Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Month: December 2017 (Page 1 of 7)

Did God Really Say?

January 2 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 4-6 and Psalms 2

Lets do a quick review of a basic Christian doctrine found in these verses – “The Fall Of Mankind”

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? … ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1,4&5)

It’s true – the devil has not changed his tactics in the thousands of years since the garden – he still lies about the Word of God and he still tempts us with his faulty logic – “you will be like God, knowing good and evil”.

I recall a conversation with a young woman (age 13) as she was deciding for herself whether she would listen to the lies of the Devil, or the pure voice of God. She told me that she wanted to experience “all of life”, but what she really meant was that she wanted to “try sin” out and then see for herself what she wanted out of life. Thank God she listened to The Holy Spirit and did not stray into the lost world of lies and deception!

So much of what is available to us in this world runs contrary to the heart of God. His desire for us is only good but in order to experience the full blessing of God we have to deliberately avoid things the Devil puts in our path. Saying “no” to the sin in this world is not so hard when we do so by the grace of God.

Back to Genesis – Did you notice that it didn’t take long for sin to take a foothold in people’s lives? Cain, the first-born man who was not created by the very hands of God also became the world’s first murderer! It was not more than a few thousand years before God looked upon mankind and said, “I’ve got to start over”. Mankind’s wickedness had already reached the “intolerable” stage. It’s a good thing Noah was around or the Lord may have had to begin again with the “mankind part” of His creation.

Here’s the point – if we let things slide, it doesn’t take long for sin to take hold in our lives either! It “is crouching at your door”! (Genesis 4:7) The Christian overcomes sin by walking close to Jesus – walking in the Holy Spirit – walking in the grace of God.

God bless you richly today as you overcome!

Questions:

1. What does the enemy’s voice really sound like? How can we recognize it?
2. When we hear this “voice”, what is our means of defense against it?

Creation

January 1 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 1-3 and Psalms 1

Happy New Year!

This daily Bible reading devotional was born from a small gathering I attended on a quiet New Years Eve. As we were visiting, a few Church members “resolved” to try to read the Bible through in a year. One thing led to another and soon there was an ever-growing group of people reading their Bibles more consistently. These devotional thoughts have grown out of that New Years Eve resolution.

Reading Genesis 1-3 and Psalm 1 is always terrific. Not only is it a new beginning in Scripture reading and a New Year, but the passages are so full of revelation that I hardly know were to begin. How about – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” [Genesis 1:1] – – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” [Genesis 1:27]

My daughter and I were out walking and discussing a Grade 4 science lesson to illustrate “creation”. It was suggested that the teacher dangle a beautiful timepiece or some other visually complex device in front of the class and have them form scientific conclusions by observing the object. The students would obviously conclude that an intelligent individual “engineered” this device and a skilled craftsman manufactured it. Why then is it so difficult for people to look at the impossibly complex world around them and not “see” the engineering of God Almighty? God , who is a wonderful and caring creator, personally designed us – and the environment in which we exist. All creation shouts of His grandeur and the only real proof of God’s existence comes from what He has created and set in motion. People who ignore God are without excuse as they deliberately turn a blind eye to the Glory of God all around them. That which is exquisitely created always points directly to and lends honour to it’s Creator.

The second Scripture I want to leave with you is from Psalms 1:3; “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” – As we walk with the Lord we can expect to become “like flourishing trees” – stable, rooted & productive. Our lives are blessed beyond measure and we bring forth fruit as naturally as a healthy tree.

My prayer today for all of us is that we walk in confidence, knowing that Jesus is truly the tree of life and the Creator-God. He walks with us hour by hour and speaks to us as the day goes on. What more could we possibly ask for than to walk in fellowship with the Almighty! God Bless your day and your new year.

Questions:

1. Was there really a “Creator-God” in the beginning? How does the scientific concept of “intelligent design” support the idea that the created thing points directly to a creator?

2. What does it mean when Genesis says “God created man in His own image”?

Water Of Life

December 31 – Today’s Readings – Revelations 21-22 and Proverbs 31

Chapter 22:17 reads “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”
Here, at the end of this book, we find a pure Revelation of the heart of God towards mankind. He simply wants people to come to Him – to walk with Him – to love and to be loved by Him – to drink the water of life. What incredible living water this is – “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” [Revelation 22:1]

This “water” flowing from the throne of God brings nourishment to a special tree that only God’s children can eat from – “the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” [Revelation 22:2]

Adam and Eve could have eaten of this tree at the beginning of recorded time but they chose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead. [Genesis 2:9 &17 and 3:6]

