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I had a guy tell me one time that his wife said he could look at women, he just wasn’t allowed to touch. Most ladies only want their husbands looking at them and rightly so. Jesus said when we look at someone in lust, we have already committed adultery in our hearts (Matthew 5:28). To be able to keep your eyes from lusting takes the right mindset. A mind that is renewed and focused on God. Job seems to have found the answer:

“I have made a covenant with my eyes, why should I look upon a young woman?” (31:1)

Look in this verse means to gaze intently. This is not good because seeing provokes desire and desire leads to actions. It is better to stop it before it starts by refusing to look. Making a covenant, a commitment, not to let your eyes wander, is a step in the right direction, which is a step away from the wrong path.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 31-32

When I first started going to church, I remember hearing someone say, “You shouldn’t give God a hand clap because they are for people. We show our appreciation and give honor to people by clapping our hands”. I didn’t know the Bible very well, so I believed what I was told. This is a good example of why we should read the Bible for ourselves. What does the Bible say about clapping for God?

“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph.” (47:1)

If people have an issue with clapping, just think what would happen if you gave a good shout! The original definition was to strike, and it comes from the idea of hitting a nail. How this became clap, I do not know, but that’s how languages evolve. In some churches the very idea of showing any emotion is looked on in disdain. But it seems to me that we are almost geared to get expressive. The more formal the less normal. I think if we give God all of our praise, we have hit the nail on the head.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 45-47

 

In many churches, when they are calling a pastor, they will have different people try out and the one or ones they like they vote on. Most pastors won’t take a church unless they have a high number of yes votes percentage wise. You don’t want to start pastoring a church with 20% of the congregation not wanting you there. But even with a high number, there will be some who are not feeling this is the person for the job. What do you do if you are one of them?

“But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” (26:9)

David wouldn’t let his man kill Saul because he was king. Even if you don’t like the new pastor, he has been called. Don’t try to kill him with your tongue or back stab him in any way. It is better to submit to authority, or even leave a church, than it is to be the one who causes or follows trouble.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Samuel 26-31

The Israelites have been slaves to the Egyptians a long time. When they first came to Egypt Joseph was in power and they had it good. But time passed and Joseph was forgotten by the Pharaoh’s and the Israelites were enslaved. But they were not forgotten by God. As God is preparing to deliver his people, He tells Moses this:

“Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman ask from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold.” (11:2)

They are not borrowing from their Egyptian neighbors. According to 12:35-36, they plundered them like a victor taking the spoils. In our language it seems like a friendly exchange, but I think the Egyptians were terrified about what the Jews God would do if they didn’t comply. The Jews took so much that when Moses was making the tabernacle he had to tell his people to stop giving, they were giving too much. You may be in a hard spot right now but hang on. The God you serve is not only able to deliver, He is able to provide.

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 9-12

Sometimes we labor and we wonder if our labor is in vain because we are not seeing the results that we think we should be seeing. Carry on the good work my brothers and sisters. If God has called you to it, He will make it happen.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (15:57-58)

Our victory is in Jesus, and we are free from sin, death, and the law (15:56). So, we need to continue to labor, working the works of God. Win souls, disciple believers, love one another. We are His and our labor is not in vain. Our success is not totally dependent upon us but upon Him working through us. And in Him we are all winners.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Corinthians 15-17

In 9:43-48 Jesus talks about those who cause little ones to fall into sin. What kind of sin isn’t specified, but whatever it is, it does damage to the kids. Jesus says it would be better for the offender to have a mill-stone hung around his neck and thrown into the sea. Jesus then says it is better to maim yourselves than it is to do evil to the little ones:

“rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched where “Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” (9:43b-44)

He repeats the thought that it is better to injure yourself instead of damaging a child and reiterates 43b-44 two more times. God takes a dim view of anyone that hurts kids especially enticing them into sin. This passage also shows that hell is eternal, that you don’t die, and the fire keeps burning. There is no party in hell, there is only torment.

Pastor Roger Dean

The Gospel of Mark 9-10

“Your words were found and I ate them. And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. For I am called by Your name O Lord God of hosts.” (15:16)

We should delight ourselves in the word of God. It should not only feed our souls but put a smile on our faces. Not because it is a humorous book but because it leads us to salvation. Jesus was the word made flesh (John 1) and Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6). When we realize this and partake of Him, we are choosing (chewsing?!!) life. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). We hear/read the Word and we understand the truth. Now some could say they tried that when they were younger, and they didn’t get much out of it. But, just like your tastes have changed naturally as you’ve gotten older, and you’re eating things you didn’t like as a kid, your tastes can change spiritually. Eat the word, devour it, develop a joy in its consumption and the joy of the Lord will be your strength.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 12-16

In 29:2-6 Job longs for the good old days:

“Oh, that I were as in months past, as in days when God watched over me, when His lamp shone upon my head and by His light I walked through darkness, just as I was in the days of my prime, when the friendly counsel of God was over my tent, when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were around me, when my steps were bathed with cream, and the rock poured out rivers of oil for me.”

Most of us long for the good times when we are going through hard times. My father told me once that his favorite days were when the kids were young. He lived to be 96. Thats a long time to look back. The way around this is to find something to look forward to. Like they always say the windshield is bigger than the rear-view mirror. Seek God for your next step and move forward.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 29-30

The other day some of us were joking that we would meet again in 20 years to see the next total eclipse in our area. One lady said, “Not me!” “Why not?” someone asked. “Because I don’t want to be here. I want to go to heaven and be with Jesus!”, or something like that. Not everyone feels that way. But hungering for God’s presence is Biblical.

