The Bible passage for prayer, reflection, and meditation for the week of January 15-21, 2017 is Genesis 6:5-8:
The Lord saw that the wickedness (depravity) of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination or intent of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually. The Lord regretted that He had made mankind on the earth, and He was [deeply] grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy (annihilate) mankind whom I have created from the surface of the earth—not only man, but the animals and the crawling things and the birds of the air—because it [deeply] grieves Me [to see mankind’s sin] and I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor and grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:5-8, AMP)
This scripture passage shares how much sin grieves the Lord. It grieved Him so much that He chose to destroy His sin corrupted creation. It requires us to consider the depth of spiritual warfare that we are to guard ourselves against. Additionally, it requires us to contemplate sin more than superficially. Most think of sin as doing what God deems wrong. However, have you considered that our mere mortal minds cannot comprehend the depth of depravity to which sin leads that mankind has not experienced, and which God continues to protect us from?
Please take some time this week to meditate over, pray over and reflect on sin - not just sin that may challenge your life - but the idea of sin and God’s refusal to tolerate it.
January 18, 2017: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Psalm 6-8
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Commentary: Psalm 6, like all psalms in today's reading, was written by David. David tells his complaints to the Lord. After listing his woes, David is confident that the Lord will restore him. Psalm 7 was likely written when David was being chased by Saul. David begins by protesting the charges laid against him, insisting his innocence and asking to God to be the judge. In Psalm 8, David praises the Lord, marveling at His miracles and at His care for mankind.
Focus Verses:6:1-2 Have you ever rebuked another in a fit of anger? Or disciplined a child while still upset with their actions? Were you fair minded and rationally thinking? How awesome is it to know that we have a Lord who will not make the same mistakes! We are to strive to have our actions line up with those of the Lord!
Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017 2:18 pm EST
Ricky Javon Gray is scheduled to be executed at 9 pm EST, on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at the Greenville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia. Thirty-nine-year-old Ricky is convicted of the murder of 49-year-old Brian Harvey, his wife 39-year-old Kathryn, and their children, 9-year-old Stella and 4-year-old Ruby on January 1, 2006, in Richmond, Virginia. Ricky has spent the last nine years on Virginia’s death row.
Ricky was abused and neglected by his parents during his childhood. He was repeatedly sexually abused by an older brother from a young age and he began using drugs at a young age. He had previously served over 10 years in prison for armed robbery, and had just been released in October of 2005.
On January 1, 2006, Ricky Gray and his nephew Ray Dandridge and Ray’s girlfriend Ashley Baskerville, broke into the home of Brian and Kathryn Harvey in order to rob them. When they discovered that Brian and Kathryn were home, along with their daughter Ruby, they were taken to the basement and tied up. Stella was also taken to the basement and bound when she returned home from a friend’s house. They were discovered with their throats slit and blunt force trauma to the head. Their home had been set on fire following the robbery. Stella was still alive when the fire was started and smoke inhalation contributed to her death.
Gray, Dandridge, and Baskerville were also suspected in a robbery in Chesterfield County, Virginia on January 3, 2006. On January 6, 2006, police received a tip regarding the involvement of Baskerville in the murder of the Harvey family. When police arrived at the Baskerville home in Chesterfield, Virginia, they discovered that 21-year-old Ashely, her 46-year-old mother Mary Baskerville-Tucker, and her 55-year-old stepfather, Percyell Tucker had all been gagged, bound with tape, and killed by suffocation. The house had also been ransacked.
January 13, 2017
IDPN 2017 Issue 02
Bahrain: Three individuals have had their death sentences upheld by the Cassation Court. On March 3, 2014, the three suspects were part of a group that planted an explosive device and lured policemen to the scene before they detonated. The police officers were killed in the attack. Three of the eight suspects involved in the attack remain at large. All were charged with being members of a terror group and committing terroristic activities. Three of the eight were sentenced to death, while the remainder received a sentence of life in prison.
Iran: On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Traub Rashidi and Ali Cheshmeh Noushi were executed by hanging at Rajai Shahr Prison. Both were executed for Moharebeh (enmity against God). A third prisoner, Sajad, was also executed on Wednesday at Rajai Shahr Prison. Sajad was executed on drug related charges.
On Sunday, January 8, 2017, two prisoners were publicly executed by hanging in Sarpol-e Zahab in western Iran. The two men, Rouhollah Koshtemad and Sajjad Zarsineh, were both convicted of Moharebeh, or waging war against God; armed robbery and the murder of a police officer.
Nasrollah Khazaei was executed on Monday, January 2, 2017, reportedly for “carrying and keeping drugs.” According to his family, however, his case was under review and his sentence was put on hold. Now, several officials of the Iranian Prosecution Office in Tehran have spoken out, saying that Nasrollah should not have been executed.
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Morteza Heydari was executed by hanging at Maragheh Prison. He was convicted of drug related charges after being arrested in May of 2012.
On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Nassar Soltani was reportedly executed by hanging at Urmia Central Prison. Nassar was convicted of murder.
Updated: January 11, 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).
Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017 1:38 pm EST
Kosoul Chanthakoummane's execution is scheduled to occur at 6 pm CST, on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Thirty-six-year-old Kosoul is convicted of the murder of 40-year-old Sarah Ann Walker on July 8, 2006, in Mckinney, Texas. Kosoul has spent the last nine years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Kosoul spent time in juvenile facilities growing up for robbery. He also had attacked a friend, causing six fractured ribs, and a concussion, in addition to other injuries. Kosoul had previously been convicted of aggravated robbery and kidnapping in North Carolina, where he had served time, after which, he had been paroled to Texas to live with relatives. At the time of Sarah’s murder, he was wanted for a parole violation. While in Texas, he worked as a delivery man and a warehouse man.
On July 8, 2006, Mamie Sharpless, a real estate agent received a call from a man claiming to be “Chan Lee.” He wanted to look at a townhouse listed in the Craig Ranch neighborhood of McKinney, Texas. Mamie said that the man told her he had just moved to Texas from North Carolina. Mamie agreed to meet with the man between 11:30 am and noon.