The Third Day

Chapter 48

Good Monday Morning to this week 49 of 2020

It seems apparent from the scriptural record that the third day was selected for a given activity or matter at hand for some distinct purpose and attendant emphasis, which those who were involved in the situation understood.

Third day. And God said: ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good.

The apostle Peter denied knowing Jesus three times following the evening of his arrest. Jesus was resurrected from the grave three days after his death and burial.

The abundant use of the third day argues for viewing the third day as a literary motif that could be employed for several reasons.

Indeed, the number three or its compounds occurs hundreds of times. Noah had three sons and Job had three daughters. The Ark of the Covenant contained three sacred objects ‘The gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant” Solomon’s Palace of the Forest of Lebanon was designed with windows “placed high in sets of three facing each other. Likewise, in John’s vision a triple entrance way marked all four sides of the city of the New Jerusalem. David “bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground and Daniel regularly prayed three times a day giving thanks to God. Israelite men were required to appear before the Lord three times in a year: “Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose.

The number three appears often in measurements of time as well. For example, Moses and Aaron petitioned Pharaoh, “Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God. The fleeing Hebrews went three days without finding water in the Desert of Shur. When the Hebrews neared the Jordan River they were informed, “Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.

In some contexts the third day appears to emphasize the presence of new information that will generate further activity. The third day and number 3 mean divine wholeness, completeness and perfection in the context of many biblical stories.

Thus on the third day Laban learned that Jacob had fled with his wives and property. The entire episode thus contains not only historical information, but the presence of the third day at the outset of the narrative alerts the reader to expect that the account will contain more details.

Similarly, on the third day Joshua and the Israelites learned that the Gibeonites had used deception when Israel made a treaty with them and so set out for their cities. Once again it is likely that the mention of the three days that had elapsed after making the inviolable treaty before the Israelites gained information of their being duped and the attention drawn to the third day alerts the hearer/reader that something out of the ordinary was about to happen.

When David was not allowed to accompany the Philistine forces to the battle. Upon reaching there on the third day, he learned that an Amalekite group had raided and burned the city. The presence of the third day motif at the beginning of the narrative not only reinforces David’s expected reaction but points to the probable success of his mission.

In an interesting case of the occurrence of three days and the third day motif together, Joseph instructs his brothers as to what they must do in order to verify that they had been telling the truth to the one whom they understood to be a powerful Egyptian official rather than their brother. Here again the third day motif may well send a signal that important developments are to follow. Indeed, the third day here reflects the fact that after the prescribed waiting period, important decisions were to be made on the third day.

This year we’ve been waiting for this third day. We often look to the next day to make ends meet. On the the second day we hope for better change or an ending to current situations. I think we should start looking, waiting and longing for the third day. Hosea writes: After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.

Lets pray for this third and new day together. Let’s pray for the many situations in which not even the second day wants to come. Let’s pray for this third day for the compassion of the Lord to come to our neighbourhoods and surroundings. Let’s pray for this third day for many personal areas in our lives that are needing to transition from the 1st to the 3rd day.

I wish you the words for your prayers and for us to see this miracle of the third day happening in our lives and in the lives of many around us.


Seven to Ponder

Chapter 47

Good Monday Morning to this week 48 of 2020

Seven quotes and verses that blow my mind. God’s word blows my mind a lot. It is so full of wisdom, truth, hope, and encouragement, and I am inspired every time I read it. Nonetheless, there are certain passages that are extraordinarily incredible, so here are my big six Bible verses and one great quote to start this new week!

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.  Dave Tomlinson

How then does a man gain the essence of wisdom? We cross the threshold of true knowledge when we live in complete awe and adoration of God. Stubborn know-it-alls will never stop to do this, for they scorn true wisdom and knowledge. Proverbs

You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. Job

Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Isaiah

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Lamentations

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wishing you a blessed start into this new week!

Many Dwellings

Chapter 46

Good Monday Morning to this week 47 of 2020

“The wind blows where it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8

Recently I was asking God to speak to me and was so sure that it would be in words, in a book or in a message. The sentence with the expected words didn’t arrive, I started to get impatient and continued my journey to work. Then something strange happened, a new song started on my playlist, it played with a very slow beautiful pad of a synthesizer and bass introducing the tune. It was as if God was way saying, I have many dwellings – I will speak to you through music and tunes! Listen in! I was greatly humbled and moved. Then a friend asked me to send the song to him, but I can’t find it on my playlist anymore.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. John 14:16

The Paraclete means advocate or helper and comes from the Koine in Greek. It’s a combination of “para” (beside/alongside) and “kalein” to call, the word first appears in the Bible in John 14:16. John Muddiman explain; The word parakletos is a verbal adjective, often used of one called to help in a law court. In the Jewish tradition the word was transcribed with Hebrew letters and used for angels, prophets, and the just as advocates before God’s court. The word is filled with a complex meaning: the Spirit replaces Jesus, is an advocate and a witness, but also consoles the disciples.

