Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

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Won’t Cost A Dime – Only a Minute Of Time

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I Choose Life!

June 16 – Today’s Readings – 2Kings 10-12 and Proverbs 16

Proverbs 16:25 reads, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

This tiny verse of Scripture addresses the entire spiritual state of Godless humanity! In every nation – every religion – educational systems – most are trying to “do life” in the absence of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Let’s take this proverb and turn the words around a bit – “There is a way that seems ridiculous to people and the world’s institutions, but in the end it leads to life!”

The problem is that Godless people have a complete misunderstanding of or disbelief in God and His ways. People were created to be eternal beings, but we have been sold a lie by the enemy of our souls; “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” [1 Corinthians 15:32] People live for the NOW and for self instead of having a life focus that leads to the ETERNAL and to others’ well being. On the contrary, when we live out our lives in Christ, then even death itself is swallowed up in victory! Our lives also begin to have meaning because we are investing in others, not just ourselves. If however, you have lived your life purely for the temporal, then your meaningless life and even your death will be outside of all the good that God had originally prepared for you.

We must therefore live each day with understanding and focus – that our life here on Earth is very brief and that our primary purpose is to glorify God and helping people draw close to God. How will we live for God today? – … “as aliens and strangers in the world” (1Peter 2:11) yet seeking the Father’s will and His glory and loving people as He loves people.

When we live this way, it will not seem “right” to those around us – they will think it strange that we are not pursuing the same goals and objectives that they are – but in the end, our choice to live in Christ will mean LIFE – EVERLASTING! As a matter of course we will also have done The Father’s will in this Earth. John 1:3-5 reads, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

They will not understand your choices – they will not understand your morals – they will not understand your spirituality – “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1Corinthians 2:14)

Questions:

1. Tell about some of the ways “that seem right” to people, but lead to death.
2. Tell about some of the things that seem strange to people but lead to life.

We Have A Secret

June 15 – Today’s Readings – 2Kings 7-9 and Proverbs 15

2 Kings 7:8-9 reads, “The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. Then they said to each other, ‘we’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.”

The account of the siege of Jerusalem is horrific, fascinating and miraculous – all in the same story. Dreadful because of the suffering and terror that severe famine involved in those days – fascinating because of the spiritual dynamic still evident in the midst of this man-made disaster – and miraculous because of the divine intervention of God at the hand of a Prophet.

I’ve heard it said that before any of us have an encounter with the Lord, we are all rather like the four lepers at the gate of the city. Lepers because of the sinful nature that consumes us – lepers because we are desperate enough to step out of our security zone and by faith receive God’s provision. When we do so, we discover more blessing than we ever dreamed possible and we begin to “enjoy the spoils” of a born-again life. Then we come to the realization that the overwhelming provision of God is not only given to meet our own needs but is ample enough to meet everyone’s need – so we begin tell our friends about our newfound life and let them enjoy “the spoils” too.

What would have happened if the lepers had not gone back to tell the rest of the city that they had been set free by God? The doomed citizens would not have known the good news of deliverance and would have continued on, unnecessarily locked up in a dying city.

Herein lies a serious problem. Some “lepers” meet Jesus and enjoy the blessings of forgiveness, peace, joy, right standing with God, deliverance from deadly habits…etc. – but they never do go back to share their discovery with those who are starving for God and captive to an enemy who has been defeated and has fled before the voice of the Lord. The good news of their freedom is just down the road – the road of repentance, grace and hope – but without a messenger to tell them, they are still dead men.

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:1,4-5)

Lepers we were – but God has brought us from death to life – from under the hand of the enemy and into His marvelous blessing.

Questions:

1. Tell of an instance where you were able to share words of life and freedom with another “leper”.
2. Tell of another example from Scripture where great deliverance was brought by God and then shared with others.

