Wednesday, June 2, 2021

IGNITION

Today’s Reading: Ephesians 5

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

 

The ancient Ephesus Commercial Agora (shopping mall) is in the form of a square, each side 110 metres, and surrounded completely by columns. The Agora has three entrances, one from the front of the theatre on the northeast, one opening to the harbour on the west, and a third from the Celsius Library. The north side of the Agora is left open, and the other three sides are surrounded by a portico in which there were rows of shops.

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

 

Key Verse: Ephesians 5:18-19

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

 

In an earlier reading from Ephesians, we noted that the words “in Christ” (or its equivalent) are repeated 35 times. Interestingly, there are also 35 directives given!…one for each reminder of our position “in Christ.” Do we need another reminder that good behaviour is determined as a result of being “in Christ” and not a factor in getting us into the body of Christ? We are there only by grace through our faith; it is a gift of God, not of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9). We’ve considered this fact before, but it needs to be repeated to make sure we’ve got it in the right order.

Our reading begins with the directive, “Walk in love as Christ also has loved us.” His love is a sweet-smelling aroma. There is a sign on a Kingston, Ontario, shop that says, “Aroma Therapy.” We have never gone in to check it out, but we do breathe deeply of the aroma of Christ every day. It’s the cure for whatever ails us. Then having been saturated in His fragrance, we will carry that fragrance with us for at least 24 hours. We mentioned this in our reading from 2 Corinthians 2:14-17. Christ definitely passes the smell test! Do we? There are at least 35 ingredients in the content of the fragrance, according to Paul. Please don’t list them and put them on the wall like the Ten Commandments. We need to relax in the knowledge that we are “in Christ.” His constant Presence in us will exude His fragrance through our behaviour. We may or may not have ever been drunk with wine (I don’t ever intend to find out what it’s like), but be assured we cannot ever drink too much of the Spirit of Christ. Just hand Him our lives and say, “Fill ‘er up!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord God, may I receive grace from You to be like Jesus, speaking as He would speak and doing as He would do. May the fragrance of Jesus permeate my person so that others will know I’m “in Christ,” and He is in me. As our key verses tell me, Lord, may I not be under the influence of wine but filled with Your Spirit and under Your strong influence at all times. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

At 19 years old, 3 years after I made my lifetime commitment to Christ, I said to God in a time of discouragement, “I can’t live the Christian life as I should. I might as well quit!” God’s response was unmistakable. I heard that still small Voice of the Lord say, “Good, go ahead and quit. Now perhaps you’ll let Me live the Christian life in you and through you.” Suddenly I felt totally free just to go ahead and LIVE! I can’t begin to describe the feeling of elation, joy, strength, and courage I began to experience. I knew beyond any doubt that my life would be lived “in Christ” and that Christ lived in me. My life was not “of works, lest anyone [me] should boast.” I was totally confident that I was “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:9-10). I was the proud owner of a 1947 Plymouth. I did not have to move each piston up and down to move the crank shaft which moved the transmission which moved the drive shaft which moved the wheels. All I had to do was to connect to the power by my free will decision to connect to the engine. Believe me…I knew from that time forward that I needed to connect with God first thing every day. That spark connected me to the power of the gasoline in my spirit combustion works, and power flowed to every part of me so I could live, move, and get to where I needed to be.

The winter I was 20, I remember being out front of the railway station in Chalk River, Ontario, with my car and booster cables, trying to start a friend’s car at almost 50 degrees below zero. It took patience and I persisted. Finally there was ignition and he was on his way. Leading others to Christ may be a challenge, but with persistence and the right connection, it will happen. I will seek to give someone a boost in coming to life in Christ today!

Yours for being connected to Christ and for connecting others to Him,

David

Ancient public toilets in Ephesus – All I can say is that I appreciate modern dividers. These were part of the Scholastica Baths, built in the 1st Century A.D., around the time Paul was in Ephesus. They were the men’s public toilets of the city. There was an entrance fee to use them. There was a running water drainage system under the toilets. These bathroom toilets could accommodate up to 36 men at one time. This was a place to talk to your neighbour and perhaps shake hands on a business deal. It’s possible that Paul witnessed for Christ to his neighbour here. This picture was my photographer son’s idea (as was the shaking hands suggestion!).