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (42:1-2)

The good news for us is that we can go into His presence now when we worship Him. In fact, my margin notes say that to “appear” before God means to be able to go to the temple and worship. Not wanting to go to heaven anytime soon isn’t wrong. But not desiring to go to worship shows a lack of thirs.t. We don’t have to die to be with Jesus. We just have to die to self and go to church.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 42-44

David has hidden from Saul at the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s house hear about it they join him. And so did others:

“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented, gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him” ( 22:1-2)

This may sound to us like a motley crew but from this group of people we have the beginnings of David’s mighty men. These valiant warriors are spoken of in several places (including 2 Sam. 23:8-39). Some of us do not have auspicious beginnings. But God was able to save us and He can use us in His army. The church is supposed to welcome the outcasts and runaways. We never know who might become a mighty man or woman for God.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Samuel 21-25

David has hidden from Saul at the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s house hear about it, they join him. And so did others:

“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented, gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.” (22:1-2)

This may sound to us like a motley crew but from this group of people we have the beginnings of David’s mighty men. These valiant warriors are spoken of in several places (including 2 Sam. 23:8-39). Some of us do not have auspicious beginnings. But God was able to save us and He can use us in His army. The church is supposed to welcome the outcasts and runaways. We never know who might become a mighty man or woman for God.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Samuel 21-25

 

Whenever you read these chapters, (and 12), you cannot escape the subject of speaking in tongues. At no time does the Apostle Paul forbid people to speak in tongues. He is however encouraging people to prophesy, instead of speaking in tongues, unless the tongue is interpreted. If there is not an interpretation people will not understand what is being said and therefore will not be edified. Some say speaking in tongues is just speaking a foreign language, not a spiritual act at all. They also say to prophesy is to just preach. Go through these chapters and replace foreign language for tongues and prophesy with preach wherever you see them. It may work sometimes but it’s way off in other places ( like 14:22). Due to the fact that so much of the church lacks spiritual power, the need to deny the reality of spiritual gifts is necessary for them. And to that I agree with the Apostle:

“But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.“ (14:38)

Pastor Roger Dean

I Corinthians 13-14

When I first started following Jesus, I came across some folks that told their congregations not to have pictures or knickknacks or anything that were of owls, frogs, snakes etc. I don’t remember the reason behind all this but perhaps there is something in the Bible that makes them more unclean than say, just a pig. This brings us to 8:1-15 in today’s post. The plague that torments the Egyptians in this passage is frogs. Compared to the other plagues this one is almost comical. However, once you learn the Egyptians associated frogs with their goddess Heqt, who they considered the one who helped women have babies, then it makes more sense. God is showing the Egyptians that He is not only in control of nature but also over their ability to bear children. If they had gotten the point with this plague, they wouldn’t have lost their first born’s later.

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 5-8

Right now, we who are in the visibility path of the solar eclipse, are hearing an awful lot about it. Much of it is hype to boost tourism. Some of it is people applying all kinds of prophetic meanings to it, that actually mean nothing. Remember the blood moons? Nothing happened. Hype for a different reason, to sell books and gain listeners.

“Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit and said” Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.“ (8:11-12)

We know there are signs that happen before the Lord returns. But not every astronomical event has spiritual meaning. When we do this, we turn our signs into His sighs. People should be seeking Jesus not signs.

Pastor Roger Dean

The Gospel of Mark 7-8

God takes a dim view of folks that let themselves get lifted up by their own accomplishments. What He likes is when folks give Him the glory.

“Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches. But let him who glorifies glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.” (9:23-24)

You might be smart, you might be powerful, you might be rich, shoot you might even be good-looking, but if you don’t know the Lord, you are lacking. Thank God for His love, His justice and His righteousness. Give Him some glory.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 7-11

Every once in a while, you hear someone give their excuse for not attending church as, “too many hypocrites.“ There are hypocrites in churches. But acting like you love God, but you won’t go to church because of someone else, makes you a hypocrite yourself. Because a hypocrite says one thing and does the other.

“For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life? Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him?” (27:8-9)

There are different reasons that people become hypocrites, but financial reasons are a big one. Oh, they say they love God, but they cheat their neighbor. They fudge reports at work because, “that’s the way it’s done.“ They cheat on their taxes. They have the money to tithe but don’t and all the while they are acting holier-than-thou. As Job indicates, there’s little chance they’ll get their prayers answered when trouble comes.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 27-28

“Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You. Certainly, every man at his best is but vapor.” (39:4-5)

Maybe you’ve never wondered how old you will get. But you probably realize that life is short. When we realize that our time on this earth is short, we begin to prioritize. We don’t focus on the wrong things, like gathering wealth (v 6). We focus on the things that matter like family. And we prepare ourselves for the end of things, by turning to God.

“And now, Lord, what do I want for? My hope is in You.” (v7)

Life here is short but the life after is for an eternity. Make sure you know where you’re spending it.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 39-41

Last week, when we were reading Samuel, I talked about holy anger. This week we will look at unholy anger. Saul is a prime example of someone who acts in fleshly anger, as we see in 18:8-9:

“Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him, and he said “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day forward.”

There are different things that can stir up an evil anger in someone but jealousy is one of the most prevalent. Most people learn to control their anger. But some, like Saul, focus on the grievances or people that are setting them off. If you want to control your emotions, control your thoughts. Getting mad isn’t a sin but staying mad can drive you crazy and lead you to sin. Deal with your anger before you go mad.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Samuel 16-20

 

There were too many Israelites in the land of Egypt and the Egyptians were starting to get worried that they might rise up and take over. So, they tell the midwives to deliver the girl infants but to kill the baby boys.

“But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.” ( 1:17)

People who worship the Lord are occasionally asked to do something wrong in order to appease their government. The answer to this is to have a healthy fear of God. If we fear Him, more than mankind, we will do what is morally right. The definition of fear in verse 17 is: “to fear, be afraid, to stand in awe, to revere.” While it can change some, according to the circumstances, it basically means being afraid but out of respect. It is better to be afraid of the One that can determine your eternal fate, than the ones that can only kill you.

