TITLE: A Bad Place
DATE: July 22, 2019
TEXT:. Matthew 23:37 - ESV - “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed.
During all of our travels Pam and I have had our hosts warn us, “This is the part of the city you don’t want to be in after dark.”
Sometimes that location encompasses a very small area; other times the undesirability factor can cover most of the community. One such nightmare of a city is Buenaventura, Columbia. In 2014, Human Rights Watch described Buenaventura as Colombia's most dangerous city, one "dominated by powerful criminal groups.” Since 2014 things haven’t gotten any better.
Indeed, they have become worse. During the first five-months of 2018 the homicide rate in this 400,000 member city was 31. Thus year, during the same period of time, more than 51 people have been murdered... some in the most gruesome of ways.
Many of the law-abiding citizens of Buenaventura have become discouraged. When they’re asked if there is any hope, they shrug their shoulders. When someone inquires,’ “What can make things different?”; they shake their heads in sorrow and sadness.
I am pleased to tell you that there is one man in Buenaventura who has not succumbed to desolation and the feeling that Satan is unconquerable.
That man is Ruben Dario Montoya and he is the Bishop of the city.
It is his plan to enter into a helicopter (supplied by the Columbian Navy) and from a position high over the city streets anoint the town with holy water and at the same time pronounce an exorcism prayer.
Monsignor Montoya says,” We have to drive the devil out of Buenaventura, to see if we can restore the peace and tranquility that our city has lost due to so many crimes, acts of corruption, and with so much evil and drug trafficking that invades our port."
Now I don’t know if an exorcism of an entire city is going to work and bring about those positive changes. I do know that Montoya’s on the right path. Our Savior, in His lament over Jerusalem indicated that things might have gone differently if they had been willing to receive Him.
Jeremiah 18:8 seems to say the same thing. Read and see. The Lord said, “and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.”
The Lord Jesus gave His life so we might have forgiveness and life eternal... but He also died so our lives might find peace, contentment and joy right here. That’s what the Monsignor is trying to bring about. By God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s power, may the devil be banished, at least for a while from Buenaventura.... .
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, truly You are all-powerful; and You are the Lord. Today we pray for cities all around the world which are unsafe. May Christians do all they can to establish Your grace and peace in those places. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The devotion for today was inspired by various recent news articles. For further reading you may wish to go to this address: and the article written by .Ardren Dier for Newwser on July 1, 2019. See the article at: https://www.newser.com/story/277662/entire-city-to-undergo-exorcism-via-helicopter.html?utm_source=share&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=def
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html