A Rescue Operation!
For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save what had been lost.
— Luke 19:10
Denise and I had decided to relocate from the small Latvian city of Jelgava to the very heart of the capital city, Riga, which was closer to our ministry offices. After searching a long time for a residence large enough to suit our family, we found an old apartment in a building constructed in 1898 that would meet our needs. This apartment was located in a once-elegant building in Riga’s most prestigious neighborhood — that is, a building that was elegant before the Bolshevik Revolution.
In the earlier Soviet years, apartments like this one were confiscated and converted into communal flats. In the case of our apartment, this once majestic space had been divided into eight tiny apartments for eight families that shared one kitchen and one toilet! The people who lived there over a period of nearly 55 years had no respect whatsoever for this architectural treasure. Their total lack of care was most obvious in the bathroom. As men used the bathroom over the years, they had missed the toilet so many thousands of times that the acidic effect of the urine had literally burned a hole through the heavy flooring big enough to see straight through it into the apartment below! It was shameful to see what had happened to this once-luxurious apartment where an elite class of people had formerly lived.
As I walked through that horribly deteriorated apartment, I was stunned by the hints of old beauty that somehow still remained. I could see that under years of botched paint jobs, each room was adorned with massive moldings that went all the way around the ceilings. Several of the rooms contained lavish fireplaces so spectacular that they should have been on display in a museum — but the condition of these fireplaces left me aghast. This once-grandiose residence now only boasted of collapsed ceilings, crumbling plaster, and mold that had spread over large sections of the walls. To top it off, hooligans had painted derogatory words and nasty phrases all over the walls throughout the apartment.
Because the apartment was so trashed, it was available for an unbelievably low price. Actually, no one else wanted it! But we knew this was our apartment, so we purchased it and went to work restoring it. Although dirt, grime, filth, and trash were heaped in huge piles in every room, we knew that this place was restorable if we would be willing to do what was necessary to bring it back to its former glory.
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Author and Bible teacher Rick Renner invested thousands of hours into prayer and study in the writing of Sparkling Gems From the Greek 2. It is his sincere prayer that God will use this book and all the time invested into it to help you go deeper and rise higher than ever before in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Rick delves deep into God’s Word to unveil hidden riches from the Scriptures that will help you build your life daily upon a solid foundation. Through sound doctrine and empowering insights, Rick clarifies the path to an intimate and uncompromising walk with God. You will also receive vital equipment to cultivate your character and ignite your passion for Jesus so you can stand strong and victorious in the pursuit of His purposes in these uncertain times.
Although this book is designed as a daily devotional, Rick has included Greek-English indices at the back, along with more than 1,000 new Greek word studies, to make Sparkling Gems 2 a useful Greek reference tool for your own personal study.