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

EQUIPPING SAINTS

Today’s Reading: Ephesians 4

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

 

Today’s photos feature the two impressive ancient theatres in Ephesus. The one pictured above is the Odeon (Bouleuterion) – This building has the shape of a small theatre. It had a double function in use. First, it was used as a Bouleuterion for the meetings of the Boulea or the Senate. The second function was the Odeum – a concert hall for performances. It was constructed in the 2nd century A.D by the order of Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Paiana, two wealthy citizens in Ephesus. It had a capacity of 1,500 spectators. It had three doors opening from the stage to the podium. The podium was narrow and one metre higher than the orchestra section. The stage building was two-storied and embellished with columns. The podium in front of the stage building and some parts of the seating were restored. The Odeon used to be enclosed with a wooden roof.

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

 

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:13

“Until we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

 

In the first three chapters of Ephesians, we are taught that God “has made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). We’ve been enjoying “the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8-9): “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.”

In the last three chapters, we make a rapid descent back down to earth. Like the astronauts, there is danger in re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere and danger in the landing. Here on earth, (1) we must learn to get along in unity with each other, (2) pay attention to those to whom God has given leadership responsibilities, (3) grow up and be “no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive.” (4) we must “put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man, which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” (5) we must “let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away.” (6) we must learn to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” This list of what to do and what not to do goes on and on throughout the rest of the book. Let us remember that while we seek to behave in a godly way, failure to be perfect does not change in any way the message of the first three chapters. Our position “in Christ” is secure forever. Don’t get it backwards. We do our best to obey because we are “in Christ,” not in order to get the favour of God by our good deeds.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, here on earth it’s sometimes hard to always do what is right. Forgive me for the wrong I have done and will probably do again. According to Your Word, I pray for constant cleansing from sin. I thank You for Your promise in 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I remember clearly my father preaching from 1st John, chapter one. He focused on verse 7b, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” As a Greek language teacher, my father pointed out that the Greek verb translated “cleanses” denotes something that has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen all the time. Isn’t that comforting to know this fact, that God always sees us as clean because He sees us under the blood of Jesus! Hallelujah! Note that John, the Apostle who was most often the closest of all the disciples to Jesus, included himself when he used the word “we,” as I quoted in my prayer for today. We can never say, “We have no sin.” So I’ve learned to relax, sitting in heavenly places, with my feet placed firmly here on earth. I do not live only here on earth, but with Christ in heavenly places as well. Like my muscles which have a ligament on both ends, there is a healthy tension here that keeps me moving forward.

Yours for our “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:5-6),

David

This theatre is the most magnificent structure in the ancient city of Ephesus. The Great Theatre is located on the slope of Panayir Hill, opposite the Harbor Street, and easily seen when entering from the south entrance to Ephesus. It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today. It is the largest in Anatolia and has the capacity of 25,000 seats. It is thought that here the near riot took place as a result of the preaching of Paul.

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

Monday, May 31, 2021

FILLED WITH GOD

Today’s Reading: Ephesians 3

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

 

Our 100words.ca photographer, my eldest son, opened his Bible to Ephesians and placed it among the ruins of ancient Ephesus on a door entrance to what was probably a Christian’s home or place of business. The circle with the symbols secretly represented the Christian faith. The other dark circles were so that people would not slip when entering.

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

 

Key Verses: Ephesians 3:17-19

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

Just imagine the overcoming strength Paul has received from God. He is writing this from a prison in Rome. Paul takes on the principalities and powers which manifest themselves in Caesar, the ruler who claimed to be a god. Who is truly free, and who is the prisoner?

Paul’s prayer is not just for the believers at Ephesus, but for us too! To be filled with all the fullness of God means that we will be fuller than we were before when we were already full. How can this be? Our capacity for God living in us has expanded because of God answering Paul’s prayer! Let us keep topping up every day without fail! Here is a three-step plan for becoming more like Jesus: (1) Be strengthened with power through His Spirit, (2) Understand that Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, and (3) Get a grasp on the fact that Christ loves us totally.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father, I am making Paul’s prayer mine and praying it word for word. Your answer to this prayer is “Yes!”…a thousand times “Yes!” I’m reading Ephesians 3:14-21 again and again. To You “be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

From my earliest days in public ministry, I established a practise of spending as much time in prayer as I spent in preparation for ministry. Keeping a balance between head and heart is vitally important. When the 100 Huntley Street daily telecast began June 15th, 1977, I knew that I was not to go on air unless I had spent at a minimum the same amount of time in prayer as I would spend on TV. I believe the Lord clearly showed me that failure to do this would result in my own thoughts being expressed and not His thoughts. I suggest we read Isaiah 55:6-13. How does one get wet when it’s raining? Just go out in the rain with the umbrella down. How does one get soaked in God’s thoughts? Through much prayer and the reading of God’s Word. His Word contains His thoughts!

