100huntley.com/100words.

 

A grain field on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Key Verse: Matthew 9:37-38 (NKJV)

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

 

“CAUTION!” This prayer will change you, your family, your income, your giving, your friends, your church, the use of your time, your character, your personality and everything about you. This is Jesus’ prayer request! As soon as you offer that prayer, you become the answer. You are now called to be a labourer. Please read Isaiah 6:1-8. If you confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord,” you have only one answer, “Here am I, send me!” Never sit around waiting for God to push and pull you into service. Your free will controls the gas pedal and the brakes. Push the “Pedal to the metal” and GO FOR IT!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord, I am making decisions; please guide me. I believe that the decisions are from You. Now I will initiate action as Your laborer. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My Dad served as a Missionary (21 years in Egypt), an Educator, and a Pastor. My DNA is serving Jesus. At age 16, Jesus’ laborers surrounded me at school and at my part-time job. I made the decision to give my life to Christ in December of 1952. The following June I had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit and in August at a Youth Camp I prayed, “Lord Jesus, I would like to serve You full time for my entire life. Would You please give me a clear call into Pastoral service and as an Evangelist.” He did, and I have “pushed the pedal to the metal” since that time!

Your fellow labourer in the harvest,

David

P.S. [Note: This “P.S.” was originally written on June 10th, 2016] Two years ago this month I had a dream come true. I rode the “Billy Graham Parkway” in Charlotte, North Carolina, on my 1996 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. At the Billy Graham Library, I visited the gravesite of Ruth Graham. Billy, who is 97 now, will be buried beside her if the Lord’s return does not happen first. Billy’s grandson, Will Graham, joined me in Charlotte and we rode our motorcycles to Asheville, where the Billy Graham Retreat Centre, “The Cove,” is located. That was my first motorcycle trip in the U.S.A., and  I enjoyed every minute…praising God and singing as I rode!

Riding down the Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte, NC, with Will Graham leading the way.

With Will outside the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. We had a wonderful visit and motorcycle ride together.