Keener, Craig, Gift and Giver, writes about John 14:2–3. In the passage, Jesus assures his disciples that he is going to the Father’s house to prepare a place for them among the many dwellings “mansions” He promises that he will return to them and that they will be with him forever in his Father’s house. It is not surprising if we are unsure what Jesus was talking about, for even Jesus’ original disciples were confused. First, Jesus explains what he means by his coming again to his disciples after the resurrection. At that time he will give them his Spirit, through whom they will experience his presence and resurrection life. Second, Jesus explains what he means by the “dwellings” in the Father’s house: our current dwelling in God’s presence. Through the Spirit, Jesus and the Father will come and make their dwelling within each disciple, thus making them temples of the Lord (the Father’s house). The term dwell, or abide, which is the verb form of dwelling, appears several times in John 15, where Jesus talks about dwelling with us and we with him.

In the description of Paul Young in “The Shack” The Holy Spirit appears as a semi-transparent Asian woman named Sarayu. Young explains in his interview with Kim Gravel that this name, which is a Hindi word for a refreshing wind, was suggested to him by an Indian friend. He had been looking for a word that carried a sense of the Spirit as a wind, which is a biblical image of the Spirit’s activity.  In fact, the Greek word for spirit, pneuma, also means wind. The derivation of the name and the ethereal nature of Sarayu make this depiction of the Spirit relatively easy to accept, especially since most Christians are unlikely to conceive of the Spirit as either male or female. In fact, the clear depiction of the Spirit as a person is probably a healthy redress to the tendency some believers have to think of Him as merely an impersonal force to be referred to as “it”.

That means we seek not a single experience but a continuing relationship, daily encountering our master in the power of his Holy Spirit, living out of the power already imparted to us when we became followers of Jesus Christ. But if we become more yielded to his power in our lives through such experiences as Acts describes, then by all means we should be ready to encounter God in many different dwellings.

To the rational mind, the things of the Spirit often seem like foolishness. We can trust our heavenly Father to give us good gifts when we ask for them. So let us be unafraid and press in to ask Him for more of his wonderful Holy Spirit, more of his Dwellings, his Comforter, his Pneuma, His Sarayu – all that we may abide in Him!

Wishing you blessed week, dwelling in His wind!

What’s your tweet?

Chapter 45

Good Monday Morning to this week 46 of 2020

John 11:35 – “Jesus wept.”

Many of us have been following tweets sent out in the last days and weeks. Here a few nice ones from #realbibletweets

❦Andrew – A storm’s coming toward our boat & we FORGOT TO BRING JESUS!!! #doomed
❦Philip – Get bread for 5,000 men? Sure, Jesus. Good thing I have a wheat field in my pocket. #sheesh
❦Mark – The look on Peter’s face when he took 2 steps on water & then started to sink? #priceless.
❦Moses – Thought for sure “Thou shalt not be a jerk” was gonna make the Top Ten.
❦Jesus – The Baptists are going to HATE my first miracle. #IKnowTheFuture
❦God – Every week, I’m reminded that the best idea I ever had was making everyone take a day off. #RestIsVeryGood
❦Jabez – Said a little prayer, & out of the blue I get a surprise delivery of a gigantic tent! #PrayAndReceive
❦Peter – Crushed it. #OneSermonThreeThousandConverts
❦Mary – I know every mom thinks her kids are perfect, by my 1st born son really is perfect. Like, divine without sin perfection. #boom
❦Gideon – Put fleece out 3rd time. No dew anywhere. Just a message written in the sand: Don’t push your luck.
❦Lazarus – Guess I can throw away this YOLO shirt. #youonlyliveonce #livingtwice
❦Peter – Jesus wants us to stay awake while he prays. This from the man who slept through a storm!
❦Noah – I can’t help but get a little bit nervous every time it starts raining.
❦Jesus – Love singing praises with my disciples… but I still sometimes secretly hum “How Great Is Our God.” #IKnowTheFuture
❦Paul – Whenever things get boring, I like to toss out a resurrection question then sit back & watch the Pharisees & Sadducees go at it.
❦RichYoungRuler – Luckily, I’m rich enough to build a gigantic needle that camels can run through. #boom
❦Eve – Adam thinks he’s soooo funny asking me to bake an apple pie.
❦Moses – To this day, I refuse to carry anything in a basket or ride on a raft.
❦God – I gave Jesus the keys ❦Satan. He can walk in your place any time he wants.
❦Peter – Greatest. Comeback. EVER! #MyJesus
❦ShepherdSam – Hearing angelic choir? Priceless. Having that beautiful tune stuck in my head ever since? Driving me insane.
❦Jesus – Please stop tweeting end time questions at me. I PROMISE I DO NOT KNOW THE DAY OR HOUR!
❦Solomon – “To everything there is a season. Now is the time to heal!”