Yours for learning how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

David

The Church of Mary in Ephesus, built around 200 AD, is a church of great historical significance. It is also known as the Double Church, because it is thought one aisle was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the other to St. John. It has also been referred to as the Council Church, because the Council of Ephesus is believed to have been held here. It is the first church to take Mary’s name and the site of two important ecumenical councils in 431 and 449, in which the natures of Christ and Mary were hotly disputed.

In Goreme Cappadocia Turkey the people built their homes into cone shaped hills and in Kaymakli they excavated deep below the ground for their city. The first photo is Goreme and the next photo is a room beneath the ground in Kaymakli. These troglodyte cave-cities were excavated as early as Hittite times, and expanded over the centuries as various marauding armies traversed Central Anatolia in search of captives and plunder. There are 36 underground cities in Cappadocia

In Goreme Cappadocia in Turkey, the people built their homes into cone shaped hills and in Kaymakli they excavated deep below the ground for their city. These troglodyte cave-cities were excavated as early as Hittite times, and were expanded over the centuries as various marauding armies traversed Central Anatolia in search of captives and plunder. There are 36 underground cities in Cappadocia.

Sunday, May 30, 2030

CHIEF CORNERSTONE

Today’s Reading: Ephesians 2

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

 

Ruins of the Celsus Library…one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. 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 thought to be the goddess of wisdom.

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

 

Key Verses: Ephesians 2:19-20

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.

 

Christians take note! Our position in Christ is established! By the end of the second chapter, we have the words “in Christ” (or its equivalent) 19 times. Are we beginning to get the message? We are no longer the walking dead! (verses 1-3). We have been raised up! We “sit together in the heavenly places in Christ” (verse 6). Verse 11 begins with “Therefore” (as the result of the foregoing), which is a turn-around word…(1) We are alive in Christ; (2) We experience the exceeding riches of His grace; (3) We are saved through faith, a gift of God; (4) We are created in Christ Jesus for good works (works do not produce any favour from God, but they follow as a result of His favour); (5) We are citizens of His Kingdom with all the privileges that pertain thereto; (6) We are family–His DNA can be traced within us; and (7) We are a holy temple, God’s habitation!

We are “in Christ” and He is living in us! It is very, very humbling to recognize that, other than opening our hearts to Him, He’s done it all!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will comprehend, as much as I have the capacity to do so, the magnitude of Your blessing on me. Please assist me to recognize that my behaviour does not determine Your blessing, but Your blessing determines who I am. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I am blessed! Blessed! Blessed! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I made my lifetime decision to be a follower of Jesus at 16 years old, but it was not until I was 19 that I fully realized my position “in Christ.” It was then that I studied “The Doctrines of Salvation,” first in a Bible correspondence course and then in Bible College. The book “Lectures in Systematic Theology” by Henry C. Thiessen was a companion to my Bible. This book is for sale on Amazon or can be purchased on Kindle for iPad reading (click here). I find Thiessen’s teachings concise and carefully Biblical. In fact, I would recommend this study as foundational to every other Bible study curriculum.

The words from today’s reading, “Chief Cornerstone,” stood out to me because of much time spent with our First Nations people. Over again and again, I heard them refer to their true Chief, Jesus Christ, as their “Chief Cornerstone.” I have the great honour of being an honourary Chief of the Oneidas. I’m reminded that Jesus is my Chief, now and forever!

Yours for learning who we are as believers in Jesus, our Chief Cornerstone,

David

The Celsus Library facade has two stories with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There are three window openings in the upper story. 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.

