Monday, May 20, 2019

RELIGION AND TRUTH

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 15-16

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

 

In Rome stands a national monument known as the Altar of the Fatherland, honouring Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. It is a very impressive sight to see. As in today’s reading, the kings of history come and go, but not the King of Kings. He remains forever!

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 16:14

He also brought the bronze altar which was before the Lord, from the front of the temple–from between the new altar and the house of the Lord–and put it on the north side of the new altar.

King Ahaz of Judah made slight changes in the pattern of worship in the Temple of Solomon, as our key verse shows. He was impressed by an altar he saw in Damascus, and brought the design home with him to Jerusalem. Through the centuries, customs, patterns, and traditions have developed which may be useful in the worship of God, or may be distractions leading us away from God. Jesus, Himself, participated fully in the worship at the Jerusalem Temple, and while the Temple is no more, the customs, liturgies, etc., live on, after a fashion, in churches today. These traditions were brought into Christian practices by Jewish priests who became followers of Jesus (Acts 6:7). These priests were scattered over the world by the persecutions in Jerusalem and the destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70 A.D. They brought their robes and temple liturgies right into their Christian gatherings as we would expect, as the early Christians were almost all Jews.

Just as in the times of Ahaz, and much later in the times of the Apostle Peter, and in our day also, there are those who mess with the truth of God, turning people away from the true worship of God. Please, please let us not start another denomination or another congregation unaffiliated with an existing fellowship of churches. Let us seek the widest possible connection of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We may want to think about the words of 2 Peter 2:1-22. Don’t be discouraged. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I pray for a daily illumination of Truth from the Scriptures I am reading. Grant that I may always find Your Person revealed clearly to my understanding. Keep me true to You in my thoughts, words, and deeds. In Your Name I ask these mercies, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I mentioned yesterday that I would tell the story of what happened to my Arab son-in-law, Nizar Shaheen, in Gath Hepher, modern day Mishad, the ancestral home of the prophet Jonah. Today it is a Muslim village, located between Nazareth and Cana.

Nizar’s brothers are stone masons from Cana and are much in demand. Nizar was a student at the University of Haifa while his oldest brother had the contract to build a new mosque in Mishad. While helping his brother, Nizar fell from the top of the mosque and should’ve been killed. He said that he felt that he was being turned as he fell, by unseen hands. He landed on his hands and feet in the only place on the ground which was clear of stones and pieces of steel bars. His brothers loaded him in the back seat of their car and rushed him to the hospital in Nazareth. As he went he says that he heard a voice speaking to him saying, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are Mine.” He was unaware at the time that these were words from Isaiah 43:1. This was one of the major factors in Nizar’s decision to become a believer in Jesus Christ.

Check out the ministry of “Light for all Nations.” Nizar and his wife, my daughter Ellen, and their team are reaching the entire Arabic-speaking world with the message of Jesus (click here).

Yours for following Jesus more closely than ever,

David

Inside Rome’s Altar of the Fatherland is another altar that appears to be a small walk-by chapel.

 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

BONES

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 13-14

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

 

Perhaps it was a tomb not unlike the one above in which Elisha was buried. In this photo you can see the Tomb of the Sons of Hezir and the Tomb of Zechariah on the right.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 13:21

So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.

Imagine the surprise of the graveyard crew when they were running from the Moabites, to find the man they had just thrown in the tomb of Elisha running after them! Perhaps this is the reason why in some cathedrals the bones of people judged to be very godly are on display. I wouldn’t count on the same thing happening with those bones. Stretch this last of Elisha’s miracles a bit to connect to the bones, as if they were were of Paul, Peter, John Wesley, and others. When we read their writings, there is a sense that we are touching the very structure of their lives and spiritual life is flowing. There were no bones left behind in the tomb of Jesus (I’ve personally checked it out in both suggested tombs), yet life definitely flows into us from contact with the living Christ. We can never read too often Colossians 2:13-22.
If we really like figuring out things, the Jehoash/Joash kings in both the north and the south will prove an enjoyable challenge. Their mother’s names may be the key to solving the puzzle.
We are first introduced to the Prophet Jonah here (2 Kings 14:25). Perhaps Jonah knew that Nineveh, capital city of Assyria, would soon devastate Israel and in an ethnic cleansing move the Assyrians would disperse the ten tribes of the north over the entire world. This may be the reason Jonah headed west to Spain instead of Northeast to Nineveh.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I pray for Your consistency to be strong in me. This is a two-year journey which may well be the most important two years of my life. I’m counting on Your indwelling Presence to keep me true. In Your all-powerful Name, JESUS, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In today’s reading I noticed that Jonah was from Gath Hepher. This is not the “Gath” of the Philistines, from which Goliath came. This place is located between Cana of Galilee and Nazareth. It’s now called Mishad. This is the village which figures prominently in the conversion of my Arab son-in-law. I’ll try to remember to tell the story tomorrow, God willing, of how God saved Nizar’s life in the ancestral hometown of Jonah.