What is your tweet this week?

Wishing a blessed week!

Soli Deo gloria

Chapter 44

Good Monday Morning to this week 45 of 2020

Soli Deo Gloria! For the Glory of God Alone!

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Poverty of spirit (Matthew 5:2) is the Spirit emptying the heart of self that Christ may fill it: it is a sense of need and destitution. A. W. Pink

According to Philip Melanchthon, 31 October 1517 was the day German monk Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Historians and other experts on the subject argue that Luther may have chosen All Hallows’ Eve on purpose to get the attention of common people, although that has never been proved.

The five solae (from Latin, sola, lit. “alone”; occasionally Anglicized to five solas) of the Protestant Reformation are a foundational set of principles held by theologians and clergy to be central to the doctrine of salvation. More recently, certain scholars have suggested that there should be additional solas on the list: Sola ecclesia (“the Church alone”), Sola caritas (“Charitable-love alone”) and Sola Spiritus (In the “Spirit alone”).

Soli Deo gloria is a Latin term for Glory to God alone. It has been used by artists like Johann Sebastian Bach, the Baroque composer wrote the initials “S. D. G.” at the end of all his church compositions and also applied it to some, but not all, his secular works to signify that the work was produced for the sake of praising God. As a greeting, it was used by monks in written communication. As a doctrine, it means that everything is done for God’s glory to the exclusion of mankind’s self-glorification and pride. Christians are to be motivated and inspired by God’s glory and not their own.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen Romans 11:36

God has surely promised His grace to the humbled: that is to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, counsel pleasure and work of Another – God alone.” – Martin Luther

Wishing you a week “Soli Deo gloria” with this quote:

I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need.
Charles H. Spurgeon


Faithful Wounds

Chapter 43

Good Monday Morning to this week 44 of 2020

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Proverbs 27.6

We just about all knows Cory Asbury as the guy who sings “Reckless Love”
Remember the lyrics with “leaving the 99”:

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah”

Yesterday evening I heard the song “Faithful Wounds” on a livestream and it truly got me by surprise. We’re so used to the smashing hits coming out, packed with hope songs, upbeat texts. Then comes an album packed with deep, thoughtful songs as if not caring for this previous mega-hit or much for his record company as a whole.

Fair warning: this album is not for the weak of heart. To Love a Fool is packed with heavy and raw emotion about encountering God, biblical truths and the messiness sin. The lyrics are not sugar coated  paired with an upbeat poppy sound to make it seem like a happy-go-lucky kind of life; they are honest, and hard to hear sometimes. Of course there is the everlasting truths of God that are more positive and inspiring painted throughout as well, but there is plenty of real-life grit within these stories too.

Let’s look at the lyrics:

Vers 1
God I’m wrestling with the way then again, again
I am patience, a disease, in this cage from mice and men
They say “Boy you better keep running” but this place I can’t sustain
But my head knows to trust you but the heart of me is slain

Faithful are the wounds of a friend
Faithful are the dealings of your hand
The troubles and the trials like the gold refining fire
Faithful are the wounds of a friend

Vers 2
God these questions, that just won’t leave me alone, alone, alone
Will this crushing ever end?
Or is this ache now my home?
Am I a prisoner of hope? But just the warden of my pain
When my head knows to trust you but the heart of me is slain

Chorus 2
And faithful are the wounds of a friend
Faithful like the tides pulled by your hand
I’ve learned to piece the wage that pushed my soul into a cage
Faithful are the wounds of a friend

“Faithful Wounds” a very impactful songs. It’s a cry out to God with the reminder that these trials, tribulations and sufferings we encounter in this life are necessary for our growth and sanctification. It also is a reminder that Jesus endured the wounds of the cross to save me and you from our sins and offer us eternal life in the love of Christ.