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 1-4

If we were going to have a litmus test, for those who are speaking about Jesus, how would we know if they were speaking from God? Well, let’s look at verse 12:3:

“Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”

If they are saying bad things about Jesus, they are bad. If they say He is Lord, they are His, even if their doctrine doesn’t all match mine. Some people make doctrine the mark of being a Christian. Have they been baptized this or that way, do they speak in tongues, have they went through catechism? etc. All these things may be necessary to join your local church but they are not necessary to be part of the Body of Christ. If they proclaim Jesus is Lord, they are doing it by His Spirit. Speaking of proclaiming, proclaim Jesus as Lord today in church somewhere. Today is Resurrection Sunday, Easter, He is risen!

Pastor Roger Dean

I Corinthians 11-12

 

Jesus is walking on the water (6:43-52) when the disciples see Him, and get freaked out, because they think He is a ghost. He speaks to them, and gets into the boat, and the wind they had been struggling to row against ceases to blow. The disciples are “ greatly amazed beyond all measure and marveled”. Why were they so amazed? Mark explains:

“For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.“ (6:52)

Prior to them heading across the lake, Jesus had just multiplied the fish and the loaves. The disciples had just seen a miracle, where Jesus showed His supremacy over the physical world. But the power that He has didn’t translate into their thinking, because just a little later they are a marveling again. Mark says that’s due to hardened hearts. Is that why I get amazed every time Jesus does something for me? Do I forget from one situation to the next how His power is still available today? Lord, help me to trust in You.

Pastor Roger Dean

Mark 5-6

Being a spokesperson for God can be a powerful thing, as Jeremiah finds out.

“Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me “ Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, this day I have set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and pull down. To destroy and to throw down. To build and to plant.” (1:9-10)

God uses similar phrases in 18:7-9, where He says if He has spoken the destructive things and they repent, He will relent. But if He has spoken to build and plant and they turn to evil He will relent of that also. (1:9-10 is also echoed in 31:28 and 42:10.) God’s word is powerful and can accomplish whatever it is sent to do. But our repentance can change our future, just like our disobedience can. Like, Jeremiah, we have been given God’s word to speak. Through it we have the power to change lives. So, let’s pray people will give their lives to Jesus this coming Easter Sunday.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 1-6

Some people preach that we are all just worms. They may get that from 25:6:

“How much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm”. Elsewhere, we are told: “Then God said: “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26a) and “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.“ (Gen. 1:27)

If we were created in the image of God we are not worms or maggots. We also see that we were created a little lower than the angels and that we are crowned with glory and honor (Psalms 8:5). Some could say this was all before the fall. But if we look in Hebrews 2:6-9, we see Ps. 8:5 quoted, and that Jesus tasted of death for all of us. In Christ we have risen and that’s why we will celebrate the Resurrection this coming Sunday. You are not a worm, so stop living like it.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 25-26

 

“An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes, for he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit, he has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed, he sets himself in a way that is not good. He does not abhor evil.” (36:1-4)

David feels so strongly that what he is about to give us is from God, that he calls it an oracle. Boiled down it is this: people are wicked because they don’t hate evil. Abhor means to hate, loathe, reject. If you don’t want to continue in your evil ways you have to learn to hate them. To break evil’s power over you, start to hate it. Hate evil and do good. That’s the second part, do good. Fill the void of evil with doing good things. I think David heard from God.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 36-38

One time I was talking with a man and a woman when another fellow walked up and tried to join in. The man I was talking with rebuked him rather roughly and the other fellow left. The woman was shocked at her companion’s behavior and said so. He defended his actions by saying: “didn’t Jesus overturn the tables in the temple?” Now I was shocked. Being rude is not acting in holy anger.

“Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard the news and his anger was greatly aroused.” (11:6)

Holy anger has nothing to do with arrogance or self-desire. It is from God and has a holy purpose. To justify your bad actions by saying God is behind it, is not only lying to cover yourself, it is lying against God. When Jesus drove the people out of the temple, God was behind it. When Saul heard about the siege, it was the Spirit of God that came upon him, and his actions that followed show that.

Pastor Roger Dean

1 Samuel 11-15

When Jacob is prophesying what would happen to his sons in chapter 49, part of what he said to Judah was this:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes. And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” (49:10)

Judah’s tribe would be the rulers over the nation of Israel. This came to pass. Most see Shiloh as a reference to the coming of the Messiah. But the actual meaning of the word is unclear (an indefinite definition?). It could be “peaceful one,” or “his son,” or “to whom dominion belongs,” among others. But that doesn’t matter when we know that all of them fit Jesus, our Lord, who was from the tribe of Judah. His coming was prophesied and fulfilled. And He is coming again! Make your way to a house of worship this Sunday and give Him some praise.

Pastor Roger Dean

Genesis 48-50

Every once in a while, you’ll hear someone say that it doesn’t matter how you worship because all religions worship the same God. Apostle Paul did not agree with this.

“Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.“ (10:20)

If you worship God, you have fellowship with God. If you worship anything else, you are fellowshipping with demons. In some countries, where the Gospel was taken, the Word was mixed with the existing beliefs. Paul was also against this.

“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons, you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.“ (10:22)

A pure God desires pure worship. You cannot worship both God and demons.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Corinthians 11-12

“And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have power to heal sickness and to cast out demons.” (3:14-15)

The call to preach carried with it the power to heal and to cast out devils. There are four main words for power in the New Testament. This one is, “exousia,” and it means the authority or right, ability, privilege, capacity etc. In Matthew 28 Jesus said

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore…” (28: 18-19a)

In Mark 16: 15-16 healing and dealing with demons is part of the signs that were given to all who believed. All of this tells me that Jesus has given us the same authority that He gave His disciples. He sent them out and He wants to send us out. Are we going? Are we walking in His power?