Yours for consistency and integrity,

David

Saturday, May 18, 2019

OSKAR

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 11-12

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

 

The Grave of Oskar Schindler is in Jerusalem just south of the Zion Gate on the south side of the Old City wall. Stones are placed on the graves by visitors and loved ones.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 12:2

Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him.

There are two spellings for the seven-year-old king’s name, Jehoash and Joash. What an amazing story! The boy king, under the tutelage of a priest of the God of Israel, began a reign of 40 years in Judah. Both Judah and Israel had fallen from the unity and prosperity they had experienced under David and Solomon. Since the death of Solomon, the ten tribes to the north had no righteous kings. In the tribes to the south (Judah, which included Benjamin), there were some rulers like Joash who served the Lord. Because of those few good rulers, Judah was able to maintain its sovereignty for 150 years longer than Israel.
Leaders today who are right before God and their people can have the same impact. Our intercessory prayers on behalf of our families, our neighbours, and our leaders are absolutely essential to peace, security, prosperity, and a place of positive influence in the world. Here’s a New Testament reading – 1 Timothy 2:1-8.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, Your servant and apostle tells us, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). That’s a tall order, Lord. It’s easy to pray every day for those I like, but I have a problem with some leaders. I know that these instructions are not optional. I am to love everyone! Therefore, I pray for a large dose of Your love and grace to fill my life 24/7. In Your all loving Name, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

A number of years back, my granddaughter, Sarah Shaheen Stowell, who is on her father’s side Arab Israeli, called in to the Michael Coren show live prime time on CTS. She was 17 at the time and had just moved from Jerusalem to Canada. She told Michael, his guests and viewers that as a Christian she had just moved to Canada from Israel and that she knew that she should love all people, Jews included, but that it was hard to do that. She shared her views on the Israeli-Palestinian situation, and Michael said that hers was the most intelligent call he received throughout the show.

Today’s pictures tell the unusual story of Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of many Jews during the Nazi reign of terror. His body was brought to Jerusalem and buried in a non-Jewish graveyard on the side of Mt. Zion. Every year, on the anniversary of his death, the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of those whose lives he saved gather at his grave for a memorial service to honour Oskar. As is the Jewish custom, they each place a stone in his memory. I’ve stood at his graveside several times and thanked God for people who are willing to risk their lives for others.

Yours for loving others, even if it’s extremely hard to do that with some. Why? Because Jesus told us that if we are to please God, we must do this, whether we like it or not! Check out Mark 12:28-34.

David

The entrance to the Christian graveyard where Oskar Schindler’s body lies.

 

Friday, May 17, 2019

JEHU

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 10

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

 

On display at the Archaeological Museum of ancient Corinth in Greece is a gold ring and many other artifacts. As far as we know, there are no golden calves, as in today’s reading.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 10:29

However, Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan.

