Saturday, September 18, 2021

WHY?

Today’s Reading: Psalms 21-22

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

 

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

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 22:16b-17

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

 

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

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

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

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

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

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

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

David

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

Friday, September 17, 2021

DAY UNTO DAY

Today’s Reading: Psalms 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 beautiful sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 19:1-3

The heavens declare the glory of God;

And the firmament shows His handiwork.

Day unto day utters speech,

And night unto night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech nor language

Where their voice is not heard.

 

Dr. Francis Collins, physician, scientist, and leader of the successful project to map the human genome, wrote in his book, Belief, the following statement: “These arguments from the observed order of the universe are compelling [he has just stated scientific reasons as to why he is a believer in the Creator God], but they say little about whether such a “creator” God would be interested in human beings.” King David, inspired by the Creator God, acknowledges that the heavens and the earth, the universe itself, speak in every language to all people everywhere! Then David points all who hear or sing Psalm 19 to the fact that God is “interested in human beings.” God has communicated to us in the “law,” and in “testimony” (19:7). God has given us “statutes” and “the commandment” (19:8). These verses teach us that the Word of God not only communicates the thoughts of God, but they bring conversion, wisdom, rejoicing, and enlightenment!

These are the reasons for this blog! When we grasp the fact that God wants us to know Him (not just knowledge of His physical universe, but to know Him and His thoughts), we can begin to understand that God’s Words in His Book are, “more to be desired than gold,” “sweeter than honey,” and “in keeping them there is great reward” (19:10-11).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Psalm 20 uses the word “may” seven times as a prayer. May King David’s written words be my prayer too, dear Lord, as I make them personal to me. I believe that You do “answer in the day of trouble;” You do “help… strengthen… remember… fulfill all your (my) purpose” (for my existence). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In the 1990s, Crossroads published eight books, one for each season over a two-year period. The titles of all of these books were, Day unto Day, taken from Psalm 19:2. They had the same purpose as this blog, i.e. getting the Word of God into the hearts and minds of people everywhere on a daily basis. Two of our team members at the time wrote the daily commentaries. Rev. Nizar Shaheen covered the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), and Rev. Jim Cantelon covered the Greek Scriptures (the New Testament). Simultaneously with the publication of these books, Jim and Nizar gave daily teachings on each Bible reading on television. These TV segments were filmed on locations as close as possible to the Biblical sites where the events described in the Bible took place. As the host of 100 Huntley Street, I arranged for these to be carried daily. We repeated them twice over a four-year period. We found in our video archives the Day Unto Day segment from 1991 for today’s reading, Psalms 19-20 (click here to watch… I just noticed a bit of a surprise at the end!).

Also I must thank God for Psalm 19 particularly, as it was verses 1 & 2 which God used in 1977 to confirm to me that Crossroads was to add a DAILY live voice to our weekly TV productions of Crossroads and Circle Square for children. That daily live voice was named after the address of the studio building in downtown Toronto, “100 Huntley Street.” Now, for over 40 years on daily TV, “day unto day” and “night unto night,” there has been a voice speaking words about God (we’re well over 10,000 programs!). We’ve also done productions in 18 languages which have been seen on TV in over 50 countries, and now with the internet, our content is available everywhere. We have graduates of our School of Broadcasting in over 80 countries, and in many of these areas our grads are producing television in a variety of languages which take “their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:4).

Yours for listening daily and nightly to our communicating God,

David

Thursday, September 16, 2021

MY ROCK

Today’s Reading: Psalm 18

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

 

Monasteries are built high above on great rocks in this rugged landscape in Greece. The monasteries that you see are the Great Meteoro and Varlaam.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 18:1-2

I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

 

The conclusion David draws from the above statement is this, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies” (18:3). David composed and sang this song to celebrate the Lord’s deliverance from the hand of King Saul. Saul was trying to kill him. Again and again David hid amongst the great rocks in the area of En Gedi, east of the Dead Sea. It is plain to see as we learn about David, as well as from David, that his rock-solid confidence was not in the rocks, but in the “Rock,” his God! David exclaims in song, “Who is a rock, except our God?” (18:31b). “The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock!” (18:46a).

