The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of September 17-23, 2017, is John 21:20-22. Jesus has risen and once again revealed Himself to His disciples. During this time, Jesus and Peter have a discussion regarding Peter’s death. But Peter is not satisfied simply knowing his fate.
But Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, following—the one who also had leaned back on His breast at the supper and had said, Lord, who is it that is going to betray You? When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, Lord, what about this man? Jesus said to him, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you? [What concern is it of yours?] You follow Me! (John 21:20-22, AMP)
For many, Peter is a very relatable disciple. He does not always think before he speaks or acts, he speaks when he sometimes shouldn’t, he makes mistakes and learns from them, and he is extremely curious. In his heart, he truly loves the Lord, even when he makes mistakes, he still loves the Lord. In this week’s passage, Peter’s curiosity shows once again. Jesus reminds Peter, reminds us all, that we serve Him in the way that we have been called to serve Him. We do not need to be overly concerned about the lives and works of others, but show our support for them. This week, as you mediate on, pray over, and reflect upon the above passage, focus on your service to the Lord. What are you doing to serve him everyday? What is your role in serving Christ?
September 22, 2017: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Amos 5-9
Click here for the reading
Commentary: Amos recognizes that Israel has rejected and turned away from the Lord, for which they will be punished most severely. Amos reminds his listeners that Israel was once a leading nation, blessed by the Lord, but they have since fallen into despair and will soon be destroyed. His book ends with a message of hope: Israel will one day be restored to its full glory!
Focus Verses: 5:13-15 Words of wisdom to live by! Do these words describe your life? What changes do you need to make?
September 15, 2017
IDPN 2017 Issue 37
Egypt: A court has sentenced 11 individuals to death after they were convicted of attempted murder and violence as part of militant group gathered for terroristic purposes. They were also convicted of making explosives, assaulting a government institution and setting it ablaze, jeopardizing person freedoms, harming national unity and social peace, and providing funds and weapon to militants. Twenty-six other individuals face similar charges and will be sentenced at a later date. The case dates back to 2013.
India: Two individuals have been sentenced to death, and two other sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of participating in a 1993 attack that killed 257 individuals and wounded over 700 individuals. The 1993 attack was a serial bombing that occurred in Mumbai. Several other individuals have also been convicted and sentenced to death for participating in the attack.
Iran: On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, an unnamed 27-year-old was executed by public hanging in Eslamabad-e Gharb. He was convicted of murder.
On Thursday, September 14, 2017, Davoud Hajizadeh was executed by hanging in public in Salmas County. His crime was not reported.
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2017 11:31 am EDT
Keith Leroy Tharpe is scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EDT, on Thursday, September 26, 2017, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. Fifty-nine-year-old Keith is convicted of the murder of 29-year-old Jacqueline Freeman on September 25, 1990, in Jones County, Georgia. Keith has spent the last 26 years on Georgia's death row.
On August 28, 1990, Keith Tharpe’s wife left him and moved in with her mother. Tharpe was ordered by the courts to cease all contact with his wife and her family after he harassed them and made several threats of violence against them. Tharpe disregarded the order and called his wife on September 24, 1990, telling her that if she wanted to “play dirty,” he would show her “what dirty was.”
The following morning, on September 25, 1990, Tharpe’s wife and former sister-in-law, Jacqueline Freeman, were forced to stop their vehicle while driving to work. Tharpe had used his vehicle to block them, which forced them to stop. After they stopped, Tharpe exited his vehicle, armed with a shotgun. Tharpe ordered the two women out of their vehicle, telling Jacqueline that he was going to “[expletive deleted] you up.”
Tharpe took Jacqueline to the back of his vehicle and shot her. He then rolled her into ditch where he shot her twice more, ultimately killing her. Tharpe then drove away with his wife. When he was unable to rent a motel room, he parked his vehicle on the side of the road and raped her. She was able to call the police when she was supposed to be obtaining cash from her credit union. Tharpe was arrested later that day. He was sentenced to death on January 18, 1991.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Jacqueline Freeman and all who have been affected by Keith Tharpe’s actions. Please pray for strength for the family of Keith. Please pray that if Keith is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Keith may come to find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.
Did Abraham always know he was going to father a nation? Did David always know he was going to be king? Did Jonah always know he was going to be a prophet for the Lord? Did Esther know that her being queen was going to save the Jews from extinction? God had plans for each of their lives - and yours! Like Abraham, David, Jonah, Esther, we may not know the plans the Lord has for us, but He has one!
In the Old Testament, God spoke to reveal His word and His plans to His chosen. How does God speak to us today? From the scriptures! We can only learn to hear Him through study of His word! Let us help you in your study! Every year, we at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, invite you to participate in our “52 Week Bible Reading Plan” (available here). By using this plan, you will, within one year, have completely read through the entire Bible! No matter if this is your first time - or one-hundredth time! - reading through the Bible, a daily study is the only way to hear God’s word!
Diligent study of God’s word does not end upon reading the Bible. As with any subject of study, once you have grasped the basics, you dig deeper and increase your learning! In addition to a brief commentary on each day’s reading, we also provide focus verses for each day. After reading the through the day’s passages, go back and re-read the focus verses. Contemplate on the questions asked. What questions does the text pose for you? Check back to our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, for each day’s reading. If you miss a day, past commentary can be found under our “Scriptures” tab.
Additional, we provide a weekly verse or verses for study. Consider this passage each day as well. Pray, meditate, and reflect each day on the weekly verse or verses.
Our 2017 plan began on January 1, 2017, but it is never too late to join! The Bible is not a book to be read once, but a book to be read again and again (and again and again) - learning something new and gaining deeper understanding each time it is read! Join in our Bible study at any time and discover God’s plan for you!
Updated: September 13, 2017
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.