Surely Jehu or some of the advisers and priests knew about the judgment of God on those who practised worship of the golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai shortly after the deliverance of the Children of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 32). Jehu most certainly knew the first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-6). They knew these things, but Jehu did not know them in his heart, the core of his being where decisions are made for right and wrong. Verse 31 in today’s reading tells us that “Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel WITH ALL HIS HEART.” The disintegration of the northern tribes began as a result. Syria took over the territories of three of the tribes on the east side of the Jordan River, from its source south to Galilee. This is the border territory today between Syria and Israel. Our reading informs us that God wanted the destruction of the altars of Baal, but no instructions from God to do the same with the golden calves. Could it be that the Lord always leaves a test in place to see whether or not we will decide for Him or otherwise?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I decide for You 100%. May I be granted grace, intelligence, and a heart that is true to You in all things. I pray that I will put out of my life all idols, those things that take priority ahead of You. I realize that to worship is to ascribe worth to someone or something. I worship You, Lord God; all else fades away in the focus of my life on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In the late 1970s I took my sons out of high school for the month of March and we back-packed throughout Israel. However, when we arrived at Vered Hagalil, a dude ranch just above the Mount of Beatitudes north of the Sea of Galilee, we rented horses for a day and rode across the hillsides and back for 20 miles or so. By the time we arrived at the northern stretch of the Jordan river, I realized that while I was doing fine walking and carrying a large back pack, I was not in shape for long periods in the saddle. I was very sore on a certain part of my anatomy! I remember jumping into the river, clothes and all, propping my feet against a fallen tree trunk and lying upstream into the current. The fast flowing waters of the Jordan provided the best and most refreshing massage imaginable. When my spiritual muscles and joints are tired and sore, I picture myself doing the same as I lie back into the river of prayer and worship. It’s amazing how refreshed I am after doing this. I’m ready to mount up and go again.

Yours for the refreshing streams of God’s Presence,

David

P.S.  Below are pictures from our backpack & horseback trek across Israel in 1978, including the northern Galilee region and the rushing Jordan River.

My sons Reynold & Ron with me backpacking around Israel in 1978.

 

Riding across the hills north of the Sea of Galilee. Reynold (left) was 16 and Ron (right) was 14.

Me lying upsream in the Jordan having a blessed massage that I needed after a long horseback ride.

My boys next to a rushing Jordan River in Northern Israel.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

THE WRONG PATH

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 9

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

 

Southeast of Haifa lies Mount Carmel. As you stand on its peak, below you can see the fertile plains of the Jezreel Valley which, during the course of 7,000 years, has seen countless battles. The Book of Revelation identifies this spot as the place where the final battle of Armageddon will be fought. It was on Mount Carmel that Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 9:6

Then he arose and went into the house. And he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel…'”

God endorsed the appointment of Jehu to replace Ahab. What fresh new potential! Almost immediately Jehu’s choices led him down the wrong path. He murdered both the King of Israel and the King of Judah, who, with their armies, were defending their lands against Syria. We understand that the events of the tragic, as well as the blessed, history of the people of God were written down so that we might learn from the things they did wrong as well as the things they did right. Let us remember that, while today’s reading shows the mess made by those who do wrong, there were still thousands of people who were humbly serving the God of Elijah and Elisha.
Like Jehu, we are always in danger of relying on a past blessing while we are in the process of moving rapidly away from God. We can never rely on previous experience with God as a guarantee that we are right in His sight now. We must make a deliberate decision to communicate with God and hear from Him every day. Jesus, in His humanity, did that. He rose early in the morning and spent time in prayer. He was receiving His guidance for the day. Therefore, He could say, “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that please Him” (John 8:29).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, thank You for setting such an example for me. You demonstrated that as a human being, not using Your divine nature to help Yourself, I too can “do the things that please Him.” I ask that I will be given daily grace to remain always faithful to You. Because of Your indwelling Presence, I live with confidence in Your keeping power. May the smile of Your approval be upon me. In Your Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

From my earliest memories hearing or reading children’s Bible stories, I saw Jehu as a hero. Those stories would gloss over the worst parts. Jehu driving his chariot “furiously” was an exciting mental picture for me. I could imagine myself driving a chariot like that. Then there was the death of Jezebel and the dogs consuming the remains of this exceedingly wicked woman. I may have been older when I remember thinking that this was justice because of her crimes against humanity. Around this time I also remember seeing the body of the Italian dictator, Mussolini, near the close of World War II, hanging from a balcony in a central city square. It was justice, people said. I understood from Scripture that all of us “reap what we have sown.” A New Testament reading I’ve just looked up is Galatians 6:7-10. Those verses speak to me of reaping good things also. This “good” reaping will continue into eternity in Heaven as I stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where believers are judged according to their works and eternal rewards are given or withheld (see 2 Corinthians 5:6-10).

Yours for laying up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21),

David

P.S. I have chosen to ask my son Ron to continue recording the video version of my blog, since I have not quite been up to the task lately. Thank you for your ongoing prayers! The “vlogs” can be found HERE.