 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

IN CHRIST

Today’s Reading: Ephesians 1

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

 

Missionary to Turkey Mike Martin is pictured here amidst the ruins of ancient Ephesus (Present-day Selcuk, Turkey). This area is one large museum, perhaps the most spectacular ruins in Turkey. The Apostle Paul walked these streets witnessing for Christ, stopping from time to time to lift his voice and preach the Good News of eternal salvation in Christ. One of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World was here, “The Temple of Diana.” The area pictured above is not open to tourists, but my photographer son, David Reynold, was able to enter to photograph for this blog.

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

 

Key Verse: Ephesians 1:17

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.”

 

Thirteen times in today’s reading we find, “in Christ,” “in Him,” in Himself,” “in Whom,” “in the Lord Jesus,” repeated again and again. It’s plain to see that Paul has an absolutely clear message he fervently desires to communicate! In fact, the phrase “in Christ” or its equivalent appears 35 times throughout this letter to the believers in Ephesus, and the Holy Spirit intended these words for the whole Church in every place and throughout all time. Therefore, we should pay close attention to every word.

What do we have “IN CHRIST?” “Heavenly places,” “He chose us,” “Redemption and forgiveness,” “purpose,” “all things,” “an inheritance,” “the praise of His glory,” “trust,” “the Holy Spirit of promise,” “the guarantee,” “wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,” and “His mighty power”…and that’s just in the first chapter! This is mind boggling! We need to spend time meditating on these facts. If we are not overwhelmed, we need to check our pulses to make sure we are still alive!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I want to personalize the prayer found in the key verse: Dear God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I ask for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Your Person. Amen! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have had the privilege of visiting the spectacular ruins of Ephesus several times. I’m so impressed with the evidence of stately public buildings which once served the people. Of course, the houses in which the people lived around the centre and in the suburbs are not to be found. I have just read the story of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus again from the book of Acts. When I have stood in the great Ephesian amphitheatre, I can almost imagine the loud declaration of the crowd inside who were shouting in defence of their goddess, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” Paul and his team of witnessing Christians caused a riot (read Acts 18:24-28 and Acts 19:1-41 and check out the picture below for the theatre where the uproar happened).

I didn’t cause a riot back in 1964, but most certainly consternation, when one Sunday evening I refused to preach my Salvation message in the pulpit of the church in Sudbury, Ontario, where I was the new Pastor. I checked the congregation out by upraised hands, and everyone present had the assurance of their eternal salvation. I then asked one of the deacons to take over the service and I proceeded out the door, down the alley for one block, to the sidewalk outside the Mine Mill Union Hall, where a dance was in progress. People were milling around outside the hall. I raised my voice and began to preach on how to have assurance of Heaven. I even noticed the Union President, Weir Reid, open his window across the street in order to listen. He was called “Canada’s last angry socialist” by the Toronto Star. Mr. Reid called me following this and offered, at no cost to the church, the use of their camp facilities for a week each Summer for a Christian camp. This was the initial seed for the Circle Square ranches, which continue to this day. I would not have been surprised if the congregation had convened a business meeting and dismissed their Pastor, me. I’d been there about three weeks. As it happened, I continued to serve there for almost five more years, and I don’t believe we ever had another Sunday evening service where someone in the congregation did not bring out a friend who did not yet know Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Every service found one, two or more at the altar giving their lives to Christ. The congregation, since that time on the street, has planted new congregations and built two new church buildings in order to hold the people and to serve the community.

Forgive me for going on far beyond my goal of 100 words.

Yours for the knowledge of the truth that we are “IN CHRIST,”

David

Ruins of the ancient theatre in Ephesus (Acts 19:28-31).

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

Friday, May 28, 2021

BESIEGED

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 25

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

 

The Dung Gate is one of the gates in the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The gate is situated near the southeast corner of the Old City, southwest of the Temple Mount.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 25:10

And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls of Jerusalem all around.

 

This was a day of judgment! The capital city, the symbol of the nation, was destroyed by Babylon (modern Iraq). Things had never looked worse for God’s chosen people. Earlier they had been forcefully removed from the northern areas, and now from Judah and the city of Jerusalem. What of God’s promises now? What of the prophecies of the great future ruler who would reign forever, the Messiah, the Son of David?