We have this privilege now! We drink of the river of life when we “drink” Jesus! We have the ability to dispense healing to the nations now! We can change the eternal destiny of people now! They don’t have to go to a Christ-less eternity because we still have a little time left to cooperate with the Spirit of the Bride and bid them “come”. It is a “free gift” – an eternal gift. Now is the time, for very soon there will be an eternal shift of seasons and God will speak the words – “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong – let him who is holy continue to be holy”. [Revelation 22:11]

The season of grace and the gift of repentance will end on the Earth and people’s eternal destiny will be fixed. 2Peter 3:10 reads; “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought we to be? We ought to live holy and godly lives as we look forward to the day of the Lord and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”

While it is still “daylight” we should be at work. While it is still “harvest season” we should be laborers in the harvest. While there is still time to invest our “talents” we should invest into people’s lives! “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” [Revelation 22:20]

Assignment:

1. According to this passage both “the Spirit” [the Holy Spirit living in you] and “the Bride” [the Church you are part of] say, “come” to all the people of earth. This is obviously the attitude we must have in approaching people – we must be harvesters for the Lord. Make a “New Year’s Resolution” to invite people to Church and to a relationship with Jesus Christ throughout this coming year!

The Way He Saw It

December 30 – Today’s Readings – Revelations 19-21 and Proverbs 30

Here, in these three chapters, we have visions of hell, of heaven, of the second coming, of the final judgment, and of the bride of Christ.

All of these visions are written the way John saw them. He had no words that could describe all that his eyes took in except in the language of the day. The symbolism in this passage is nothing short of spectacular. We can be certain, however, that all these visions will come to pass or have already come to pass.Exactly how they will all be fulfilled , we cannot tell except to say that Jesus’ second coming is close at hand – so is a raging Devil – so is eternity!
In the course of a busy year we often lose track of the spiritual realities we are a part of. It is easy to see only the temporal and not the unseen world. We lose spiritual motivation when we lose track of heaven or the second coming of Christ. We are apt to drift along, forgetting that we are collectively the pure Bride of Christ. We dare not fall asleep spiritually, however – not now – not ever – for we know that we must be alert – ever vigilant if we are to be over-comers. We can never for a minute lose focus concerning the enemy of our souls – above all, we must ever keep in step with Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Remember when Peter walked on the water? – “When the disciples saw him [Jesus] walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.” [Matthew 14:26-33]

Did you notice that the storm, the wind and the waves only overwhelmed Peter when he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on “the wind”? The best news about all that we have read today is that we really don’t have to fight any great wars or battle any “beasts”. All we need to do is keep our eyes on Jesus – following Him closely – walking with Him daily – listening to His voice. Jesus is not afraid of the Devil or the “boogeyman” or the storms of life. We are at peace in all these things when we are at peace with God.

Questions:

1. What “spiritual disciplines” can you incorporate into your life this coming year so that you will keep your eyes on Jesus and not the storms of life?
2. Imagine the Church – the “Bride of Christ” – what will she look like when the Lord comes for her? 3. How can we position ourselves so as to be “beautiful” in the Lord’s sight?

Strange and Terrible Things

December 29 – Today’s Readings – Revelations 16-18 and Proverbs 29

According to these chapters in the Book of Revelation, there is no question that strange, and terrible things are about to happen to this planet of ours. The destruction of this world is clearly indicated – there will be no planet Earth, as we know it.

It is also obvious from these passages that the spiritual happenings on Earth will be astounding in their grandeur – great angels – great beasts and great demonstrations of spiritual power.

How will we ever cope with such trauma? Have you ever seen a baby kangaroo jump out of harms way into its mother’s pouch? Perhaps you’ve seen a film of a baby penguin crawl under the insulation of a parent when the extreme cold hits. Maybe you have observed a herd of muskoxen encircle a group of young and face down a pack of attacking ravenous wolves. When trouble comes, our response as Christians will be like this – “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” [Psalms 18:2]

This “end of the world” season will be our greatest hour on Earth as Saints of God! Just before God calls His Church up higher – just when all judgment is coming to the Earth – the Saints will be safe and secure in the hands of Jesus. His power will be a shield to us – He will be our strong tower – He will be our peace in the midst of the storm [Luke 8:24] – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” [Psalms 46:1]

Christians are the only people who can proudly proclaim that they have “no fear” of what the enemy can throw at them. Even death itself is no cause for fear in our lives. By reading this Book of the Revelation we gain supreme confidence that we will be “delivered from evil” by the power of God Himself.

Victory is ours because of the saving power of the Blood and the seal of the Holy Spirit!

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)” [Revelation 19:6-8]

Questions:

1. Make a list of things or people you should no longer fear.
2. Make a list of “things” you hold dear that will soon be destroyed with the rest of the Earth.
3. What can you actually take with you when you meet the Lord in the air?
4. Is there anything at all that you should fear as you see the day of judgment approaching?

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