Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 21

You Are The Potter

July 21 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 64-66 and Psalms 21

Isaiah 64:8 reads, “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Here then is one of the most wonderful images in the whole of the Bible. Not only does Isaiah identify God as “Father”, which is a New Testament term for God, but he sees the Father as a potter at his wheel, shaping a lump of clay – shaping a person – building a people of God. I’ve tried making pottery at the wheel a couple of times in my life, and have discovered that it’s not nearly as easy as it looks. When things are not turning out the way the potter wants, he scrapes the clay off the wheel, adds a bit of water, mashes it up and slams the clay back on the spinning wheel to start over. He uses his hands, sometimes firmly and other times in the most delicate way to encourage certain shapes and characteristics out of the clay. If there is a pebble in the project, he picks it out and begins again. I don’t know about you but at times I can really relate to the clay. The phrase “God’s not finished with me yet” seems very appropriate when you feel yourself being dumped on His “wheel” once again.

Isaiah also gives us glimpses of the end-times in these verses – “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. (Isaiah 65:17) See how well this passage dovetails with New Testament prophecy:

– Matthew 24:35 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

– 2 Peter 3:10 “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.”

– Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”

Let there be no doubt in our minds – the present world and heavens will disappear – all that mankind has pinned its hopes on will disappear, because God alone is the One who sustains all things. I’m sometimes very concerned about the numbers of films that are produced, depicting an invasion of some sort from another world. Inevitably, the invaders are hideous, evil beings or machines that mankind has to rally heroically to defeat. The trouble I have with all this is that the only “other worldly thing” that’s going to invade the earth is Our Lord Jesus Christ! – He is returning to Earth as a conquering King – the nations WILL gather together to fight against Him and you and I will be on the Kings side! Then, in due time, the present heavens and Earth will be destroyed, making room for the new. Keep in mind – this is not something we need to fear – it’s something we need to fully embrace. Do you see how Earth’s inhabitants are already being programmed to fight the great Armageddon? – Against Christ?

Questions:

1. Tell about a time when God “the potter” had to start over with you while molding some area of your life.
2. Reflect on what daily activities we should be involved in to keep us ready for the second coming of the Lord.

Our Father In Heaven

January 21 – Today’s Readings – Matthew 8-10 and Psalms 21

I need to go back to Chapter 6 and review a common teaching on the “Lord’s Prayer”. Even though it is quite old, I often still use this same prayer model and it usually takes me from 15 minutes to a half hour if I pray through the Lord’s Prayer in this manner(although I can spend an hour on just one section at times). I am hoping this brief summary will encourage you to pray from the Word.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” – Here we begin with worship and acknowledging our Father-God. We then pray all the names of the Lord and what they mean to us – Emmanuel (God with us and in us) – Protector – Strong Tower – Shield – Warrior – Prince of Peace – Counselor – The One Who Sees Me – The One Who Provides – Holy – Almighty – Creator – Judge of all the Earth – The Lamb – The Lion – The Dove – Healer – Owner of Everything – King of Kings – Lord of Lords – the One who sticks closer that a brother – the “I will never leave you” – the Lover of my Soul. This list of names describing the character and nature of God can be added to as you read every book of the Bible for He is revealed in every book in a slightly different fashion. Remember, for every need in life, there is a Name of God that meets that need. It can take some time just to focus on who God is and all that this means to me.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – We now respond to God. We let Him know that we want Him to rule and reign in our lives, our jobs, our families, our church and our city. At this point in prayer you need to focus on things in your life and your world that either are or are not presently under His “Lordship”. You also need to declare heaven’s will over situations that are obviously negative in your world.

“Give us this day our daily bread” – This statement reaffirms that God is the one who supplies your needs – not your job, your clever investments or your inheritance. “Our Daily Bread” speaks to me of spiritual, emotional and physical needs. He is the one who can and will fill us all spiritually every day. When our emotions are topsy-turvy, He is the one who brings peace in the middle of the storm. “Daily” is the operative word in this prayer as yesterday’s relationship with God is not enough – we need renewal on a daily basis.

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” – God puts tremendous “weight” on our human relationships and our relationship with Him. Consider the fact that all of the Ten Commandments have to do with right relationships! Remember, forgiveness is not an option. Consider this – forgiveness means setting people free – turning them over to God so He can deal with them the way He sees fit.

“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” – We do have a very real enemy who seeks to snare us in a thousand ways. We need God’s covering and deliverance from temptations that could trip us up at any time. We then end up by reaffirming our need to acknowledge that it’s all about Him – not about us.

Questions:

1. Make a list of people you have not forgiven or “given to God”.

2. Is there any area in your life you have not surrendered to God?

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