Songs overflowing with sensitive topics, it seems like the right way to go. Thank you Cory Asbury for not shying away from the tougher and messier things we do experience, feel, think and do, as well as look at the not so pretty parts of ourselves too. It’s very refreshing to hear something so raw, open a dare and convicting shared on an album.

Wishing you a open and honest dialog with God this week!


Ps: The Youtube Link to the Song:

Lectio Divina

Chapter 42

Good Monday Morning to this week 43 of 2020

Deuteronomy 11:18 : “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

This week we were blessed with an aged person at our home. She keeps repeating verses of all ranges of culture and home and even scripture. When I was young we were also taught quite a few rhimes and bible verses as well and it’s interesting to see how the mind can memorize it for many, many years up into high age.

One way I came across: A prayer method for reading and praying with the Bible:
“Lectio Divina”

Lectio divina is broken down into the following steps named in Latin:

Lectio (reading)
Meditatio (meditation)
Oratio (prayer)
Contemplatio (contemplation)
Actio (action)

Each of these steps together form a process by which we encounter God in his sacred word and respond to his grace. 

Lectio (Reading)

We understand what the passage we are reading says in itself. At this stage we do not yet consider our own lives in connection with the Scriptures. We do not let our opinions influence our reading, but seek to understand the message of the passage.

Meditatio (Meditation)

In the meditation phase of lectio divina, we ask, what does this text say to me, today, and to my life? We allow God to pull up certain memories of people, places, and events in our lives that relate to the passage we are reading. Meditation is also an opportunity to see ourselves in the text. In this way we come to a deeper appreciation of how God is working in our lives through the word. Having entered into the story ourselves, we can return to the present and consider the areas in our own lives that God is calling us to contemplate.

Oratio (Prayer)

Through a meditation on Scripture, we experience an intimate encounter with God that leads us to respond in prayer. Having met our Lord in His word, we courageously speak to him in our own words. In this way we consider prayer to be a simple conversation with God. This conversation that comes in various forms: we ask petitions or requests, maybe intercession, we give him thanks, and we give him praise.

Contemplatio (Contemplation)

A true encounter with the Lord always leads to transformation. Indeed, the Lord God proclaimed, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Through contemplation we come to an understanding of the parts of our lives that need to be transformed by God’s grace. We humble ourselves and open our lives up to his transformative power. At this step in the lectio divina process, we ask ourselves: What conversion of the mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me? 

Actio (Action)

Finally, although this phase is often not considered to be a part of lectio divina proper, it is an essential result of the encounter with God and His word. We do well to remember that the process of lectio divina is not concluded until it arrives at action (actio), which moves the believer to make his or her life a gift for others in charity. Having received God’s love and grace, we go forth to serve others out of the love we have been given. These acts are done out of the inspiration we receive from the acceptance in faith of God’s love.

Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. Proverbs 6: 21-22

Wishing you a blessed week as you draw from this rewarding Source.

We grow

Chapter 41

Good Monday Morning to this week 42 of 2020

You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips but far from their hearts. Jeremiah 12:2

God comes nearer to the hearts of His people.

By God’s nearness we understand not His omnipresence (that neither comes nor goes), nor His love to His people (that abides), but the sensible, sweet manifestations and outlets of it to their souls. John Flavel

We grow
Our sincere souls are sensible to God’s accesses to them in our duties, we feel His approaches to our spirit. Our hearts fills apace, the empty thoughts swell with a fulness of spiritual things, which strive for vent.

We grow
Sensible of God’s withdrawment from our spirits; we feel how the ebb follows the flood, and how the waters abate.

We grow
The Lord’s nearness to out hearts, is evident from the effect that it leaves upon our spirit. For look, as it is with the earth and plants, with respect to the approach or remove of the sun in the spring and autumn, so it is here as God speaks.

We grow
With the taste of the joy of the Lord, given to us with the fullness of His Spirit.

We grow
With a mighty strength and power coming into our soul, actuating all its faculties and graces. When God comes near, new powers enter the soul especially to the feeble the the example of King David all so often in Psalms.

We grow
By a remarkable transformation and change of Spirit following. The sight of God, the felt presence of God, is as fire, which quickly assimilates what is put into it, to its own likeness.

We grow
With a vigorous working of the heart heavenward; a mounting of the soul upward.

We grow
By a glimpse of God’s presence, going down to our hearts? Oh, how unutterable, then, must that be which is seen and felt above, where God comes as near to man as can be!

Wishing you this, His nearness and presence this week.


Grace in God-forsaken places

Chapter 40

Good Monday Morning to this week 41 of 2020

Last week I got a message with some very disturbing lines of hardship and trouble. Ending the message the question was raised and ended the conversation abruptly:

Has God forgotten us?