The statue of Elijah at the Carmelite Monastery on Mount Carmel reflects the Lord’s victory over the prophets of Baal. Shortly afterward, fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the altar, and even the water.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A LAMP

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 8

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

 

On display at the Convent of the Sisters of Zion in the Old City of Jerusalem on the Via Delarosa are several oil lamps from ancient times.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 8:19

Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of His servant David, as He promised him to give a lamp to him and his sons forever.

The writer of these words in our reading must have caught a faint glimpse of the glory that was to come, that of Jesus, Son of David. He spoke prophetically when he wrote that God had promised David a lamp, for Jesus is the Light of the world, a Light that shines more brightly than many lamps. Consider the statements of Jesus before and after His “I am the Light of the world” declaration (John 8:1-20). The hymn, “Amazing Grace” gets it right: “I…was blind but now I see.” In Christ we’ve moved out of the darkness into the light.
In yesterday’s reading, the servant of Elisha, Gehazi, became a leper. We considered the possibility that Gehazi may have been one of the lepers who said, “We are not doing what is right. This is a day of good news and we remain silent” (2 Kings 7:9). He may have repented and the leprosy healed, because here we see him back in his job as Elisha’s assistant. This is speculation, as we are not told the details. God’s mercy “endures forever.” We are told this 26 times in the 26 verses of Psalm 136.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You light up my life. I pray for grace to always walk in the light as You are in the light (1 John 1:7). In Your bright and shining Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ll never forget the morning that Debbie Boone appeared on 100 Huntley Street in the late 80’s. Her hit song You Light Up My Life had been at the top of the pop charts. She was in Toronto in a stage production where she was playing the part of Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. As we entered into our prayer time before going to air, Debbie sobbed, saying to the Lord, “It’s been so long, so long, Lord.” She was experiencing the Presence of the Lord in our Green Room as we knelt in prayer, and with her busy schedule, even though she knew Jesus as her Saviour, she may not have taken the time to let His Light permeate her daily experience. I trust I’m not being too repetitive when I write again…Jesus changes everything! I pray again, “Lord Jesus, I throw open the blinds that hide or dim Your Light. I see You Jesus! Shine Jesus shine!” As the Scriptures say, “But we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).

Yours for Jesus, our “Lamp,”

David

P.S. Here’s a video of Debbie Boone when she came back to 100 Huntley Street in the mid-90’s. At the beginning of the interview with Lorna Dueck (after she sings), Debbie shares who she was thinking of each time she sang You Light Up My Life (click).here

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

CHARIOTS OF FIRE

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 6-7

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

 

Herod’s Gate (named after Herod the Great), also known as Gate of the Flowers, is a gate in the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. It adjoins the Muslim Quarter and is a short distance east of the Damascus Gate. The city gate that is mentioned in 2 Kings 7:1 may have looked like this.

 

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 6:17

And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

As our key verse illustrates, occasionally God allows a brief glimpse of the eternal realities that we cannot see with normal sight. But let us be extremely careful and remember that the devil is an angel and 1/3 of the angels of Heaven were consigned to this Earth with Satan. We can be confident of God’s angelic protection. His angels are a majority of at least 2 to 1, and God could’ve created more; whereas the devil is the destroyer, not the creator. Here is a New Testament reading on angels (Hebrews 1:1-14). There is a religious cult at our doors from time to time that teaches that Jesus is an angel. Not so! He is God! (Hebrews 1:8). The prince of darkness, who masquerades as an angel of light, will do all he can to diminish Jesus.
The King of Israel and his court represent human authority. Elisha and the elders represent spiritual authority, which grows directly in proportion to the fervency of the prayers and faith of spiritual leaders. This daily Bible reading discipline will grow our prayer life and our faith. A worthy and effective goal is to spend an equal time in prayer as we spend reading God’s Word. That way, our hearts will be as full of God as our heads.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, as Your disciples asked You, “Teach us to pray!” Even so, I ask You this blessing, not just what to say when I pray, Lord, but to actually do it with fervency. I believe You now for Your Spirit to come upon me, giving me a spirit of intercession. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As I read today’s Scriptures, I thought how that during the years 1938 to 1945, when my Dad was separated from us by WW2, my mother carried the family devotions responsiibility. Thank you, Norma Hazel Pritchard Mainse, for being a great MOTHER!!! (see photo below).