Look ahead! Israel was restored under leaders such as Ezra and Nehemiah. The Temple and the walls were built again. The people of God came to know a long period of peace and prosperity. Greatest of all is that in the course of time, just five miles south of Jerusalem, in the city of David, Bethlehem, Jesus was born.

We move in our reading for tomorrow into the book of Ephesians. After reading Kings, I think we need the encouragement we will receive from the Holy Spirit-inspired letter to the Church at Ephesus!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, fill me each day with the joy that comes from knowing that the darkness and despair that may seem to be all around is only temporary. Please help me to look to the eternal reality of Your plans for my future. Plans that are greater than anything I could imagine. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m taking the time today to read at one sitting the entire book of Ephesians. We’ll consider over the next six days, God willing, the life-enriching and life-changing truths which Paul writes to the people of Ephesus, the largest city of what was then known as Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Paul spent two years there sharing the Good News of Jesus and establishing the church. Now he writes back to these people who are so precious to him. What joyful assurance he brings his loved ones! This is powerful teaching! Perhaps it’s obvious that I’m excited about the week ahead before we move back again into the books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles, which present more of a spiritual history of the dynasty of King David. The books of 2nd Samuel and 1st and 2nd Kings, which we’ve just completed, are more of a political history. I hope and pray for staying power for each reader. I call it sanctified stubbornness! Never give up!! I pray that there will be steel up each backbone which will never bend to the pressures of daily life that might steal away the great blessings which God has for us. Amen!!!

Yours for consistency… as Shakespeare wrote, “Consistency, thou art a rare jewel,”

David

Norma-Jean and I are enjoying our last full day of touring Israel with a wonderful group of brothers and sisters. We talked last evening about leading another tour in November. This is such a blessing! How about joining us next time, God willing!

Norma-Jean and I at Sea Level on our way down to the Dead Sea, which is over 1,300 feet below Sea Level. This was during our last trip to Israel in 2015.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

NEBUCHADNEZZAR

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 24

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

 

This photo is of the model of the Temple in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. This magnificent structure was constructed by King Herod and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. On today’s Google map, you will see where this model is located in Jerusalem; the original Temple stood just 300 yards to the northeast. Today the location of the Dome of the Rock Muslim shrine is just to the south of where the Temple was situated.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 24:2

And the Lord sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, and bands of the people of Ammon; He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken by His servants the prophets.

We are now being introduced to Nebuchadnezzar, a King who will show up in our readings more often in the remaining Hebrew Scriptures than any other foreign monarch.

God is very patient, as is demonstrated again and again in our readings about the kings of Judah, but He will not forever endure disobedience and the flagrant misuse of His name. The practices established by Moses in the Tabernacle, and enhanced by Solomon in the Temple, were continuing. But the Kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord had added the idol worship of other religions. The peoples of Israel and Judah continued to be known as the people of God, but for most of the time, they did not act in a manner honouring God. God finally refused to see any more evil done in His Holy Name. God hurled enemy after enemy against Judah until it was a mere shadow of its former self, and it became a mere puppet of foreign rulers.

Let us not despair. God was working all things after the counsel of His will. He had His faithful people amongst the captives taken to Babylon. Check out Daniel 1:1-6.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, even as You had people who were faithful to You when evil deeds were government policy in both Israel and Judah, so You have those in our land who refuse to compromise their personal standards of righteousness. I pray that I may ever be one of those who serve You with all my heart, as did Daniel and the three Hebrew youths who, even though they were forcibly removed from Jerusalem, served You with integrity. In the Name of the One who served You most faithfully, Jesus, I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

While I use the common term to describe Israel, the “Holy Land,” it is by no means “holy” today. For example, the destruction of innocent life, known as abortion, is rampant amongst secular Jews who make up the majority of the population. The evil kings of ancient Judah in our recent readings burned children as sacrifices to the god Molech. Today little bodies are burned in an incinerator. The same atrocity is happening here. There is no protection in our country for a child up until the moment he or she exits the womb. I believe that the reason God is still merciful to modern Israel and to Canada is because there are people who grieve and repent for national sins against God on a daily basis. I know that our Queen, our official Head of State for Canada, is grieved deeply by the evil of abortion, but as a constitutional monarch, she does not have the power of a Hezekiah or a Josiah to change things. Our government is also powerless to protect these little ones until a clear majority of the members of the House of Commons and the Senate come to abhor the practice of abortion. Back in the 1980s, we had a Minister of Health, the Hon. Jake Epp, who succeeded in getting a bill through the Commons with some protection for these little lives, but this bill was defeated in the Senate by just one vote. I pray daily for leaders, those who hold life as a sacred gift of God, to rise up, run for elected office, and form the majority of our lawmakers. I not only pray but I work for such people, regardless of party affiliation.

