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March 31, 2015

Today’s Word

Bits of Information & Inspiration

 

Today in History

1492 – On this day, March 31, in the city of Granada, Ferdinand and Isabella signed an edict banishing from the Kingdoms of Aragon and Castile all Jews unwilling to receive baptism. The year 1492 is most often associated with Columbus and his discovery of America. But another event of tragic proportions developed that year. It gave the world the Sephardic Jews (so called because Sepharadh was a region of Spain where many Jews had settled).

By 1492, Spain, under Ferdinand and Isabella had just emerged as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith. The marriage of the two rulers eventually united Aragon and Castile, although while she lived, Isabella did not yield her authority to her husband. In Granada, the pair defeated the Islamic Moors, who had long controlled Spain. Spurred on by the cruel Grand Inquisitor Torquemada, Ferdinand and Isabella felt they must remove all heretics and non-Christians from their land in order to purge it of pagan influences and firmly establish the Christian faith.

In July 1492, the exodus began. When Columbus left on his famous voyage in August, he could not use the port of Cadiz because of the large numbers of Jews waiting to board ships in the harbor. Many Jews of Castile went to Portugal, where they were forced to pay a ransom to remain. Others went to Italy or the northern coast of Africa. Wherever they went, they were robbed.

Spain’s economy paid for its mistreatment of the Jews: many had been skilled craftsmen. Sultan Bajazet of Turkey warmly welcomed those who escaped to his country. “How can you call Ferdinand of Aragon a wise king–the same Ferdinand who impoverished his own land and enriched ours?” he asked. He employed the Jews in making weapons to fight against Europe.

Inspirational Words

“Guilt is concerned with the past. Worry is concerned about the future. Contentment enjoys the present.”
– Author Unknown

Today’s Word

No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God — his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. … But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 14 nlt

Thoughts on the Word

The Holy Spirit lives in the follower of Christ. Without the Spirit living in us, we don’t belong to Christ and cannot live for God. Without the Spirit, we will not be transformed to become like Christ. What’s more, real prayer happens only because of the Spirit’s work in our hearts. Now, this verse goes one step beyond what we’ve seen to this point: we cannot truly understand the message of God — the Scriptures of God, the Word of God — without the Holy Spirit within us. Not only did the Holy Spirit inspire God’s message (2 Tim. 3:16-17), but the Spirit helps us understand this message and apply it to our lives. We cannot follow Christ without the Spirit of Christ alive in us!

Prayer for Today

Holy God, I cannot help but fall to my knees in humble thanks that the two things most necessary for me to be saved and to live for you were provided to me by your grace. I thank you for the gift of your Son, who died for my sins and was raised to ensure my salvation. I thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who makes my life as a follower of Jesus possible. Please accept my heart’s deepest appreciation for providing what I could never achieve or deserve, because of your love for me. In Jesus’ name I offer you my thanks. Amen.

Find out more about First Baptist Church of Rantoul at www.fbcrantoul.org

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