Pastor Roger Dean

The Gospel of Mark 3-4

 

Chapter 62 is a continuation of God saying He will restore Zion (Jerusalem). In the midst of the passage is this:

“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem. They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (62:6-7)

The margin notes in my Bible say the watchmen are watchmen of prayer. “Make mention,” is a hard word to translate but it basically means to remember, bring into mind, recollect, meditate on, recall etc. The watchmen of prayer are to remember the Lord and pray that His promise of restoration will happen. We are told that we are to also pray for the peace of Jerusalem. It wouldn’t hurt if whenever we are praying, and remember it, to pray for our own nation. Let’s be watchmen for them and for us.

Pastor Roger Dean

Isaiah 62-66

“But He is unique and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him.” (23:13-14)

When God has a plan, He does it. Moses wanted out of God’s plan and tried to use his stammer as the excuse. God gave him Aaron to speak for him. Jonah tried to escape his calling to preach to the people of Nineveh. God caused a storm, had Jonah thrown overboard, provided a great fish to swallow him and carry him all the way to Nineveh and spit him out on the shore. With that said, some people refuse to do God’s plan and after a while they succeed. If God does not change, how can that be? Because God may go to great lengths to have people fulfill His plan for their lives, but He also gave people free will. God doesn’t change but neither do the rebellious.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 23-24

We’ve often heard that God doesn’t care how bad you sound, He just likes your praise. Is it true?

“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.“ (33:1)

Thank God it is true. You don’t have to sound good,, you just have to be good (righteous/upright). When we make a joyful noise to the Lord, our God receives it with joy. We don’t even have to use our voice.

“Praise the Lord with the harp, make melody to Him with an instrument of 10 strings.” (3:2)

Make melody in this verse literally means “sing to Him with an instrument,“ etc. You can worship God with your guitar. You can make up your own songs or sing other people’s.

“Sing to Him a new song, play skillfully with a shout of joy.” (3:3)

Playing, singing and shouting are all allowed, so give God some praise you saints.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 33-35

Israel wanted a king, so God was going to give them one.

“And the Lord said to Samuel: “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them…” (8:7)

Their desire to be like other nations and have a king was a rejection of God’s supremacy over them. Samuel had judged Israel for many years, so he could’ve felt kicked to the curb. But God let’s Samuel know who they are really rejecting. Three thoughts on this:

1. No man will be our country’s Savior. We already have one.

2. People who keep harping against our country being a Christian nation are rejecting God as their leader.

3. People may seem to reject us, when we witness to them about Christ, but they are rejecting Jesus.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Samuel 6-10

Many people would have wanted revenge on the brothers that had sold them into slavery. But Joseph didn’t, because he recognized the plan of God.

“But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing or harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.“ (45:5-7)

Joseph knew that his brothers wrong was actually a right. This understanding doesn’t always come immediately but sometimes it takes a while to be revealed. So don’t give up when you’re going through a trial. Keep trusting God and serving Him. It may turn out the situation has God’s hand in it.

Pastor Roger Dean

Genesis 44-47

When I was at Bible College I was exposed to teaching on the spiritual gifts. We covered the charisma gifts of 1 Corinthians 12, the ministry gifts in Ephesians 4 and the gifts that are in Romans 12, which go by different names including the creational gifts. Later on, I went to a conference on singles ministry, which I was leading at my local church. They had all of the aforementioned gifts listed plus some I questioned was even Biblical. This included celibacy. I guess I had never picked up on Paul’s writing in 7:7:

“For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.”

This passage and most of the chapter deals with whether to marry or not. The list I read included a test. My lowest score was for celibacy. This explains why I’m happily married today.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Corinthians 7-8

After ministering in the synagogue in Capernaum, Jesus, Peter, Andrew, James and John all go to Peter’s (Simon’s) house. Simon’s mother-in-law was laying down, sick with a fever, and Jesus heals her. She immediately began serving them (1:29-31). A very short passage that tells us a lot. First, that Jesus hung out with those he was disciplining. Second, that Jesus had compassion on the sick and healed them. And third, the healed served the Lord and those with Him. On this last point, the greatest healing that we receive is when we are healed by Jesus from the fever of sin. When we receive Him as our Savior, we are healed spiritually. The question is, have we began serving Him? If you are not actively engaged in serving Jesus with your gifts and talents, you should be. Easter is coming up soon, ask your Pastor where you can help.

Pastor Roger Dean

The Gospel of Mark 1-2

Everyone has heard Jesus quote 56:7 in the New Testament:

“Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Is. 56:7)

When Jesus quotes this, in Matthew 21:13, He only quotes the last part about His house being a house of prayer. He leaves off “ for all nations “. Why? Because until He gives Himself as a sacrifice, and the veil of separation is torn in two, all nations were not accepted in the temple. According to the preceding verse (Is. 56:6), it says:

“the sons of the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord to serve Him.”

That’s basically us, and all others, that have made Jesus their Savior. Our salvation, if nothing else, should encourage us to go to our local house of prayer.