Yours to pray and work for God’s “will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven,”

David

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

COVENANTS

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 23

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

 

This is the view looking south from the temple mount in Jerusalem where the Kidron Valley joins the Valley of Gehenna. In today’s reading, the Valley of Gehenna is referred to as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom (2 Kings 23:10).

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 23:3

Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took their stand for the covenant.

 

Three times in our key verse the word COVENANT is repeated! A covenant is the most solemn and most binding agreement into which two parties can enter. In verse two we read, “The king…read in their hearing all the words of the book of the COVENANT which had been found in the house of the Lord.” The King himself read the book out loud to all the people. What an experience this was! Imagine the loud voice of the young king ringing out across the crowded plaza. As did the people, will we commit with all our hearts and souls to perform the words of the covenant? According to Hebrews, for the past 2000 years we have had “A better COVENANT, which was established on better promises.” We may want to read (out loud if possible) Hebrews 8:1-13 & 2:11-15. Let us meditate on this amazing grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Almighty and eternal God, I am amazed that You would bind Your Self to such an eternally binding covenant with me and all who will personally sign the covenant with all our hearts and souls. You signed in blood at the cross. I am absolutely confident that You will keep Your end of this eternally and legally binding agreement. The courts of Heaven witness to Your signature, and those same courts rang with great joy when I signed on, and they continue to celebrate over each new name written in the Book of Life. Grant that I may bring another person to sign in today, I pray. In the Name of the “Mediator of the New Covenant,” Jesus my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I am deeply moved to read the responses of readers of this blog. Her are two…

1. What insight you make David. If we (as in this generation) fail to reach-out to the next generation, the Word of God will be something we only see as an article on a shelf in the museum. Christ must be our life, we need to be filled daily anew with His Holy Spirit, and then go forth in His service. We mustn’t miss the opportunity to proclaim the gospel, for life in this world passes quickly.

2. Please don’t think for a moment that this blog is a chore. This blog has brought me renewal and great joy every day! I’ve been a Christian for 30 years, but have never felt so alive in my Christian walk as I have this last year. Thank you David for bringing this to us daily, you’ll never know how it has enhanced my Christian walk. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in 100words for this next year. God Bless you for being a faithful servant in bringing this to us every day David.

Yours, celebrating the new covenant,

David

 

The southern wall of the temple mount in seen on the left and in the distance are some of the thousands of graves on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. You can even see a Jewish funeral service taking place. In todays reading, verse 6, the ashes of the wooden image King Josiah had burnt were thrown on the graves of the common people.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

FOUR GENERATIONS

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 22

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

 

Facing the Mount of Olives on the eastern side of the Old City of Jerusalem is The Golden Gate, also called The Eastern Gate. The Bible indicates that Jesus passed through this gate many times while He was in Jerusalem. Jewish religious tradition teaches that the coming Messiah will enter Jerusalem through this gate. To prevent this, the Muslims sealed the gate in 1541 A.D. during the rule of Suleiman. Like the walls around Jerusalem which were built for protection, may we build around our families the protection of the teaching of the things of God.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 22:11

Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the book of the law, that he tore his clothes.

 

