Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 41

What About Unity?

February 11 – Today’s Readings – Mark 1-3 and Psalms 41

Welcome to The Book of Mark

Mark 3:24-25 reads, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

When speaking these words, Jesus was obviously referring to the kingdom of darkness but the nature of His comments allow us to apply them to other “kingdoms” as well. We know that when there are deep issues of division in a nation, that country becomes consumed with the topic – no matter how insignificant it may seem. The divisions or side issues can captivate peoples’, attention so that they no longer focus on more important business.

The same is true in our homes. If there is turmoil because of division on issues like faith, money, intimacy, honesty, moral integrity,substance abuse etc., the peace and harmony in that home will cease to exist. There are huge spin-off issues that occur from disagreements allowed to persist in the family.

In the Church, unity is something so important that at times we must lay down “pet issues” in order to preserve the “bigger picture”. What do I mean by this? Well, it has to do with individuals insisting on having their own way at the expense of the family of God. We must be willing to “go to the wall” for issues like sin or heresy but not petty issues where we want our own way because of opinion, or self-seeking and childish thinking. We know that one of Satan’s strongest weapons against the Church is to bring discord and division.

How about our personal lives? – How about our relationship with Jesus and the things that can diminish our intimacy with Him? We know that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39) We also realize however that we must work at keeping our “Spiritual House” in order – it must stand strong because every good and wonderful thing in our lives flows from spiritual wholeness! This is why we allow no “division” to come between the Lord and us. This is why we keep in step with the Holy Spirit. I have learned that healthy spiritual individuals make for healthy families – make for healthy Churches – make for a healthy communities – make for healthy cities. The power that is resident in a “Kingdom” that is NOT divided against itself is incredibly influential. Let’s be part of that miracle!

Questions:

1. Name and give reference to Bible examples where divisions caused unnecessary grief in the Kingdom.

2. Comment (without giving names) on a situation where serious problems could have been avoided if people had not allowed division.

The “Insistent” Voice

August 11 – Today’s Readings – Jeremiah 43-45 and Psalms 41

Jeremiah is a great representation of the “insistent voice of God”.Whether the Jews were in Israel and years away from the Babylonian invasion – or whether the Babylonians were at the Gate – whether there was only a remnant left in Israel after the captivity – or whether the remnant was in Egypt – Jeremiah was there. The VOICE was there. This makes me think of Psalms 139:5-12 – “You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Have you ever felt that God won’t leave you alone about a certain issue? Is it possible that there is only one way out of your dilemma? We need to say “yes” to God when He talks to us about an attitude, habit, a negative or hurtful word or an action that displeases Him. We need to be quick to repent and be at peace with Him and within ourselves. When we say “no” to God, only bad things can come our way – our minds will be dull, emotions in turmoil and bodies breaking down. This is the relentless love of our God – who so desires a right relationship with His people. This is why Jeremiah “chased” the people of God and confronted them again and again. It is also rather like the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives; “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”. (John 14:26) “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him”. (1John 2:27) It’s little wonder that when God first called Jeremiah as a young man he told him to “not be afraid of them”. Quick note – If the preacher sounds like he’s repeating himself again and again – well maybe he’s heard from God and has a message we have not obeyed yet.

Questions:

1. Give another example from Scripture where God’s voice was “insistent”.

2. Give an example from your own life where God needed to be “insistent” and wouldn’t stop talking to you about something.

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