Pastor Roger Dean

Isaiah 56-61

“You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you, and you will pay your vows.” (22:27)

Basically, this means, you pray, and He answers and whatever bargain you made to get the prayer answered you deliver on. Many people say things like “God help me get this job and I’ll start tithing” and then never follow through with their vow when they get the job. We are told elsewhere in scripture that it is better to not make a vow, than to make a vow and not keep it. “Lord, help me out of this trouble, and I’ll never do it again,” and then we do it again. Thankfully, we serve a God that forgives us when we are truly repentant. If you’ve not kept some promises to God that you made, repent and start over. And from now on don’t make promises to Him, rely instead on the promises He has made to us. He keeps every promise He has ever made.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 21-22

To go through times of stress and great loss can be very difficult. For some people it can be devastating, and they have a hard time recovering. David understood going through hard trials. But he knew that if he cried out to God, the Lord would deliver him and bring him out of his pit, that was like a grave. He would weep for a night, but joy would come in the morning and his mourning would be turned into dancing. No longer in sackcloth and ashes, he would be clothed with gladness. And all this deliverance would happen so that he could sing the praises of God (the gist of Ps. 30). You may be going through a tough time but hang in there. Trust in the Lord and He will not only deliver you, He will have you dancing and singing. Yes, dancing, because He sings over us songs of deliverance. (32:7)

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 30-32

 

Hannah, Samuel’s mother, was unable to have children. Elkanah, her husband, loved her, so the offering he gave for her was double portioned. But there was another problem in this happy marriage besides her infertility. There was another wife. And this wife, Peninnah, was her rival and taunted her for being childless (1:1-7). Today people advocate for all kinds of non-biblical lifestyles. I guess that they could say plural marriages was in the Bible, so it must be ok. Well, they had better check out how happy they were. Look at not only this one but also at Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel. The rivalry that existed between them was constant and I can’t see how it wouldn’t be. The Chinese use picture symbols for words and I’ve heard that their symbol for trouble was 2 women under one roof. That explains why this bad practice pretty much died out by modern times.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Samuel 1-5

 

Pharaoh has had two dreams, and it is bugging him. He knows they mean something, but he can’t figure out what. So, he calls for the magicians to interpret it for him. They can’t do it. Magicians are like the meteorologists of the Bible. I don’t mean they forecasted the weather. I mean they got it wrong a lot and they still kept their jobs! In the country Daniel lived in, Babylon, centuries later, they had magicians, astrologers and sorcerers and none of them could give Nebuchadnezzar his dream or its interpretation. Daniel had to do it. And in today’s story, Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams. If something is bugging you there is no reason to seek answers from astrology, magic cards or the Quiji board. Go and talk to a Christian friend or minister about it. They may not be able to interpret all of your dreams, but those other guys have a lousy Biblical record.

Pastor Roger Dean

Genesis 40-43

Apostle Paul was dealing with a situation involving a man who had his father’s wife. He may have seemed harsh to tell the congregation to turn the young man over to Satan. His position was that a little leaven leaven’s the whole lump. We are to be unleavened because Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us (5:6-7):

“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice or wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (5:8)

As leaders we are called to deal with grievous sin because it affects the entire body. Sincerity is an interesting word. It comes from the pottery world of Eastern bazaars. Crooked sellers would patch cracked pottery, so buyers were to hold it up to the sunlight and inspect it. So, sincerity means to be transparent, honest, pure, not hiding anything. We ought to judge ourselves lest we end up judged by others.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Corinthians 5-6

 

Without realizing it, people quote the Bible all the time. A good example of this is 19:20:

“My bone clings to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.”

How many times have you heard, “by the skin of my teeth”? But most people probably do not even know where it came from. Some people, like Shakespeare, used a lot of indirect quotes in their writings that came from the scriptures. It made them seem very clever. But the Bible is more than a bunch of interesting sayings for us to quote. To those who live accordingly to its truth it brings peace and life. By it we grow in faith because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Ro. 10:17). So read the word, believe the word, live the word and find life everlasting.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 19-20

Universalists believe that everyone will be saved, that no one is going to hell. One of the scriptures that they base that on is 45:23:

“I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath.”

Paul quotes this in Philippians 2:10-11 and it is clear that he is referring to the end of the age. To say that this means people are getting saved, rather than bowing in submission and acknowledging that Christ is Lord, is to ignore other verses in Isaiah that precede and follow verse 23. Verse 21 says He is a just God and a Savior. Can He be just and not fulfill all of the things His word says about punishing the evil people? And if they are all saved, why are the people that are incensed against Him ashamed (verse24)? Hoping that everyone makes it to heaven is one thing. Preaching that they will is another and it could set people up to feel safe as they slide into eternal damnation.

Pastor Roger Dean

Isaiah 45-50

Have you ever laid in bed at night and not been able to sleep because someone said something to you during the day that upset you? I’m betting everyone has. Even the most callous person can be rankled by another person’s words. Job had the same experience.

“Are not mockers with me? And does not my eye dwell on their provocation?” (17:2)

Job’s mind’s eye couldn’t shut out the things being said to him. He was dwelling on all the bad advice and insults he had been receiving. The only difference between him and us was that we usually wait until we get home but Job started this process while his friends were still there! Thinking about another person’s hurtful words or what you should’ve said back is not productive. Instead read the scripture, talk to Jesus, listen to some worship music, whatever calms you down the most. Put it out of your mind’s eye as best you can by thinking on the things, we read about in Philippians 4:8.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 17-18

“I will wash my hands in innocence, so I will go about Your altar O Lord.” (26:6)

Most of us get the idea of feeling better around the church altar when we have cleansed ourselves from sin. Being in church with sin weighing you down is never fun. But the idea of proclaiming your innocence by washing your hands goes back to Deuteronomy 21:1-9. There the elders of a city were to wash their hands over a dead heifer when they find a murdered body. By doing this they are stating their innocence of the murder and that they have no knowledge of it. Probably the most famous example of hand-washing, to show innocence, is when Pontius Pilate washed his hands before crucifying Jesus. We incorrectly apply Pilate’s act when we say, “I wash my hands of this matter,” meaning I want nothing else to do with it. Washing your hands like this is only symbolic. The greater matter is keeping your heart clean.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 24-26

Men from Gibeah, a tribe of Benjamin, rape and kill a woman. The other tribes demand that the Benjamites give the criminals up. When they don’t, a war starts. When the other tribes inquire of God about which tribe goes against them first, the Lord says ”Judah first” (20:18). Judah had been given the preeminence among the tribes because his older brothers had done some really bad things. Judah is the tribe of David, the greatest king of Israel and Jesus, the King of Kings. Whenever we find ourselves in conflict we should inquire of God before we engage the enemy. This is true whether the confrontation is with evil spiritual forces or people being used by them. And while in prayer we should ask the Lord, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, to go before us. With Him leading, you shall not fail.