The confidence that those of us have who believe in Jesus is expressed in song too. Let’s find online that amazing hymn, “Rock of Ages,” and sing along (click here).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You gave me instructions about the foundation for my life. I know that I must build my life on the Rock! You are that Bedrock, dear Jesus. I rest securely on You, not on the shifting sands of contemporary human experience and the philosophies of mankind. I pray that I will stand firm on You, Lord God! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I may have referred to this sometime last year, but here goes… I was listening to a French language radio station as the late Pope, John Paul II, was speaking in Quebec City. Here are the words I heard, “Pierre (Peter) est un petit pierre (is a little stone), mais Jesus est Le Grande Pierre! (but Jesus is The Great Rock!).” He was referring to the words of Jesus following the answer of Peter to the question of Jesus, “Whom do men say that I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Then Jesus said to Peter, “You are Peter (a little rock) and upon this Rock (a great Rock, Jesus Himself), I will build My Church.” In my early days as a follower of Jesus, I struggled with my understanding of these words of Jesus found in Matthew 16:18. My concerns about the Church being built on Peter were highlighted by the words of Jesus just five verses later (Matthew 16:23): “But He, (Jesus) turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'” Yes, Peter was mightily used of God. I want to be used of God too, but I’m ever so thankful that no church is built on me, a weak and flawed human being. There is only one GREAT ROCK!!! Jesus Himself!!! I’ve just read again Matthew 16:13-26. Like those very small-appearing monasteries built on that great rock in Reynold’s photograph above, I’m building my life and my hope for eternal life on Jesus alone!!!

Yours for the only true eternal Foundation for life, “The Christ, the Son of the Living God,”

David

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

FULLNESS OF JOY

Today’s Reading: Psalms 15-17

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

 

Belvoir Fortress was constructed by the Crusaders 1,000 years ago on a precipice high above the Jordan Valley. This location is only about 20 kilometres south of the Sea of Galilee and looks across into Jordan.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 16:11

You will show me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 

YES!!! IT’S TRUE!!! Right now we can experience that “fulness of joy!” and the pleasures that are at His “right hand!” Just think of the amazing honour to be able, by God’s grace, to do as Psalm 15 instructs us.

The Apostle Peter is a participant in today’s blog. Here’s a commentary on Psalm 16 by Peter, given in the first recorded message he preached on the birthday of the Church on the streets of Jerusalem. Let’s read together Acts 2:22-32. Jesus is alive!!! Then let’s read again our key verse. If we are not finding in Jesus the “joy” spoken of in our key verse, we should check our pulses…we may be dead!

Psalm 17 has in it the words, “apple of Your eye.” That’s God’s eye to which David refers in his prayer. Just think how careful we are to protect our eyes. David prayed, “Keep me as the apple of Your eye.” Now that’s protection! That’s the best security we could ever have! YES!!! JOY!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray with the writer of this prayer, David (a suggestion to everybody – read and pray out loud, if possible, the following verses…Psalm 17:1-8). Then, Lord, I am confessing with full assurance of faith, “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” (17:15). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I accept and believe God’s Truth! The Apostle John wrote three letters to us all. He begins the first letter with, “These things we write to you [you and me] that your joy may be full!” (1st John 1:4). Then in chapter 3 of that letter, verses 1-3 (click here), John declares that, “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” Oh, the longing that filled my heart as a 16-year-old as I learned and sang the chorus, “O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer…Come in Thy sweetness. Come in Thy fullness, stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.” I weep with joy as I sing this prayer just now. I can hardly see the keys for tears. The English language fails me in expressing what is in my heart. Therefore, I’m praying, as Paul said he did, “I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding!” (1 Corinthians 14:15). That refers to my spirit. According to the Scriptures, I am “spirit, soul and body.” Here’s a link to that song of longing to be like Jesus.

