All stories have a beginning. All lessons have a starting point. What better place to begin our study on the Power of Words, than in the beginning:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3, ESV)
And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. (Genesis 1:6-7, ESV)
And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:9, ESV)
And God said… (Genesis 1:11a, 14a, 20a, 24a, 26a, 29a, ESV)
And it was so. (Genesis 1:11b, 15b, 21, 24b, 27, 30b, ESV)
God said and it was! Stop and think about that! God spoke, and what He spoke, what He ordered, immediately happened! There were no battles for power, no negotiations for peace, no committee to consider all options - nothing! - except God speaking. Then it was done.
Consider the process of building something today. Depending on what it is, you may have to get permits from various agencies and the government. You have to plan out the project in exhausting detail - every last piece! You have to find backers. You have to buy the supplies, hire builders and planners, rent equipment, meet safety standards, track progress, pay employees, factor in breaks and holidays, alter plans according to delays and problems as they arise, and it goes on and on and on! Even small, backyard projects can be exhausting and time consuming - and that’s before construction starts!
Yet for God, it was simple. He spoke and it was! No complicated plans, no problems. He spoke and it was!
Even after creation, God continued to speak. He spoke to Adam and Eve, warning them what would happen if they disobeyed (Genesis 2:16-17). He spoke to Cain and Able, telling them of the proper sacrifice to make (Genesis 4:6-7). He spoke to Noah of what was to come (Genesis 7-9) and offered numerous warning to Abraham. God spoke to hundreds of people through the Bible, giving warnings, issuing laws, and answering questions. Today, He continues to speak to His children, often through the Bible. Nothing God has said has been proven false! Some prophesies have just not yet come to pass. All of the prophecies and warning that have come to pass have happened exactly as God said they would! And God said…And it was so.
God shows us that words can be used to create. Our words may not create physical objects, but they can create ideas, images, and feelings - in ourselves and others. Our words are powerful, our words are weapons, and they can be used for harm.
Words have power! Words have the power to create!
January 21, 2018: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Romans 7-8
Click here for the Daily Reading
Commentary: Mosaic Law was a point of contention between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. Paul explains that Christ fulfill Mosaic Law, which was to atone for sin. Christ was the ultimate sacrifice and atoned for all sin - past, present, and future. By accepting salvation through Christ, we should, however, want to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Mosaic Law does provide guidance (along with the life of Christ) on how to live such a life.
Focus Verses: 7:14-25 What is the meaning of this passage? Why is it important? How does it apply to you?
January 19, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 03
Iran: On Thursday, January 11, 2018, Hossein Eskandarzadeh was publicly executed by hanging in Salmas in West Azerbaijan Province. The prisoner, who allegedly suffered from mental illness, was convicted of murder seven members of his wife’s family on May 17, 2017. This was the first public execution carried out this year.
On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Abolfazl Chezahi Starahi was scheduled to be executed at Qom Central Prison. His execution has been delayed for unknown reasons. Human rights groups opposed his execution as he was allegedly a minor when he committed the crime for which he was sentenced to death. He was convicted of murder during a street fight.
Malaysia: On Monday, January 15, 2018, a court upheld the death sentences of nine Philippine nationals. They were convicted for their part in a 2013 incursion by Philippine fighters on the Malaysian part of Borneo island. Fighting lasted for month, after which, the Malaysians were able to subdue to the Philippine militants.
Morocco: Hicham Mouchtari has been sentenced to death for the murder of Abdellatif Merda, a politician. Hicham was convicted of premeditated murder. Merda’s widow, Ouafae Bensamadi was given a life sentence for her part in the crime. Hicham and Ouafae were having an affair and plotted to murder Abdellatif. Two others were also sentenced to prison terms for their part in the murder. The last execution in the nation occurred in 1993.
January 18, 2018
Anthony Allen Shore has been executed by the state of Texas. Anthony was pronounced dead at 6:28 pm on Thursday, January 18, 2018, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Anthony was 55 years of age. He was convicted of the murder of 9-year-old Diana Rebollar, 15-year-old Laurie Lee Tremblay, 16-year-old Dana Sanchez, and 21-year-old Maria Del Carmen Estrada, over a period of time from 1986 to 1995, in Harris County, Texas. Anthony spent the last 13 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Anthony was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. His family moved frequently when he a child, which did not allow him to make friends. Around the age of 13, Anthony alleges that his mother began molesting him. A few years later, he began drinking and using marijuana. Around the same time, he also alleges that he had “something” to do with the murder of a homeless man in Florida. Throughout the years, he worked as a wrecker driver, a telephone line installer, and as a general construction worker.
Anthony was married to Gina Worley in 1984, with whom he had two children. The two remained married for several years, before divorcing when Gina discovered he was having extra-marital affairs. Shortly after marring his second wife, 18-year-old Amy Lynch, charges were filed against Anthony, accusing him of molesting his two daughters. Anthony avoided jail by accepting a plea bargain that required him to register as a sex offender and submit a DNA sample to the police. Amy divorced Anthony after he attempted to strangle her. Anthony was arrest for cocaine a few years later.
On April 16, 1992, Maria Del Carmen Estrada was kidnapped, raped, and strangled to death by an unknown assailant. Police recovered DNA evidence from under her fingernails, but were unable to find a match in their database. More than ten years later, on October 24, 2003, as police were re-running DNA evidence from cold cases, they received a match for the DNA found under Maria’s fingernails. Her assailant was identified as Anthony Shore.
Police arrested Shore, who voluntarily confessed to the crime. Shore described in detail, how he offered Maria a ride in his vehicle, used a pair of shears to aid in his attempt to rape her, and ultimately, strangle her. Shore also confessed to strangling three other females - 9-year-old Diana Rebollar, 15-year-old Laurie Lee Tremblay, 16-year-old Dana Sanchez - two of whom he sexually assaulted. He also confessed to sexually assaulting one other unnamed female teenager, whom he did not kill.
Do you aspire to be a “better Christian?” Do you want to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the Lord? Well, I’ve got good news for you! It is possible! In as little as one year, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries can help you transform your relationship with the Lord!
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
Right there! That is how you are going to grow and deepen your relationship with the Lord! You have to take the first steps and draw near to Him! You have to actively seek after a relationship with the Lord. How?
A great starting point is simple: daily study of His Word, the Bible. God has given us the Bible as a history book, a textbook, a praise book, a philosophy book, a book of warning of the coming future, and so much more! By following along with our “52 Week Bible Reading Plan” (available here), daily study will allow you to completely read through the Bible in one year. It is perfect for beginners who don’t know where to start, or for those who have already read the Bible a couple dozen times. Each reading, each study can bring new meaning and realization.
The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries wants to help you! Each day, we will post a summary of the day’s reading on our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org. We will also post specific verses to focus on each day. Read through the entirety of the day’s reading. Then come back and re-read the focus verses. Prayerfully contemplate the questions asked about the reading. If you miss a day, don’t worry! Past commentary can be found under our “Scriptures” tab.
Our 2018 Daily Bible Study begins on December 31, 2017, but join us anytime! So, are you ready to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the Lord this upcoming year? Then let’s go!
Updated: January 18, 2018
Please pray for these men and women. Pray for salvation if unsaved, peace if saved, and that the innocent shall be revealed before they are executed. "The Lord is slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 ESV).
Due to ongoing legal challenges, Ohio has rescheduled multiple executions, multiple times. Beginning with 2018, this list contains only current Ohio executions. Click here for more information about Ohio's legal challenges.