Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 16

Alive

July 16 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 49-51 and Psalms 16

Here then, is the ultimate difference between the religions of the world and the disciples of Jesus:

Isaiah 46 reads, “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ‘To whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared? Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it. They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Though one cries out to it, it does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles.” Here are some very important points to consider as you meditate on this Scripture;

– It is God who carries us – not we who carry God!

– It is God who has made us – not we who have made God!

– It is God who sets us in our place of rest – not us who set God in His place of rest!

– When we cry out – He answers!

– When we are weak – He sustains!

– Since before we were conceived, He has had a plan for us – we did not “conceive a god”!

– You can walk to Mecca with peas in your shoes and still not earn redemption!

– You can spend your life in meditation and introspection and still not belong to Jesus!

– You can worship all the silver and gold you want – it still will never replace a Living God!

Thank God – He sought us out – He redeemed us when we were completely separated from Him. He chose us when we were living “lost” lives and He wanted nothing from us but faith in Him and fellowship with him.

Religion means that I work for my salvation. A relationship with Jesus means that I receive and give out His love. Praise God – what a wonderful rest we have entered into!

I happened upon a National Geographic program the other day where an author was trying to “find himself” through various man-made religions he had discovered. Though the program was humorous because it exposed the foolishness of these religious shenanigans, it was also profoundly sad for me because it showed, all too well, the spiritual shallowness of mankind and the desperate need for man to be spiritual. Let it never be said of us that we are following one of these dead religions. The life of God and the power of God in us makes us “new creations”, full of the living and true God.

Now – that’s where you really “find yourself”.

Questions:

1. Tell of a time when you felt God was “carrying” you.
2. Tell of another Biblical event where people were worshipping some kind of false God.

God’s “Government” In My Heart

January 16 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 46-48 and Psalms 16

I’m going to divert from my usual style this morning and talk about politics – well not really politics but forms of government. We pride ourselves on our style of government to the point of using it as an excuse to go to war to “help” others see the virtues of democracy. Please don’t misunderstand – democracy is about the best we’ve got, but I quote Sir Winston Churchill who held this view: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” In other words it’s the best of the worst.

Where am I really going with this? Well – we are presented with a form of government under “Prime Minister Joseph of Egypt” that is revolutionary and based almost completely on integrity. Joseph actually facilitated a form of government I would call “a benevolent, sovereign, dictatorship”. First he collected 20% “flat tax” on all the grain (income) in Egypt during the seven good years. Then he sold the same grain back to the people during the seven bad years, taking as payment their money, then their livestock and finally all their land – till everything in Egypt belonged to one man – Pharaoh.

Joseph then said to the people – all you have belongs to Pharaoh – however I would like to give you grain to sow the fields with. Please look after the livestock for Pharaoh. At the end of the year you will pay Pharaoh a 20% flat tax on the production of land and beast – The rest will be yours to prosper with.

Wow wouldn’t it be interesting to live under this “Joseph” kind of government (provided that a righteous, loving, almost perfect ruler presided over everything)? Just imagine – no tax on anything except a 20% flat tax for all! I’m in!

As strange as all this may sound, I believe this model is given to us because it is rather like God’s kingdom reigning in us . All we have – all we are – all we shall ever be is surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ when He takes His proper place in our lives. He then makes us stewards of “His stuff” till we die or till He returns. Either way, we give an account of our stewardship when we meet Him face to face.

What a great government exists in our hearts! He is the absolute monarch – and we are his loving servants and adopted children! This does make us quite a unique people – we don’t live under democracy after all. All hail King Jesus! – King of Kings – Lord of Lords and benevolent, holy dictator of my life.

Questions

1. Please comment on the “benevolent dictatorship” that we Christians live under.

2. It is considered treasonous to acknowledge that you actually belong to a different country when you are already a citizen of a nation. The reason Christians were killed under Caesar was because they boldly declared, “We have no king but Jesus!” Are you prepared to make the same kind of declaration? Please comment.

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