Yours for “Fullness of Joy!”

David

The moat around the Belvoir Fortress (described in the photo caption above). According to the Shepherd king David, we have much greater security than a castle with a moat around it! Amen!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

DESTROYED FOUNDATIONS

Today’s Reading: Psalms 11-14

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

 

Priene was an ancient Greek holy city located just to the north of Miletus in western Turkey. The picturesque ruins include several columns of the Temple of Athena, much of the city wall, and a well-preserved theatre and a council chamber. Priene is not mentioned in the Bible, but it is likely that the early Christians of Miletus (Acts 20:16) had contact with the city. Priene had a substantial Christian community during the Byzantine period.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 11:3-4a

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven…

 

Our key verse applies to our time! There are those who are taking jack hammers and bulldozers to the foundations of moral standards laid down over the centuries. The word “if” leaves room for the possibility of saving the values on which western civilization is built. What confidence we have in the fact that God is still on His throne! Let us never forget that God works through His people to change the world. Through the proclamation of the Person and work of Jesus Christ, and through our prayers, our witness, our giving, and our leadership, God is in the process of strengthening the foundations, so that He can continue to build His Church through us in a stronger way than ever! The Carpenter of Nazareth, the One with the calloused hands of a creative working Man, is doing as He promised, “I will build My Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”!!! (Matthew 16:18b).

There are four Psalms here – A B C – Satan’s strategy to destroy the foundations: (A) Attack! (Psalm 11); (B) Believers back off! (Psalm 12) – Satan will never be able to destroy God’s promise of success, Jesus’ Church! And (C) a Cry from believers will bring the happy ending of the closing verses of Psalms 13 & 14! Let us cry out to God now! “How long! How long! How long! How long!” Four times these words are the cry of the Shepherd King.

Well… what are we waiting for blog partners!!! Let’s just do it!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray the prayer written by David and presented to the chief musician, “Consider and hear me, O Lord my God!!!” You have promised to hear and answer “yes” to the fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man or woman (James 5:16b). I come before You, as the hymn says, “Dressed in His (Jesus’) righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!!!!” Amen!!!! For a New Testament reading today, we may want to (click here) read the entire chapter of James 5.

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As I type this I’m thinking about Pastors who have greatly blessed the Crossroads ministry. Rev. Albert Vaters is one of them.  Albert’s father, Rev. Eugene Vaters, has a high school named after him in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His Mom and Dad were among the very first supporters of Crossroads Christian Communications in Canada years ago. When his Dad passed on, Albert found cheques made out to Crossroads, dated for the months ahead. It brings tears to my eyes to think of the faithful people who have given and given to make this ministry possible! Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when Albert was Pastor of Stone Church in downtown Toronto, he also served as Chairman of our Board. Then God called him to Pastor a great church in California. When Albert’s Dad was called to higher service above, his Mom moved into a seniors complex at Clark’s Beach, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. For years, every time I was in Newfoundland, I never failed to visit her. What a mighty woman of prayer! She’s in that great prayer meeting before God’s Throne in Heaven now. I would kneel in front of her chair and she would lay hands on me and pray a fervent prayer.

From time to time I still visit God’s saints, kneel in God’s Presence, and I am the most blessed man ever! As the last verse of Psalm 13 says, “He has dealt bountifully with me.”

Yours on behalf of all of us who are expecting God’s bounty,

David

P.S. My son Reynold (whose birthday is today… Happy Birthday, my son!) shot a video of me talking about the genesis of this daily blog. We put it on the 100words.ca website in the “About 100words” section (click here). As you encourage others to follow along with us, please share this link with them!

P.P.S. Below is a photo from 2013 of our chapel at the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario. The pews in the chapel came to us as a result of the renovation of The Stone Church in Toronto, where Albert Vaters was pastor during his years as our Crossroads Board Chairman.

