Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 61

Coming Back To Life

September 1 – Today’s Readings – Ezekiel 37-39 and Psalms 61

There is a section of Chapter 37 that is very significant to the Church in these last days. It is the account of a bunch of dead and decomposed men – “dry bones” coming back to life and assembling as an army through a sovereign act of God. These dry bones can symbolize several things but it seems one of the most appropriate interpretations is that of God’s people coming back to life spiritually – “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live,” – “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel”.

When there is a group of people who are “asleep” spiritually – just a bunch of dry bones – God will, under the right circumstances, blow The Breath of Life into that situation and bring forth a powerful army. People call it “revival”, “renewal” or some other spiritual term that refers to the same spiritual occurrence – the life of God.

Q. Is there anything we can do to “bring on” this breath of God? Well – yes and no – Yes because we understand Biblically that God responds to repentance, prayer, worship, a soft heart, etc. We can “position” ourselves to receive fresh anointing from the Spirit – and – NO because it is up to God and only God To “blow” on the people in a supernatural way. There are times and seasons for some of these occurances that only God knows and we don’t. When God moves in a miraculous way – overriding all “natural” law, we always are left in awe of His greatness and amazed at what He has accomplished in His divine plan.

I constantly yearn to see a “glorious” Church – an army of God – filled with the Spirit – united in Christ. We understand that this is already the case “theologically” but we need to continue to pray for the Church to “manifest” the Glory of God. There is also a place in our spiritual lives where, like Ezekiel, we too can begin to “prophecy” to the dry bones – maybe our own dry bones – maybe a project more group oriented like our home Church. This “prophesying” is nothing less than agreeing with the mind and heart of God concerning His purposes in a given situation. It requires of course that we hear His voice in our hearts, but then that we speak “prophetically” so that others (dry bones) can hear the word of the Lord and live. These might be unsaved people who need to hear the life of the Gospel – or they may be Christians who need freshness in their experience with God. One way or the other, I believe God loves to see dry bones come to life through the encouraging, life giving words of His saints.

“He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” (Ezekiel 37:2-5)

Questions:

1. Tell of another instance from Scripture were someone was called upon to “prophesy” to a situation in order to change it.
2. Have you ever had an experience in your life where you felt God telling you to “speak into” a dead or dying situation? Tell about it.

Shepherds

August 31 – Today’s Readings – Ezekiel 34-36 and Psalms 61

Ezekiel 34:1-10 reads, “The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves.”

Here is the Lord God, holding people accountable for the “flock” of God. His challenge is simple – you are not just supposed to look after yourselves or use your religious position and influence to improve your lot in life – you are supposed to care for others – people who could use your help. You should have compassion on people and treat them with respect. You should also be setting an example for others to follow!

Jesus spent much of His “sermon” time challenging us concerning loving one another – the good Samaritan style of spirituality – showing compassion – not using our “riches” for ourselves but following His example of giving His life for others.

There is a clear Messianic prophecy found in Ezekiel 34:11-16 – a picture of Christ and His ministry as “Shepherd”. This is also a picture of what our lives should look like if we are to be ambassadors of Christ. We are challenged to be “shepherds” of the Lord and your “flock” are those people who come in contact with you – those whom you influence. When we see all the spiritually confused people around us, we have no choice but to help them find the Good Shepherd and to become good shepherds in the flesh.

Questions:

1. Are you and I shepherds? Are we supposed to look after others?
2. What kind of “heart” is required to become a shepherd like Christ has called us to be?

In Prayer At All Times

March 1 – Today’s Readings – Luke 7-8 and Psalms 61

Good morning. Do you ever wonder about all the violent words the Psalmists prayed concerning their enemies? It hardly seems Christian! When I re-read these words however, I begin to imagine my real enemies – my spiritual enemies – all Satan’s forces of evil – enemies that attempt to hold me back or pull me down – the enemies of my soul. “O God, break their teeth!”

It’s easy to bear my soul and speak frankly to God about the devil’s attacks – “They lie in wait for me!” What a great way to approach problems. Opening your heart before God, and praying down fire on the devil’s schemes!

In Psalm 59 David twice addresses God with the words “O my Strength”. We don’t normally think of Him as “My Strength” but it certainly is a title that fits. If we learn to find our emotional strength in Him, we will become easier to live with – and if we lean on Him when our physical strength is failing us, we will find that our energy comes from a different source – and that our spiritual strength emanates from the Holy Spirit within us. “O God Our Strength – push back the enemy’s schemes, that we may lead lives the way we were designed to. Amen.”