The well-known London, England, pastor, Charles Spurgeon, preached on “Man’s Extremity, God’s Opportunity.” I think of his message as I meditate on the circumstances of Israel in today’s reading. If you can find the time, click here to read Spurgeon’s sermon (PDF file).

Here’s a little insight about the four lepers mentioned in 2 Kings 7:3. There is a tradition, not in the Bible, that these were the former servants of Elisha, Gehazi and his three sons. Review from yesterday 2 Kings 5:27.

Yours for fervently inviting God’s intervention in our lives and circumstances,

David

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day month!

My mother, Norma Hazel Pritchard Mainse

Monday, May 13, 2019

IDENTIFY

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 4-5

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

 

Seen in this photo is the Jordan River as it enters the northern part of the Sea of Galilee. In our reading, General Naaman, a leper from Syria, dipped his body seven times in the Jordan and was completely healed. This part of the Jordan Valley is a tangle of dense thorn bushes and tropical vegetation. In the Hebrew Bible it is called the “jungle of the Jordan” (Jeremiah 12:5; 49:19).

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 4:34

And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm.

Elisha identifies totally with this child. There had been an intervention of God in the child’s birth, and now in his return to life. God, in Jesus, has been involved with all of us, right from the beginning. We died spiritually. Christ, on the Cross, identified with us in our separation from life. He breathed into us the breath of life (John 20:19-22). This may have been a prophetic act by Jesus, predicting the time, seven weeks later, when the breath of God, as a rushing mighty wind, would fill the Upper Room (Acts 2:1-4). The sign of life for the child was to sneeze seven times and open his eyes. The sign of life at Pentecost, which continued throughout the history book of the early Church, was speaking in tongues, and life surged back into those who believed and received.
In today’s reading, the miracle of the oil teaches us that God provides according to our capacity to receive. The miracle of the flour in the pot and the supernatural provision of bread illustrate the power of Jesus, the Bread (flour) of Life, who removes the poison of sin which brings death. The cleansing of Naaman from leprosy is a powerful story of God’s grace when this proud Syrian General humbled himself. The greed of Gehazi, who became a leper, is a strong lesson for us all.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will learn from my daily readings. The child in today’s reading opened his eyes as another sign of life. Please open the eyes of my understanding so that I may see with insight all that You would reveal to me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

God, who healed Naaman, is our God! In the Fall of 1955, Doctors Gamble and Flak of Peterborough, Ontario, told the President and Dean of the Bible College where I was a student in residence that they did not expect me to survive. The students identified with me in fasting and prayer. In my perception it seemed that the school officials were swimming into my dorm room. I was delirious with a fever of 105 degrees. They identified with me in the laying on of hands. I felt immediately like I was under a cooling shower. The fever departed and I got up and dressed, got into my 1947 Plymouth car, drove to the hospital, and asked Emergency to call the doctor. I experienced a miracle! God had one or two things for me to do.

Yours for God’s miracles,

David

P.S. I promised the other day that I would share with you a March, 2000 newspaper article from The Ottawa Citizen about the conversion of Canada’s first Prime Minister. It’s a poor photo of part of the article, but the headline says it all (click on the photo to enlarge it)…

Sir John A

Sunday, May 12, 2019

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 3

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

 

Here at the southern end of the Dead Sea you can see how dry and difficult the land would be to inhabit or even cross. The Kings of Israel and Judah took this route in their campaign against Moab, and here God provided the miracle of water.

 

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 3:15

But now bring me a musician.

What was Elisha doing? Why, when they wanted to hear from God, would he ask for a musician? Does this make sense? Yes! For anyone who has experienced the wonderful uplifting impact of worshipping God through music, it does make sense.
The Psalms continually urge us to sing and make music in joyful praise and worship! Psalms 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 101, and others exhort us to sing unto the Lord (click here for Psalm 100). Before we began the 100 Huntley Street daily telecasts, Psalm 100 was given to us by the Lord. We did several TV specials from 1975 to 1977 where we raised child care support for Calcutta, India. When this Psalm was read live on air and we would sing God’s praise, the telephones, which had been silent, filled with calls from new sponsors. God did miracles. He encouraged many people to hear from Him and respond as we worshipped. We turned these child sponsors over to World Vision for their excellent administration. This began the use of TV by World Vision, and they have become the largest child care agency in the world. Millions of children and their families have been recipients of this miracle of provision from God.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I sing unto You “a new song.” I pray for Your Holy Spirit to fill me with the refreshing water of life. You said, Lord Jesus, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). I’m doing that just now as I worship You. My spiritual thirst is being quenched. Thank You, Jesus!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