Pastor Roger Dean

Judges 17-21

 

In chapter 32 verses 22-32 we find the story of Jacob wrestling a Man. The passage header says:

“Wrestling with God”. Like other passages we have seen, many scholars believe this is an early appearance of our Lord. Jacob himself proclaims “I have seen the face of God and my life is preserved.“

There has been a lot written and preached on this passage. Most focus on the idea of wrestling with God in the first place, that you can’t win or that you should wrestle until you get blessed. Others point out that you’ll come away changed because Jacob left with a limp. I’d like to focus on seeing the face of God. In the scriptures we find people surprised that they didn’t die when they saw God’s face. This may go back to Moses not being allowed to see God’s face because it would’ve been too overwhelmingly good. But seeing the face of the Triune God and seeing the face of The Man, our Lord Jesus, is different. When our eyes are opened to the truth in the light of Christ our lives are preserved forever. And we seek the face of Jesus forevermore.

Pastor Roger Dean

Genesis 32-35

We sometimes wonder why people don’t understand the simplicity of the gospel. I think verses 2:13-14 explains that:

“These things we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

They cannot understand the gospel because they are not spiritual. Saying “spiritual,“ can mean almost anything to some people. They can light a candle for world peace and consider themselves spiritual. What we mean by spiritual is someone who has had their eyes open to truth by the Holy Spirit. Unless the Holy Spirit turns the light on for people, they are in the dark about spiritual matters. Pray that the enemy, who blinds the lost, would take his hands off the eyes of your loved ones. And pray the Holy Spirit opens those eyes to the light of Jesus.

Pastor Roger Dean

I Corinthians 1-2

The Pharisees heard Jesus had shut the Sadducees mouths, so they came to test Jesus and asked Him this question:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” (22:36). Jesus answered this with: “ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (22:37-40)

I’m not sure how they thought their question was going to trap Him but it brought about a summation of the 10 Commandments that could not be refuted. It ended the conversation right there. It also provided for us a template to live by. We are to love God and love each other. And that is as much Law keeping as we need to do.

Pastor Roger Dean

Matthew 20-22

 

There are a lot of places in the scriptures that talk about the uselessness of idols. This includes Isaiah 40:18-20. To paraphrase: “to who or what will you compare God to make an image of Him? The wealthy make idols out of gold or silver and the poor use trees. They try to find skilled craftsman because they don’t want their idol to fall down”. I’m not sure what the driving force is that causes men to want to make idols (besides the devil!). But I suspect that it is the need to worship something that they can see. One of the Ten Commandments was to not make heaven images. Hebrews 11:1 says:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

To have faith in an invisible God is not hard. With faith we see Him in everything and nothing at the same time. There will come a day when every eye shall see. Until then, we see Him by faith.

Pastor Roger Dean

Isaiah 40-44

The fact that Job’s friends thought that he was overstating his righteousness can be seen in Eliphaz’s answer in 15:2-3:

“Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge and fill himself with the east wind? Should he reason with unprofitable talk or by speeches with which he can do no good? “

The sun comes up in the east and Eliphaz was basically saying Job was full of hot air. If Job was all that smart, why defend himself with a bunch of hollow words? Why justify himself with stuff no one is going to believe? As true as all that is, the flip side is you are usually wasting your time whenever you try to justify or defend yourself with people who have already made up their minds. Even if you are right, if they think you’re wrong, it is hard to convince anyone of your position. It is better to appeal to the Lord, who is your righteousness, than to all of the good you’ve ever done.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 15-16

David, in Ps. 21:8-11, talks about the enemies of God. Paraphrasing, it says:

“God will find all His enemies and His wrath, like a fiery oven, will burn them up. They won’t have offspring to carry on their bad names. The evil devised plots against God they couldn’t perform.”

The idea of God’s wrath being like a fiery furnace is also found in Malachi 4:1. It also states that God will not leave them root nor branch, that is successors. Peter tells us that there is fire reserved for the day of judgment and the destruction of the ungodly (2 Pet. 3:7). The alternative to burning is turning. Turning to the Lord and repenting of your sins. Having Jesus Christ as your Savior is the only insurance against the reality of hell. With Him you get After-Life Insurance and Fire Insurance all at one price. And He paid the price with His blood.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 24-26

The second time that the Angel of the Lord came to visit Samson’s mother, his father was there. After the message, that the Angel came to give, was delivered, the couple offered to make him food. He says to make a burnt offering of it, so they put it on a rock. A flame of fire goes up from the rock toward heaven and the Angel goes with it. Verse 19 says that the Angel “did a wonderous thing.” In the Hebrew this means to perform a miracle, sign, or wonder. It is actually two words, and the verb part means a wonder or marvelous work. The noun part means wonderful. When Manoah asked the Angel of the Lord his name he says:

“Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful.“ (13:18)

Isaiah 9:6 says that one of the Messiah’s titles is “Wonderful”. Many view this visitation as an early appearance of our Lord. Regardless of that, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is still performing miracles. His name is Wonderful, and we should be like Samson’s parents and fall on our faces.

