As he got up to speak before the congregation, he felt like his knees would give out on him. His hands trembled, shaking the pages on which he had written what he wanted to say. He laid them on the podium, and smoothed them down with the back of his hand - his palms were sweaty. Speaking today was his choice; he wasn’t forced into it. It was something he felt he needed to do.
As he began to speak, his voice trembled. It was hard being this honest and open, especially in front of those whose love and respect he wanted. He had not lived a good life. He was raised in a violent household and, knowing no better, was a violent teenager and young adult. It was not until he was sent to prison that he discovered the healing power of a relationship with Jesus. He will never forget the moment he gave his life to Christ - the relief that he was not fighting his battles alone, the peace that came from acknowledging his past mistakes, and the hope for the future. Once released, he was determined to maintain these changes in his life, and continue the healing he had begun when he accepted Christ as his Savior.
And, for a while, the changes remained. He attended church, even met a Christian woman and got married. But life became difficult again, and he spiraled downward into some of his former habits, particularly drinking, which often led to lies and violence. He knew what he was doing was wrong and he did not like the person he was again becoming. He missed the healing that had been granted to him. Then a friend came to him, confronted him about his behavior. He was angry. He yelled. He smashed a bottle. He nearly hit his friend, only realizing what he was doing at the last second. He broke down in tears, once again coming before the Lord, seeking His forgiveness and His healing.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16, ESV)
November 13, 2018: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Ezra 1-5
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Commentary: In 539 BC, Cyrus, King of Persia, overthrew the Babylonians and permitted the Israelites to return to their homeland, fulfilling a prophecy by Jeremiah. Chapter 2 lists the names of those who chose to return, as not all Israelites returned, having built lives for themselves in their new homelands. Chapters 3 and 4 recount the building of the Temple and the numerous problems encountered. Haggai encouraged the people to continue their rebuilding no matter the obstacles. When they encountered more problems, the people relied upon the Lord and continued their efforts.
Focus Verses: 4:1-5 Why did the returning exiles refuse help? How is this lesson important today? Is there anyone in your life whose help you should refuse?
November 12, 2018: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Deuteronomy 13-15
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Commentary: Moses warns against false prophets. Keep in mind that false prophets may predict events that actually happen and may even acknowledge the Lord as God, however, if they try to lead the people away from the Lord and His plan, they are false prophets. False prophets are to be removed from society, as they can lead people away from the Lord. Moses addresses additional dietary laws and gives instructions on tithing. Every seventh year, the Israelites were to allow the land to rest, forgive debts, and set free their slaves. They were also to provide their slaves with the means to start over their lives.
Focus Verses: 13: 1-18 What is this passaging saying? How does it apply today? What warning does it offer to you in your life?
Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:18 am EST
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has refused to halt the execution of Mexican national Robert Ramos. Robert was arguing that his execution should be stayed as it violated his rights under the Vienna Convention. (For more information about how the Vienna Convention relates to this issue, click here) Robert also argued that his rights were violated as he had ineffective counsel during the penalty phase of his trial.
Updated: Monday, November 12, 2018 8:43 am EST
Robert Moreno Ramos is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Sixty-year-old Robert is convicted of murdering his 42-year-old wife Leticia Ramos and their two children, 7-year-old Abigail and 3-year-old Jonathan, on February 7, 1992, in Progreso, Texas. Robert has spent the last 25 years on Texas’ death row.
Robert is a Mexican national and was born in Aquascalientes, Mexico. He allegedly had a difficult childhood and was abused. He did not graduate from high school, dropping out prior to his senior year. Prior to his arrest, Robert worked as an aide for a disabled man and his family.
In November 1991, Robert Ramos began having an affair with Marisa Robledo. Marisa has stated that she did not know Ramos was married, as he had told her that his wife Leticia was a widow that he was helping to support, along with her children Jonathan and Abigail. In reality, Leticia was Robert’s wife and Jonathan and Abigail were their children.
The affair continued and eventually, Marisa wanted to get married. Ramos agreed and they set a date for February 10, 1992. On February 7, 1992, Ramos returned to the home he shared with his wife. A neighbor heard a female screaming and swearing from the house. When church members visited the family in the next couple of days, Ramos stated that they were moving to California and were too busy to say goodbye.
On February 10, 1992, Ramos and Marisa were married. Over the next two months, Ramos gave conflicting accounts of where his missing family had gone. Eventually the police were notified. Ramos was questioned by the police on March 30, 1992. He was then arrested for various traffic warrants.
On April 6, 1992, police searched Ramos’ home, discovering extensive blood evidence. Additionally, all toys and clothing belong to the missing family members had been placed in the attic. Police discovered the bodies of the Leticia, Abigail, and Jonathan, under the freshly tiled floor in the bathroom. It was determined that they had all be killed by blows to the head with a blunt object, such as a hammer.
November 9, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 45
India: Two men accused of abducting and gang raping an 8-year-old girl, have been sentenced to death after a court determined that they deserved no leniency. The rape and attempted murder of the girl caused national outrage, resulting in a quick trial for 20-year-old Irfan Mewati alias Bhaiyu and 24-year-old Asif Mewati. Due to extensive injuries, the child continues to receive treatment.
Iran: On Sunday, October 28, 2018, 35-year-old Nouri Yarkhorshidi was executed by hanging at Bandar Abbas Central Prison. He was executed for murdering the person who stole his father’s sheep in 2014.
On Saturday, November 3, 2018, 43-year-old Sami’ Mohtarami was executed by hanging at Ardakan prison. Sami’ was executed for murdering another individuals in 2015, during a car robbery.
Pouyan Khoshhal, a journalist, has been arrested for insulting a revered figure of Shia Islam, Imam Hossein (grandson of the Prophet Mohammad), by referring to his death as his “demise” instead of “martyrdom.” The newspaper where he worked as since fired him and published an apology, refusing to defend the journalist. Some are calling for Pouyan to be executed as soon as possible, which is a permissible punishment under the law.
Zahra Derakhshani was arrested in November 2016, after her husband accused her of adultery. She has recently been sentenced to death for her crime. Zahra and the man arrested with her have both denied the adultery charge.
Israel: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has signaled his approval for the Death Penalty Bill, which aims to make it easier to sentenced to death Palestinians convicted of killing Israelis or soldiers. The bill has not yet been discussed and passed in the Knesset (Parliament).
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!
Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ can anyone hope to separate themselves from the power of sin in this world. Through Him, all things are made new. For a complete listing of readings, please download our Bible Study.