This month we will celebrate mothers! I’ve been so very blessed by the music of the mother of my four children. In the churches I pastored, she played piano or organ and led choirs. I was reading my diary from January 2, 1963. Here’s some of what I read: “We measured the children and weighed them. Elaine, 3′ 5″ and 40 lbs – Ellen, 3′ and 30 lbs – Reynold 2′ 8″ and 29 lbs. Norma-Jean is 3 and 1/2 months pregnant and weighs ???” (I’m being careful here). I love you, mother of my children. X0 X0! Ron arrived on May 29th, 1963, in the Deep River hospital. Ann, the mother of Ron’s three children, also gave birth to their daughter Andrea on May 29th, 1986. Andrea is now married to Rev. Jason Patterson, has earned her PhD, and is a mother of two herself.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you who have biological or adopted children and all women who celebrate being spiritual mothers to many children!

Yours because of “MOTHERS,”

David

P.S. Here’s a link I found on You Tube to a beautiful rendition of “Sing Unto the Lord” by a lovely couple. I believe they are from India (click here). You may have to endure an automobile commercial before the song, but it’s worth waiting for.

Another photo of the desert wilderness at the south end of the Dead Sea. David Reynold, our oldest son, has taken some amazing photographs. I must include soon some of his Uganda photos where he and the mother of his three children, Kathy, serve as missionaries.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

GUIDANCE

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 1-2

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 Ancient Agora Museum in Athens Greece is a monument base commemorating the victory in a race at the Panathenaic Games from the 4th century BC. In these games a fully armed warrior jumps on and off a moving chariot. In today’s reading a chariot and horses of fire appear.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 1:6a

So they said to him, “A man came up to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go, return to the king who sent you, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?…'”‘”

The first lesson from today’s reading is that we are to have nothing to do with any aspect of the occult. It’s tempting to try to know the future through non-biblical means. Seeking such knowledge brought the curse of death on Ahaziah. Let us heed the warning of Elijah!
The second lesson is that we must avoid distractions. The word to Elisha was that if he saw Elijah ascend, he would receive a double portion (the eldest son received double what others received as an inheritance, because he took care of needy family members). If Elisha had watched the chariot and the horses, he would have missed the blessing. He focused totally on Elijah, who was not taken up in the chariot, but in a whirlwind. Let us, with laser-like focus, keep our eyes on Jesus, and not be distracted by miracles, signs and wonders.
Thirdly, consider the differences between Elijah and Elisha. Elijah, according to the Scriptures, is a type of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13). Elisha reminds us of Jesus. Elijah’s ministry emphasized judgment and the Law. He lived an austere life separated from the people. Elisha lived in constant touch with ordinary people, and his ministry emphasized life and grace.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, please help me to focus on You and You alone. You hold my future in Your hands. I trust You for daily guidance. Grant me grace to keep my eyes on You, Lord Jesus, and I know that as I refuse to be distracted, I can’t go wrong. Thank You, Jesus! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have a friend named Herman. Herman was a salesman for Litton Industries, a company that, among other products, manufactured a system for aircraft called “Inertial Navigation.” One day he shared this story with me…

“I’ve just sold and installed one of our systems in the corporate jet of the President of Home Oil of Calgary, Alberta. In order to have automatic guidance to your destination, you punch into the onboard computer the co-ordinates of the latitude and longitude of your desired destination. The unit was installed in Toronto and carried the President to Calgary. Herman received a call from Calgary about four hours after departure. The President sounded angry. He said, ‘We got over Calgary air space and then trouble. It landed us one foot to the left of the centre line on the runway.’ Then he burst into laughter.”

What amazing accuracy! The lesson Herman taught me was that if I want guidance, I simply put God’s promises into effect by praying and believing, and then take off. He has promised guidance to His desired destination for my life. This removes the potential for human error. Solomon got it right when he wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Yours to help navigate our lives always to the centre line on the runway of life. God’s will is our destination, and we must not be distracted by other considerations,

David

Arrowheads displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Pella, Greece.

A warrior’s helmet displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Pella, Greece. By the time the books of Kings conclude, Greece was just beginning to rise as a world military power.