In our reading two days ago, King Hezekiah tore his clothes to show his strong grief. Now Hezekiah’s great-grandson, Josiah, 18 years old, tears his clothes to show his extreme grief because his father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, had utterly failed to serve the God of the Book, and Judah had, for 57 years, reverted to the practice of false religions. How could this be? Isaiah, such a mighty man of God, had taught and preached over four generations of Kings from Uzziah to Hezekiah. Hezekiah’s son and grandson led the people away from the true and living God, living evil lives. Does this not prove that we are only one or two generations away at any time from the demise of the Church? If we fail to reach the next generation for Christ, a terrible turning away from God happens. Do we do our part with a passion in teaching Sunday School, in mentoring young people, in strong intercessory prayer for the next generation? Do our church services include strong Bible teaching which is contained in the Hymns and songs as well as the sermons? Do we succeed in communicating thoroughly the things of God? We should read again how this is to be done for the eternal good of the next generation…Deuteronomy 6:1-25.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, keep me within the sound of Your Word. I need to hear Your thoughts every day without fail. I pray also that I will be enthusiastic in communicating Your Word to others, particularly to the next generation after me. Please give me wisdom in how I am to do this. I’m here Lord, please use me for Your great cause. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve just looked at the picture of my great-grandson, Myles Neilson. I often put my arms around Myles when he slows down a bit (he loves his great-grandpa), and I share a story of God’s wonderful love. How thankful I am that, unlike Josiah’s father and grandfather, his parents, Sheryl and Todd Neilson, and his grandparents, the Staceys, love and serve the Lord. Below is a photo of Myles with me that we took in the park next to his home a few years ago. As this picture was taken by his Mom, I was sharing the amazing story of the boy king, Josiah.

I’ve been doing this blog for almost five years now, and those who’ve been with me since the beginning will now be almost through the entire Bible 2-1/2 times, moving back and forth between the Testaments. I trust that no one who participates with me is finding the blog boring or that it has become just another duty. I’m praying fervently every day that the experience will be alive, life giving, and life changing! May the Word of God always be a mirror in which we see ourselves as we really are; a Sword which will cut away those things which weigh us down in our service to God; a Light to guide us into God’s will, keeping us faithful in the way of Truth.

For new visitors to this site, you can start today and in just 24 months you’ll have made the entire Bible part of yourself. Great goal!

Yours for God speaking to us every day through His Word to His human family,

David

My seven-year-old great-grandson, Myles Neilson is one of eleven. Hezekiah and Josiah were also great grandson and great grandfather.

Monday, May 24, 2021

A MIRACLE AND MEDICATION TOO

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 20-21

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

 

These ruins are located about 100 metres south of Hezekiah’s Tunnel. In the summer of 2004, these remains were discovered of a very large pool from the Second Temple period. It proved to be the Pool of Siloam. Nearby, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a stepped street (photo at bottom of page), the path taken by pilgrims ascending from the pool to the Temple Mount. Beneath the paving stones of the street they found a drainage channel that apparently served as a hiding place for the last Jewish rebels against the Romans in the year 70 AD. The pool ceased to function after the destruction of Jerusalem and, over time, filled with earth and disappeared from sight.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 20:4b-5

The Word of the Lord came to him saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people,Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father; I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you.”

 

God added 15 more years to Hezekiah’s life by a combination of divine healing and medicine. Isaiah prescribed a poultice, which was to be placed on Hezekiah’s boil in order to draw out the poison that was in his system. God works in our time also through this combination of prayer along with the best medical care, with which we are blessed. God hears and answers prayer! Just as God heard Hezikiah’s prayers for deliverance from the Assyrians, God hears and answers prayer today. Do we have need for God’s intervention? Yes! Yes! God will hear our fervent prayers. That does not mean that God will always do just as we ask; He knows better than we do. Our faith is best expressed in obedience to do as He has told us. We pray, believe Him for His perfect will, and the rest is up to Him. Pray! Obey! Read James 5:13-18. Then God will do what God will do!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for others (name them) and for myself as Hezekiah prayed, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” Thank You, Lord, that You are hearing my prayer. I know Your decisions are on the way. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I know from personal experience that God hears and answers prayer. As a result of God’s healing power, combined with the medical skills of the doctors and nurses, He has already added 61 more years to my life than the doctors predicted when I was 19 years old. The students in the Bible College in Peterborough, Ontario, went into a time of fervent prayer on my behalf, and two of the ministers/teachers anointed me with oil, laid hands on my head, and prayed in the Name of Jesus for my healing. God heard and said, “Yes!” The doctors then did surgery to correct the problem which had caused my illness in the first place.

Yours for believing in the power of prayer,

David

This is the bottom end of the stepped road and drainage channel, known as the Path of Pilgrims. In this area was a stone-paved plaza from the Second Temple period that served as a promenade for visitors to the Pool of Siloam. The promenade’s roof was supported by a row of stone columns, parts of which have been found at the site.