A Few Drops Of Oil

June 14 – Today’s Readings – 2Kings 4-6 and Proverbs 14

Once again there are an amazing number of lessons to be learned from these four chapters of Scripture. The account that I would like to spend a moment on this morning is that of a certain widow and her sons. This single-parent family was in serious trouble – “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” (2 Kings 4:1)

What on earth was this woman to do? The first and most important thing any of us can do when faced with insurmountable problems – she turned to the Lord for help. I’m sure she prayed a whole lot, then went to see Elisha the prophet. He gave her very specific and strange instructions – here is the account – “Elisha replied to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” (vs.2) “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil”. Now remember that in Scripture “oil” is very symbolic of the anointing and healing power of God. What did she really have in her house? Not much physically but she had not lost God, or her faith in His provision – and she knew who to run to. “Elisha said, ‘Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” (vs.3-4) She did so and began to pour out the few drops of oil she had. “When all the jars were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another one.’ – But he replied, ‘There is not a jar left.’ Then the oil stopped flowing.”

Now, let your thoughts drift a little and imagine the “oil” as being the presence and provision of God. It may not seem that you have a lot when you look at things with the natural eye, but God always finds ways to surprise us with His grace. Think of Jesus multiplying the five small barley loaves and two small fish that the boy had provided to feed the crowd – (John 6:9).

Now let me take you to 1Kings 17:7-15 where God commanded Elijah to go to a starving woman so that she could provide for him during a drought and famine. “As surely as the LORD your God lives,’ she replied, ‘I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” (vs.12) As we read on in this passage, we find this woman, using her meagre resources, not only provided for the man of God, but also for her own needs and those of her son. Instead of having the mindset that she and her son were going to die, she actually thrived and became a provider for others.

We must never say, “I have nothing”, for God has given everyone a measure of faith. Begin to work with the Lord and let Him multiply what He has provided for you.

”What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Questions:

1. What are the empty vessels in your life that God wants to fill and use?
2. What hidden or insignificant resources do you possess that you are willing to yield to God so He can multiply them and feed others?
3. Do you have a certain “mindset” you must change so that God can make you a provider instead of seeing yourself as poverty stricken and close to death?

Mentors

June 13 – Today’s readings – 2Kings 1-3 and Proverbs 13

Proverbs 13:20 reads “He who walks with the wise grows wise”.

I believe the same can be said for other “walking with” relationships in our lives. Wisdom, anointing, prosperity, health, fitness, education, good relationships … all of these attributes “rub off” on us if we walk with the right people. If, for example, you grow up in a family where both parents have doctoral degrees, there’s a good chance you will be graduating from university. If your closest friend is into health and fitness, there’s a good chance that you too will be engaging in healthy physical activity and good eating. If you walk with an anointed man (or woman) as Elisha did, you will no doubt learn some of the secrets of walking in the anointing of God.

You remember of course that Elisha was the guy who “used to pour water on the hands of Elijah”. (2 Kings 3:11) This man was the helper that God gave to Elijah when he was so depressed that he wanted to die. (1 Kings 19:4) This was the same man who didn’t turn back no matter what he faced – “Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel.” (2 Kings 2:2) The result of this devotion was that he succeeded his master as the lead prophet to Judah and to Jehoshaphat the King of Judah. “Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken from you?’ ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit’. Elisha replied … The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, ‘The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha (1 Kings 2:9 & 15)

Timothy and Paul had this kind of relationship as well. “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings – what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured.” (2 Timothy 3:10-11) This man Timothy knew what it was like to observe a “mentor” and follow his example. The result was that he became a very influential pastor in Ephesus and part of an Apostolic Eldership.

Think for a moment of the relationship between Moses and Joshua – “Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” (Exodus 33:11) What was the result of this “discipleship”? – “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River” (Joshua 1:1-2)

How are you doing with the relationships you are developing? Are you walking with wise people? Are you walking with righteous people? Are you walking with people who are hungry for God? Remember, Jesus allowed all of his relationships to be guided by the Father – I think it would be wise of us to do the same.

Questions:

1. Comment on a relationship that has affected you in a positive way.
2. Give another example of a person who was “mentored” to great things.

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