Monday, August 27, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - August 27, 2018

Today's Reading:

John 7:25-52

1 Chronicles 29

Zechariah 13

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In Zechariah 13, we find a sobering and powerful promise. Yahweh tells us plainly that everyone, who is saved, will be refined in the fire, like silver or gold. But the good news to this scary picture (at first) picture is the deeper walk with Yahweh which is also promised as part of the outcome of this trying process:
Zechariah 13:9 "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My Name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, Yahweh is my God."
Today, I'm going to share a video clip with you on the process of being refined in the fire...  Maybe you're in the fire right now. If so, take courage, God is good, and He is up to something good through it all. You can trust Him. 

And, after He brings you through it, your experience with God - your depth of love for Him and understanding - will be greater by far. Fire moments are intended to purify you and will make Him more real and personal to you than He was before the trying experience.

Daily Bible Reading - August 26, 2018

Today's Reading:

John 7:1-24

1 Chronicles 27-28

Zechariah 12

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

There are two purposes for which any of us exist: 1) to be saved, 2) to help others find Salvation also - this is the Work we are all called to do for the service of the House of Yahweh. When David spoke with his son, Solomon, about God's Calling for him to build His Temple, David gave Solomon a powerful promise and blessing - one which applies to each of us today:
1 Chronicles 28:20 "And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for Yahweh God, even my God, will be with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the Work for the service of the House of Yahweh."
It is difficult, tiring and trying at times, to "Work for the service of the House of Yahweh." We do not labor to build a literal temple, rather, we labor to build up His spiritual House by strengthening and encouraging others in faithfulness in the Body of Christ.

To us, serving Him according to His Calling, comes the promise that Yahweh will be with us. He will not fail or forsake us. And no mission assignment or ministry Calling is too hard for us - when accomplished under the unction of His Spirit and power!

For example, I think of the story called Peace Child, written by Don Richardson. If ever there was an impossible mission assignment, it was this one!

As Wikipedia explains, Don Richardson is a Canadian Christian missionary, teacher, author and international speaker who worked among the tribal people of Western New Guinea, Indonesia. Richardson explains in his writings that, hidden among tribal cultures, there are practices or understandings, which he calls "redemptive analogies", which can be used to illustrate the meaning of the Christian Gospel, and help even savages to understand and accept the Sacrifice of Yahshua.

In 1962, Don, his wife Carol, and their seven-month-old baby went to work among the Sawi tribe in what was then Dutch New Guinea. The Sawi were known to be cannibalistic headhunters. Living with them in virtual isolation from the modern world involved exposure to malaria, dysentery, and hepatitis, as well as the threat of violence.

Don and his wife sought ways to better the lives of the Sawi people. They especially prayed for a way to introduce these people to Christ. In their new home in the jungle, the Richardsons set about learning the native Sawi language which was daunting in its complexity. There are 19 tenses for every verb! Don was soon able to become proficient in the dialect after a schedule of 8–10 hour daily learning sessions.

But being able to speak the people's language wasn't enough. At first, it seemed to Don that the Sawi people had no ability to appreciate the Gospel story. The Sawi culture admired Judas rather than Christ! One way which a Sawi warrior proved himself superior was by "fattening up" an enemy with "friendship", getting this target person to trust him and let his guard down, and then killing the enemy for his misplaced trust. The greater the betrayal, the greater the coupe! 

The poor missionary was at a loss! How could he teach these people about Christ, when He would appear weak to them, having been "counted coupe" upon and having fallen to the "greater" prowess of Judas!

Missionary historian Ruth A. Tucker writes:

As he learned the language and lived with the people, he became more aware of the gulf that separated his Christian worldview from the worldview of the Sawi: "In their eyes, Judas, not Jesus, was the hero of the Gospels, Jesus was just the dupe to be laughed at." Eventually Richardson discovered what he referred to as a Redemptive Analogy that pointed to the Incarnate Christ far more clearly than any biblical passage alone could have done. What he discovered was the Sawi concept of the Peace Child.
Three tribal villages were in constant battle at this time. The Richardsons were considering leaving the area, so to keep them there, the Sawi people in the embattled villages came together and decided that they would make peace with their hated enemies. Ceremonies commenced in which young children were exchanged between opposing villages. One man in particular ran toward his enemy's camp and literally gave his son to his hated foe. Observing this, Richardson wrote: "if a man would actually give his own son to his enemies, that man could be trusted!"

Because the child of a warrior from one village had been given to the enemy village to raise, no further bloodshed could be continued between them. In fact, the exchange of such a child was a sacrifice so great that - so long as that child lived (into old age) - never could either tribe betray or attack one another. This child was called "the peace child". 

After witnessing the dramatic and tearful (the poor mother was wailing at the top of her lungs) exchange of a peace child, Don realized that Yahweh, in His wisdom, and already influenced this savage culture - putting the seeds of the Gospel story into their way of life, so that the Messiah could be received and appreciated.

Don gathered the villagers together and told them the story of Heaven's Peace Child - Yahshua - who was given to God's enemies (sinful mankind) to be raised in their village (earth). Don praised God that indeed He hadn't forsaken him! Yahweh blessed His missionary with the very key needed to present Christ to these people!

Following this event many villagers converted to Christianity, a translation of the New Testament in Sawi was published, and nearly 2,500 Sawi patients were treated by Carol (who was a nurse). 

So what assignment or challenge are you up against today? Yahweh's Promise is meant for you:
1 Chronicles 28:20 "...Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for Yahweh God, even my God, will be with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the Work for the service of the House of Yahweh."