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
Psalm 10.1

Why do You stand afar off, O LORD?  Here, the psalmist asked a question well known to those who follow God: the concern, the anxiety, over the seeming inactivity of God. The psalmist felt that God was afar off and did even hide in times of trouble.

or in Mark 5:

If we ever wonder how bad it can get, how lonely, how divided, how isolated and separated we can become, this passage in Mark’s gospel paints the picture in haunting detail:

The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 

Brendan Busse, an Jesuite writes:

The poorest places of our world are never so poor as to be truly God-forsaken, but they have certainly been desecrated. The real scourge of poverty is not about being God-forsaken as much as having been desecrated by systems and structures, personal and social sins of violence, exclusion, and exploitation. The sanctity of life is damaged or denied by a lack of compassion and care. What God created in his goodness we have desecrated in callousness and cruelty.

In Mark 5.9: Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

God-forsaken places don’t exist and God-forsaken people even less so. You only have to visit to know that this is true. Walk into those places and up to those people and simply ask, “What is your name?” And the forsaken will be returned to themselves, the human family made a little more like what God intended. The many become one, with not a single person abandoned in self-harm or isolation, but rather something more like a family reunited, like a lost child returned home.

One way to walk out of the “God forsaken places” he further writes:
In God-forsaken place’ we do simple things – simple verbs are the heart of the matter: We share, we accompany, we collaborate.

I wish you a week full of hope and care for those feeling “God forsaken”.


Absent Amens

Chapter 41

Good Monday Morning to this week 40 of 2020


The sanctuary was empty after M. had finished preaching, this a new normal for preaching during the pandemic, one pastor from a big church writes about the absence of the Amen.

“I have had some of the most powerful times of worship preaching in a sanctuary with no people,” he said. Preaching without a congregation became “an undistracted offering to God” without the temptation “to respond to what I’m seeing in the pew.”

There is a story of a meeting between two converts to Christianity, perhaps an Indian
and a Pacific Islander-one of whom was reading in his own tongue the
Christian Scriptures. Communication between them was impossible, till
one of them thought of summing up his mental attitude with an exclamation” Hallelujah,” whereupon the other at once heartily replied ” Amen.” The Hebrew expressions had, of course, been naturalized in both languages.

The word “Amen.” The fundamental idea is “stability, steadfastness, reliability.” “Amen”,
in the Arabic , “safe, secure,” while in Hebrew “Amen” an indeclinable particle meaning verily, truly, so be it, a strong agreement or confirmation with/of something.

In the Old Testament. The first thing that strikes one about the use of
“Amen” in the Old Testament is mostly Exilic or Post-Exilic.

Benaiah, replies: “Amen Yahwe the God of my lord the king say so too! “
Jeremiah says to Hananiah: “Amen! Yahwe do so!” and “Amen Yahwe ”
Nehemiah tells us that the “congregation” pledged itself in the matter of the poor brethren by a solemn “Amen”
Tobias and Sarah were left alone he prayed, and at the end of his prayer
“she said with him, Amen
Gabael prayed and blessed Tobias, all who were present said, “Amen”

Jeremiah replies to the word” that came to him from Yahwe in the phrase:
“Amen Yahwe ” In this cases “Amen” is a kind of conversational particle, and stands by itself, prefixed to an exclamatory sentence, expressing a wish, ” So be it!”
In the later literature the “Amen” tends to become more and more liturgical

Rabbi Jose tells us that “Amen” has three powers:
1. Acceptance
2. Acquiescence (consent, approval)
3. The secret of “Amen” God, the faithful King”

If “Amen” was in common use outside of the temple, and especially in the synagogues,
it would naturally be retained by the early Christians. At all events, I Cor. I6 shows that it was in liturgical use in the days of the Apostles as a well-known formal
response of the whole congregation. In one place in the “Amen” does occur
and is immediately preceded by Maranatha. This naturally calls to mind the “Amen” as in “Come Lord Come”

German kings and emperors early began to append “Amen” to the introduc-
tory and concluding formula of state documents.

By a rather strange fate, however, this word, which, as we have seen,
originally invariably stood at the head of a sentence, is now
also frequently used in the sense of the very last of any
matter in hand. H. W. HoaGG

Could it be that Covid-19 is bringing the “Amen” back to the beginning
of our thoughts and preaching with a refocusing of God-centered speeches? In any case it need not be absent, not in our prayer, not in our speeches, not in our daily lives not even in all that we are challenged to read see and listen “online” during this pandemic.

Wishing you a blessed week!