Monday, September 13, 2021

WITH MY WHOLE HEART!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 9-10

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

 

Even the desert is marvellous to behold as you travel throughout Israel. Looking from Israel inside Timna Park, you can see on the distant horizon the mountains of Edom. This mountain range is now part of the Kingdom of Jordan. Jordan is not a wealthy country and yet because of the disaster of middle east political and moral realities, Jordan has had to care for millions of refugees. Let us do whatever we can to help!

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 10:17

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear.

 

Yes! God will cause His “ear to hear.” Let us make personal the prayers found in our reading. Here are examples of what we may say when we pray. The shepherd king begins his prayers with praise and worship. He writes in the first two verses the four actions he is taking. For our devotional exercises today, why not meditate on these statements, expand on them, and do as it says.

The cries of the needy stand out! David speaks of “the oppressed,” of people in “trouble,” of “the cry of the humble,” of “the needy,” of “the poor,” of “the helpless,” and of “the fatherless.” Let us name before God the names of people we know personally who may fit these descriptions. Most certainly those in war-torn lands where it seems that human cruelty knows no boundaries.

Let us never forget that Jesus issued a press release in advance of His second coming. The words this King of the Universe will utter when He will sit on “the Throne of His Glory” have to do with way we have, or have not, cared for the needy (see Matthew 25:31-46). We pray fervently and then we are moved to help! God answer our prayers. Amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

“Arise O Lord! Do not let man prevail” (9:19a). “Arise O Lord! O God, lift up Your hand!” (10:12a). “Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more” (10:17-18). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

A few years back, I had the privilege of speaking at Wesley Acres camp, where they had a missions display along one side of the auditorium, including historical pictures from Egypt. I saw my parents there in the photos from the 1920s (pictures below). I believe that God is more interested in His cause here on earth than all of us put together could ever be! Let’s pool our resources and get the job done! Amen!!! My Mom and Dad would be 119 and 121 years old if they were alive today. The prayer in our reading is “Arise O Lord!” Their generation faithfully served. Now it’s our turn to “Arise” with the Lord, and do the job that He has called us to accomplish!

Yours for reaching a needy world with His love, His provision, and His Gospel,

David

Some of my parents' brothers and sisters in ministry in Assiout, Egypt, in 1929 (close-up photo below).

Some of my parents’ brothers and sisters in ministry in Assiout, Egypt, in 1929 (close-up photo below).

My father Roy Mainse is the one with the Bubles in front of him, and my mother Hazel is beside him.

My father, Roy Mainse, is the one behind the Bibles and my mother, Hazel, is beside him.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

EXCELLENT

Today’s Reading: Psalms 7-8

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

 

How inspiring it is to watch the sun come up over the Sea of Gallilee!

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 8:1a (and 8:9)

O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth.”

 

The shepherd king, David, sang the words of Psalm 7 “to the Lord.” Imagine singing of persecution, tearing apart like a lion, being trampled upon, etc. Somehow when we sing in our pain, it makes it more bearable, particularly when we also sing, “My defence is of God,” Who is, “angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:10-11). When in trouble, sing of God’s excellence. One of the benefits of an early morning start to our devotions is the time alone with God. There’s no rush. The telephone is not ringing. No one is texting you or knocking on the door. Therefore, since we have the time, I recommend that we listen to an excellent singer, Larnell Harris, singing, “How Excellent is Thy Name O Lord” (click here). Larnell has often appeared over the years on 100 Huntley Street, singing of the excellence of the Lord!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

“O LORD MY GOD, IN YOU I PUT MY TRUST!” O Lord, I commit to praying the prayers of David throughout my devotions daily in the Psalms. I thank You that while I pray spontaneously most of the time, I also find that it often helps me focus more intensely when I read prayers directly from Scripture or those prayers written by men and women who love and serve You passionately. I pray Your blessing and provision for all my fellow blog followers! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In preparation for partaking in communion at a Sunday service, Anglicans often read together the following powerful prayer, “Lord God, we have sinned against You; we have done evil in Your sight. We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to Your love. Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin. Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of Your salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Let’s make that prayer personal to us today, as an additional “Prayer for Today.”

