Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 85

God Even Loves Ninevites

September 25 – Today’s Readings – Jonah 1-4 and Psalms 85

Type National Geographic, Whale Shark into your browser and have a peak at this magnificent creature. It’s actually not a “whale” at all but an enormous fish. This fish does not feed on large things (like Jonah) but it simply opens its huge mouth and “sucks in” anything in its path. If, by mistake, it swallows something like a log (Jonah) it will regurgitate it when the object refuses to be digested. Many believe that this is the same “great fish” that swallowed Jonah and spit him up again. Why am I sharing this with you? – Because so often we look at Bible accounts as if they were fairy tales. The Great Flood – the Garden of Eden – the Creation Account – the Resurrection of Christ – the Miracles of the Apostles – etc.

Now to the heart of the matter;

1. God loves people – even Ninevites. – “But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” (Jonah 4:11)

2. God wants His people (Jonah in this case) to reach out to Ninevites. – “Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” (Jonah 3:1-2)

3. God’s people often have issues about reaching out to Ninevites. – “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.” (Jonah 1:3)

4. God will “deal with you” if you hate Ninevites. – “Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.” (Jonah 1:15)

5. God wants a Church full of Ninevites who are redeemed by grace. – “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)

6. You once were a Ninevite yourself! – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1Corinthians 6:9) – “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1Corinthians 6:11)

Questions:

1. It is important to know that some Bible stories are written as an illustration – not necessarily a littoral happening. 2. 2. Give an example where this might be true. Hint – The Prophets.
3. Give another example where science has begun to discover that historic Biblical accounts are real events.

Answers to Prayer

March 26 – Today’s Readings – John 7-8 and Psalms 85

Today’s reading highlights the reasons the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus. The things He taught were extremely controversial (blasphemous) for the traditional legalistic Jew. He told them that they were to eat His body and drink His blood – that His teaching was not His own but that it came directly from His Father who was God Almighty – He called Himself the “I Am”, a holy name reserved for God alone – He said that He was of His Father God and the Jewish leaders were of their father, the Devil – He told them that He was going to a place they could not go – He taught that if anyone was thirsty and came to Him then “streams of living water would flow from within” them – He told them that if they destroyed “this temple”, He would raise it up in three days – He said that He was not of this world – He condemned them, saying that they would die in their sins – He proclaimed Himself to be Eternal saying, “before Abraham was I Am” – and finally He told them that if anyone “keeps my word , he will never see death”.

To the Jews these were either the words of a mad man or a demon possessed man. In our present society, these would certainly be words that could land a man in a psych ward. How could a flesh and blood person say such things about himself? No human being could possibly be all that He said He was – only a God-Man could do this – someone who could confirm His words with miraculous “signs and wonders”. The miracles Jesus preformed were done in part to back up His claims. Indeed, His would have been the empty words of a mentally ill person had He not demonstrated His claims by His teaching and His miracles.

So what is the verdict to all of this? Jesus was and is either a madman or He is God. His words and actions leave no room for any other opinion. There is no way around it – we either believe that Jesus Christ is who He said He is or we dismiss Him as a sadly deluded and insane washout (who happens to have incredible supernatural powers).

Let’s take this a step further. Christians also make “ridiculous” claims. We claim to speak with God and hear His voice. We claim to have eternal life. We claim that if people believe what we believe, they too will live eternally in heaven. We also boldly state that Jesus is alive and well – doing miracles and personally taking care of us today! These words are foolishness to those who haven’t met Christ. Only visible “signs” will give some proof to the world that we speak the truth. Jesus said, “By their fruit you shall know them”. He also said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples – if you have love one for another”. The Gospel of Mark (KJV) declares that signs and wonders will follow those who believe. It really is no different today than it was in Jesus’ time – we need to be demonstrating God’s love, character, and power in our everyday lives so that our claims can be received and our God can be revealed to hungry hearts.

Questions:

1. Comment on some other “outrageous” claims Jesus made.

2. Comment on why unbelievers often have problems with the claims we make as disciples of Christ.

“You are of your father, the devil.”

March 25 – Today’s Readings – John 7-8 and Psalms 85

Today’s reading highlights the reasons the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus. The things He taught were extremely controversial (blasphemous) for the traditional legalistic Jew. He told them that they were to eat His body and drink His blood – that His teaching was not His own but that it came directly from His Father who was God Almighty – He called Himself the “I Am”, a holy name reserved for God alone – He said that He was of His Father God and the Jewish leaders were of their father, the Devil – He told them that He was going to a place they could not go – He taught that if anyone was thirsty and came to Him then “streams of living water would flow from within” them – He told them that if they destroyed “this temple”, He would raise it up in three days – He said that He was not of this world – He condemned them, saying that they would die in their sins – He proclaimed Himself to be Eternal saying, “before Abraham was I Am” – and finally He told them that if anyone “keeps my word , he will never see death”.

To the Jews these were either the words of a mad man or a demon possessed man. In our present society, these would certainly be words that could land a man in a psych ward. How could a flesh and blood person say such things about himself? No human being could possibly be all that He said He was – only a God-Man could do this – someone who could confirm His words with miraculous “signs and wonders”. The miracles Jesus preformed were done in part to back up His claims. Indeed, His would have been the empty words of a mentally ill person had He not demonstrated His claims by His teaching and His miracles.

So what is the verdict to all of this? Jesus was and is either a madman or He is God. His words and actions leave no room for any other opinion. There is no way around it – we either believe that Jesus Christ is who He said He is or we dismiss Him as a sadly deluded and insane washout (who happens to have incredible supernatural powers).

Let’s take this a step further. Christians also make “ridiculous” claims. We claim to speak with God and hear His voice. We claim to have eternal life. We claim that if people believe what we believe, they too will live eternally in heaven. We also boldly state that Jesus is alive and well – doing miracles and personally taking care of us today! These words are foolishness to those who haven’t met Christ. Only visible “signs” will give some proof to the world that we speak the truth. Jesus said, “By their fruit you shall know them”. He also said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples – if you have love one for another”. The Gospel of Mark (KJV) declares that signs and wonders will follow those who believe. It really is no different today than it was in Jesus’ time – we need to be demonstrating God’s love, character, and power in our everyday lives so that our claims can be received and our God can be revealed to hungry hearts.

Questions:

1. Comment on some other “outrageous” claims Jesus made.

2. Comment on why unbelievers often have problems with the claims we make as disciples of Christ.

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