In Luke today we see Jesus reversing the natural laws continually at work in our sin-sick world. He performed “miracles” so that people might see the Glory of God – so that they would believe in Him – the Christ – the Messiah of God. He did miracles because He had compassion on all kinds of people – enemy soldiers – widowed and destitute women – chronically sick people – rich people who humbled themselves – religious people who trusted Him – Jews and Gentiles – people with “great faith” – people with only desperation – and people so full of demons that it made Hollywood horror movies look mild! He even commanded the forces of weather so that the disciples could be safe and believe.

Let’s keep the subject of miracles simple because God hasn’t changed. He still wants to reveal Christ and show forth His Glory so that people are drawn to His kingdom. He still has compassion on all kinds of people and delivers those under the power of the Devil. Our faith doesn’t have to be special, it just needs to be regular faith because faith is one of the gifts that come from the Spirit. We trust in God who loves us and cares for us. A sincere, compassionate request is all that is needed with God – then we must rest and trust in His provision. We should never put God in a box, thinking that He “doesn’t do that stuff anymore” nor should we ever presume that all things will go the way we want them too. The Holy Spirit gives miracles to people in the same way as he gives wisdom or salvation – its by faith and God’s gracious compassion.

Questions:

1. Name some situations where it would be appropriate to pray a “violent” prayer.

2. Name a situation in your life today where you should be praying for a miracle. (I hope all readers will join their prayers to yours!)

Dry Bones

September 1 – Today’s Readings – Ezekiel 37-39 and Psalms 61

There is a section of Chapter 37 that is very significant to the Church in these last days. It is the account of a bunch of dead and decomposed men – “dry bones” coming back to life and assembling as an army through a sovereign act of God. These dry bones can symbolize several things but it seems one of the most appropriate interpretations is that of God’s people coming back to life spiritually – “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live,” – “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel”.

When there is a group of people who are “asleep” spiritually – just a bunch of dry bones – God will, under the right circumstances, blow The Breath of Life into that situation and bring forth a powerful army. People call it “revival”, “renewal” or some other spiritual term that refers to the same spiritual occurrence – the life of God.

Q. Is there anything we can do to “bring on” this breath of God? Well – yes and no – Yes because we understand Biblically that God responds to repentance, prayer, worship, a soft heart, etc. We can “position” ourselves to receive fresh anointing from the Spirit – and – NO because it is up to God and only God To “blow” on the people in a supernatural way. There are times and seasons for some of these occurances that only God knows and we don’t. When God moves in a miraculous way – overriding all “natural” law, we always are left in awe of His greatness and amazed at what He has accomplished in His divine plan.

I constantly yearn to see a “glorious” Church – an army of God – filled with the Spirit – united in Christ. We understand that this is already the case “theologically” but we need to continue to pray for the Church to “manifest” the Glory of God. There is also a place in our spiritual lives where, like Ezekiel, we too can begin to “prophecy” to the dry bones – maybe our own dry bones – maybe a project more group oriented like our home Church. This “prophesying” is nothing less than agreeing with the mind and heart of God concerning His purposes in a given situation. It requires of course that we hear His voice in our hearts, but then that we speak “prophetically” so that others (dry bones) can hear the word of the Lord and live. These might be unsaved people who need to hear the life of the Gospel – or they may be Christians who need freshness in their experience with God. One way or the other, I believe God loves to see dry bones come to life through the encouraging, life giving words of His saints.

“He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” (Ezekiel 37:2-5)

Questions:

1. Tell of another instance from Scripture were someone was called upon to “prophesy” to a situation in order to change it.
2. Have you ever had an experience in your life where you felt God telling you to “speak into” a dead or dying situation? Tell about it.

Shepherds

August 31 – Today’s Readings – Ezekiel 34-36 and Psalms 61

Ezekiel 34:1-10 reads, “The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves.”

Here is the Lord God, holding people accountable for the “flock” of God. His challenge is simple – you are not just supposed to look after yourselves or use your religious position and influence to improve your lot in life – you are supposed to care for others – people who could use your help. You should have compassion on people and treat them with respect. You should also be setting an example for others to follow!

Jesus spent much of His “sermon” time challenging us concerning loving one another – the good Samaritan style of spirituality – showing compassion – not using our “riches” for ourselves but following His example of giving His life for others.

There is a clear Messianic prophecy found in Ezekiel 34:11-16 – a picture of Christ and His ministry as “Shepherd”. This is also a picture of what our lives should look like if we are to be ambassadors of Christ. We are challenged to be “shepherds” of the Lord and your “flock” are those people who come in contact with you – those whom you influence. When we see all the spiritually confused people around us, we have no choice but to help them find the Good Shepherd and to become good shepherds in the flesh.

Questions:

1. Are you and I shepherds? Are we supposed to look after others?
2. What kind of “heart” is required to become a shepherd like Christ has called us to be?

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