Yours because of the “excellence” of the Name of the Lord “In all the earth,”

David

Saturday, September 11, 2021

TWENTY-FOUR/SEVEN

Today’s Reading: Psalms 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).

 

Shepherds milk a sheep amidst the ruins of Jerash, Jordan. David, the shepherd king, has given us three hymns in today’s reading.

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

Key Verse: Psalm 4:8

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

 

How many of us have prayed the bedtime prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep! If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take!” How many of us have considered that this prayer could have come from David? As a boy, David slept on the hills around Bethlehem. In order to find good pasture, he would often wander far from home. With wolves and mountain lions in the area, what a comfort David’s faith in God must have been to him.

These Psalms of prayer cover 24/7 time periods: morning, evening, and all night long. By practise, we develop a special sense of God’s presence at all times. In fact, we may want to read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. While the middle verse of these three tells us to “pray without ceasing,” the verses before and after encourage us to “REJOICE” and to “GIVE THANKS!” David knew the secret of practising the presence of God. In Psalm 4, he writes of “GLADNESS” (verse 7a). In Psalm 5, he encourages, “REJOICE” and “SHOUT FOR JOY!” (verse 11a). And in Psalm 6, David writes of “WEEPING” (verse 8b). So, go ahead, get alone with God and let your emotions surface, expressing whatever is in your heart. God said of David, as recorded by the Apostle Paul, “I have found David the son of Jessie, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22b).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, “HEAR MY PRAYER!” “MY VOICE YOU SHALL HEAR IN THE MORNING, O LORD!” “HAVE MERCY ON ME, O LORD, FOR I AM WEAK; O LORD, HEAL ME, FOR MY BONES ARE TROUBLED.” I cry out to You Lord with the words of David. I also confess David’s declaration of faith, “THE LORD WILL HEAR WHEN I CALL TO HIM.” I do so in the Name and through the Person of the One Who said, “FATHER, I KNOW YOU ALWAYS HEAR ME,” Jesus Christ (John 11:42a). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Today is the anniversary of the evil and infamous attack on the World Trade Centre Towers in New York City, the Pentagon and the plane that went down in a Pennsylvania field. The Islamists who committed this unspeakable evil claim that David is one of their prophets. David wrote, “The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:6b). If I dwell on the evil in the hearts of people, I will surely do as David did, “drench my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:5b). And at the same time I believe that, “The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer” (Psalm 6:9).

I identify strongly with the words of Psalm 6:2b, “Heal me for my bones are troubled.” I pray with fervency every day, “Heal me, O Lord!” I believe God hears and answers my prayer. I’ve quoted before the couplet I heard my dad say, “Be my symptoms what they will, Jesus is my Healer still!” Amen!!!

Yours with total confidence in God’s provision!

David

P.S. I’ve had the honour of preaching in many different churches (those that hold to the solid faith of the early church fathers clearly written in the ancient creeds). I cherish the hymnbook pictured below which was presented to me after I preached in a Lutheran Church. The Psalms were the hymn book for worship in the Temple in Jerusalem for 1,000 years. Jesus worshipped in the Temple, and no doubt the Psalms were the book from which He sang and worshipped. This hymn book sits on the shelf just above the place where I type this blog. I often take it down and read or sing one or more of the great hymns handed down to us by men and women of God. I don’t sing solos in public, but I surely do so when it’s just God and me here in my study.

Friday, September 10, 2021

THE BLESSED PERSON

Today’s Reading: Psalms 1-3

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

 

In the northern Israel region where the tribe of Dan settled, cool streams come off snow-capped Mount Herman to join other streams and continue south as the Jordan River. Psalm 1:3 says that the blessed person will be “like a tree planted by the rivers of water…”

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 1:2, 2:7, 3:3

His delight…in His law he meditates day and night.

The Lord has said to me, You are My Son, today I have begotten You.

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

 

First Psalm – the choice is ours to make! Either we will be like the well-watered fruit tree or like chaff, which the wind drives away. All who are faithful daily in meditating on God’s Word will be blessed people. Is that a sufficient reason for this blog?

Second Psalm – the Son of God is revealed. As the ancient Christian creed declares of Jesus, He is “Very God of Very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.” There are those who teach that Jesus is a created being, an angel. False! They’ve probably knocked on your door at some time (Luke 1:34-38). Also, Hebrews chapter one (click here) expands on the prophetic words of Psalm 2.

Third Psalm – the shepherd boy who became king wrote these words and music for stringed instruments to accompany the singing of his words. David’s poems, for the most part, are most encouraging and have an optimistic outlook on life. His experience was that the Lord lifted up his head! Let us now look up, and away from the pessimists who say, “There is no help for him in God.” Amen!!! and Amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray with the shepherd king, “Arise, O Lord; save me O my God!” (Psalm 3). I pray that I will “serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2). I also pray that I will be like the tree beside the free-flowing waters, blossoming with Your beauty and then bearing good fruit! (Psalm 1). Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Recently Norma-Jean wrote out, in her beautiful handwriting, a statement which fits in with most of the Psalms. Here it is: “A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of opportunities. An optimist makes opportunities of difficulties.”

Yours for an optimistic outlook, almost always expecting something good to happen!

David

Thursday, September 9, 2021

THE WORD

Today’s Reading: 2 Timothy 3-4

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

 

Celsus Library – This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 AD as a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor across the entrance, and there was a statue of Athena over it because she was the goddess of wisdom. The Celsus Library facade has two-stories with Corinthian-style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. They used an optical trick. The columns on the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size. The statues in the niches of the columns today are copies of the originals. The statues symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete). These are the virtues to which Celsus aspired. No doubt at some time Celsus had heard the message that “In Whom, (Jesus) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). The library scrolls and the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to protect the scrolls from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

 

What was to be the substance of Timothy’s message? Firstly, The Holy Scriptures (3:15). Secondly, “all Scripture” (3:16). Let us remember that the New Testament had not yet been compiled. “The parchments” to which Paul refers in 4:13b were probably portions of the Hebrew Bible. “The books” Paul asks to have brought to him may have been writings of general knowledge, such as those found in the great library of Ephesus. Even back then, “readers” were “leaders.”

A background reading today might be Acts 19:23-41. As Paul writes what may have been his final letter before his beheading in Rome, he challenges Timothy to concentrate on using Scripture to fight against doctrinal error and moral evil. This is vitally important for us, as it was for Timothy. Paul had the credentials to say these things. He had proven himself by demonstrations of faith, such as found in 1 Corinthians 15:32, “I have fought with beasts at Ephesus.” Paul may have indeed been placed in the arena for the entertainment of the people of Ephesus. God must have shut the mouths of lions once again as He had done to protect Daniel. The book of Daniel may well have been in the parchments Paul wanted. We may want to read Daniel 6:10-28.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, we are living in perilous times right now! Therefore, I pray that, as never before, I will effectively “convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” May I preach the WORD everywhere in messages in the pulpit, in the media, as well as in personal one-to-one witnessing. I make this request through Jesus, the One who is in Himself the full Expression of Your WORD! I ask for Your grace that I may fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

From my earliest days of public preaching, I sought to fill my speaking with “The Word of God,” the Holy Scriptures. I reached the conclusion that when I did this faithfully, I saw results. God has not promised to bless my verbal wanderings, but He has promised to bless His Word!

Yours for the greatest possible effectiveness of God’s Word in our lives and in the lives of everyone we meet,

David

P.S. Those parchments which Paul wanted brought to him may have included “The Psalms.” God willing, we’ll start those Scriptures in tomorrow’s reading.

Ruins of the ancient Celsus Library in Ephesus (described in the photo caption above). In the second century after Christ, the gods and godesses of ancient Greece and Rome were still prominent, but as a result of Paul’s three years here, as well as the ministry of Timothy as Pastor and others, the Church of Jesus Christ was growing stronger all the time.