Pastor Roger Dean

Judges 12-16

 

When the church first started the Jewish believers thought that the good news was just for them. This was in spite of many scriptures that said the Gentiles (non-Jews) would become acceptable. Paul quotes several of these verses in 15:8-12. I will only quote Isaiah 11 verses 1 and 10:

“And again Isaiah says: There shall be a root of Jesse and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.”

After Peter’s experience at the house of the Roman centurion Cornelius, the Gentiles were accepted but they had to follow Jewish laws. Later, after Paul’s success, the regulations were modified to only 4 requirements (Acts 15:19-21). Paul ends his speaking of the Gentiles hoping in their Savior with this (which I will close with as a prayer):

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (15:13). Amen.

Pastor Roger Dean

Romans 15-16

The rich young ruler came to Jesus seeking the answer to eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. The young man says he’s been doing that his whole life, what else do I need to do? Jesus tells him to sell everything that he has, give it to the poor and come and follow Me. The young guy went away very sad because he had a lot of stuff (19:16-22). The poor guy couldn’t give up the loot. What has a grip on you? For some it is money, for others sex, still others it’s drugs etc. In order to completely follow Jesus, we need to give up anything that keeps us from doing that wholeheartedly. Let go of anything that holds you. Church history (or rumor) has it that after the resurrection of Jesus the young fellow did finally give up his stuff and became a disciple. His name was Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37). I don’t know if this is a true connection or not, but I like a happy ending. I just hope that we all let go of whatever is holding us and have a happy ending too.

Pastor Roger Dean

Matthew 17-19

In chapter 36 the king of Assyria, Sennacherib, sent a great army to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah. In charge of this great army was his Rabshakeh or Chief of Staff. He came by way of the highway to Fuller’s Field and stood there making threats. His threats were in the Hebrew language so that all the inhabitants of the city could understand them. The Rabshakeh was relying on boasting about his armies’ other victories, and ridiculing Hezekiah and his God, in order to scare the city into surrendering. This is one of our enemies’ tactics. Anytime we are in a fight, especially one for our lives, the enemy wants to lie to us about our God’s ability to save us. But we are already saved, so don’t listen to his threats. In chapter 35 it talked about the future Highway of Holiness. Well, when the enemy comes to those of us who know Christ as their Savior, he is already standing on that Highway. So don’t listen to his lies, stand against him and he will flee.

Pastor Roger Dean

Isaiah 34-39

Job compares men to trees. Trees get cut down yet there is hope they will sprout again. Its roots might still be alive, and even though its stump looks dead, it could come back at the scent of water. Branches could spring out of it like a new plant. Men, however, die and they are dead. They are no more and disappear like water evaporating. He is laid out and he will not rise again for all eternity (14:7-12). Ok, Job is right about the tree but not about people. We are already dead. The new life, that can sprout in us, happens when we ask Jesus to be our Savior. Our bodies may then die but we are truly still alive. Our soul lives forever and we get to choose where: heaven or hell. Drink of the living water today and thirst no more.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 13-14

“Cleanse my heart O God, make it ever new….”

We sing songs like this, but it is harder to let Him work on you than it sounds. You first must have a willing heart, like David, the author of this:

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and I shall be innocent of great transgression.“ (19:12-13)

Some sin is hidden, not from ourselves, but from others. But as we progress in our Christian walk, we realize that there is more wrong with us than we immediately realize. We know about our sins, but do we recognize our faults? Those things that trip us up and make us more susceptible to temptation. A person with a heart open to God must be willing to let everything be viewed. Otherwise, you are hiding what you like, and you don’t want it exposed or removed or healed.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 18-20

 

Gideon is listed in Hebrews 11:32, along with other judges Barak, Samson, and Jephthah, plus David and Samuel, as being people that:

“by faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness …” etc.

The people the author of Hebrews includes may not be your choices. Some of them missed the mark a lot, like David, yet he was loved by God. In Gideon’s case we find in chapter 8 of Judges, after his victory, that he requests the others give him all their gold earrings. From these he made a gold ephod that became an idol to all of Israel and a snare to him and his house (8:27). An ephod was a garment worn by the high priest. But this garment was not worn, it was set up as an idol to be worshipped. The lesson for us is don’t take your eyes off of God while you are making your victory lap. Your error in judgment could be the downfall of your entire family.

Pastor Roger Dean

Judges 7-11

In 25:29-34 we find Esau selling his birthright for a pot of lentil stew. The birthright is usually considered the first-born son’s inheritance. It is larger, usually double, what the other kids get. Esau comes in from the field starving and asks Jacob for some of the lentil stew he is cooking. Jacob bargains with him, my stew for your birthright. Esau goes for the deal and thus despises his birthright. As Christians we have a birthright. We are children of the Most High God and we can expect rewards for the way we live and serve our Father. We can look down on Esau for selling himself out for lentils, but many Christians trade their rewards for other stuff. They may be hungry for power, position or wealth. Or they are starving for affection and will do anything to get it. Nobody makes a good deal when they trade the spiritual for the temporal. Don’t despise your birthright.

Pastor Roger Dean

Genesis 24-27

We hear a lot today about our culture being “woke”. I think most of us know what they are talking about and can decide how much of that we can buy into. What we don’t hear much about, not even in the church, is woke Christians. I don’t mean Christians that have accepted society’s idea of how things should be. I’m talking about the Christians that are awake.

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep. For now, our salvation is nearer than when we first believe. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light.” (13:11-12)

It is time that we Christians began to be the people of God we were called to be. Awake you sleepers and rise as the Army of God.

Pastor Roger Dean

Romans 13-14

 

I have decided today is Opposite Day. You know, where bad is good and good is bad, sweet is sour and sour is… well you get the idea. On second thought, I’ll pass on that. But today’s scripture is the opposite of what we have been told.

“Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.” (16:20)

The disciples were told not to tell others about Jesus because Jesus wasn’t ready to reveal Himself. After His resurrection He told His disciples to tell everyone in Jerusalem, Samaria and the ends of the earth the good news. Our ministry of reconciliation involves us telling others about Jesus in order for them to believe on Him. The problem is that too many of His followers do the opposite and never tell a soul about their belief that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior. And the soul they don’t tell, may be a soul that needs Jesus.

Pastor Roger Dean

Matthew 14-16

You sometimes hear, “They are such a generous person”. Generous is a word we use to describe someone who is a giver. They give of their money, time, love, themselves etc. They’d give you a bite of their sandwich if you asked. They are not stingy, they are not misers, no one would ever call them Scrooge. Why are they like this? Because they can’t help themselves.

“But a generous man devises generous things and by generosity he shall stand.” (32:8)

Generous people are generous. The King James Version uses the word liberal (I use the New King James Version) instead of generous. But I prefer generous because there can be confusion today as to what liberal means. Generous people come up with ways to bless others. It’s in their nature. It blesses them to be a blessing. And when they are generous to God, they get blessed back, because you can’t outgive God.

Pastor Roger

Isaiah 29-33

Zophar basically tells Job to clean his act up and it will all get better:

“If you would prepare your heart and stretch out your hands toward Him. If iniquity were in your hand and you put it far away and would not let wickedness dwell in your tents. Then surely you could lift up your face without spot. Yes, you could be steadfast and not fear because you would forget your misery.” (11:13-16)

Get rid of your sin and you’ll be spotless. The problem with this is, it takes repentance and God’s forgiveness to remove our sin. We can’t do this on our own. Jesus is coming back for a bride without spot or wrinkle. But He is the One that cleanses us from all of our unrighteousness, and He is the One that smooths out all of our wrinkles. You can’t put your iniquity behind you, but God can remove it from you, when you turn to Him.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 11-12

Jesus said there was no one good except the Father. David puts it this way:

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I put my trust. O my soul, you have said to the Lord “You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.” (16:1-2)

Someone once said that bad people know they are without God, but good people think they are good. How true. If we understand that all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God and that our righteousness is like filthy rags, then we realize we need a Savior. The problem is the people that think they are good on their own. They’ve never robbed a bank, been late for work or mistreated animals etc. Shouldn’t I get into heaven, they think? Being a pretty good person doesn’t make you good. You need a Savior, Jesus Christ, to make you righteous.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 15-17

The Book of Judges is about heroes that delivered Israel from various oppressors. Some, like Gideon and Samson, have longer stories about them than others. Today we will look at one of the shortest:

“After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad, and he delivered Israel.” (3:31)

There may not be as much background on him, but he did his part to deliver Israel from their enemy. Perhaps he was an upright guy that didn’t throw out fleeces like Gideon. He just trusted God and did what was necessary. Maybe he was faithful to his God all his life and he didn’t turn to strong drink or loose women like Samson. It doesn’t really matter. He is listed in the book of heroes. And it doesn’t matter if you have been in church all your life or if you have a testimony with 10 miles of bad road. If you do what God tells you, you’ll be a hero of the faith too.

Pastor Roger Dean

Judges 1-6

God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Abraham begins to do just that when the Angel of the Lord stops him. Abraham lifts his eyes and sees behind him a ram caught by the horns in a thicket.

“And Abraham called the name of the place The-Lord-Will-Provide, as it is said to this day In the Mount of the Lord, it shall be provided.“ (22:14)

He called the name of the place in Hebrew “Jehovah Jireh.” When I first started going to church, back in the 80’s, we were singing a song entitled “Jehovah Jireh.“ I had no idea that it was taken from this verse. I believe God still provides for those who act in faith and are obedient to do as they are told. Without faith and obedience, you are just wishing that God will provide as you do your own thing. But do as He asks, and His grace will help you fulfill the task.

“Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, His grace is sufficient for me, for me, for me.”

Pastor Roger Dean

Genesis 20-23

I think everyone needs to get saved. This includes Jewish people. And from the things that the Apostle Paul wrote I believe he would agree.

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.” (11:13-14)

Now this doesn’t mean that we are to get haughty about our salvation and think that we are better than them. Our salvation is a means by which God can get their attention (11:11-12). When God first began to move among the Gentiles, the Jewish believers were not sure that we could even be saved. Not until Peter explained to the leaders what happened with Cornelius. Then they said:

“Then God has granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” (Acts 11:18)

We all need to repent. We all need to get saved.

Pastor Roger Dean

Romans 11-12

“For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.“ (12:8)

Jesus says this in between two incidents. In the first (12:1-7), as He and his disciples were walking through a grainfield, His disciples began to snack on the heads of grain. The Pharisees considered this harvesting and rebuked Him ( not them). Jesus reminded them that David did something similar and then told them that He was greater than the temple and quoted:

“I desire mercy not sacrifice.“

In the 2nd incident He healed a man on the Sabbath and the Pharisees got ticked at that. So much so that they left the temple and plotted to destroy Him. Reading that passage you see they were trying to find something to accuse Him of. Most pastors have encountered folks like this. Rule oriented and unyielding, when they get upset, they look for ways to discredit you. This usually involves some power struggle over leadership. Mercy is never their strong point. All we can do when we are confronted by these types is to remember that Jesus is Lord, and we serve Him not them.

Pastor Roger Dean

Matthew 2-13

The proclamation against Tyre starts in 23:1 and goes through the whole chapter. This seaport was the main Phoenician city and at times was peaceful with Israel. This is especially true when King Hiram lived, during the reign of King David. Like most of the prophecies that were against nations, this spoke of their destruction. History tells us that it went down as Isaiah said it would. They lost their dominance of the sea after being attacked by Assyria. The cities were conquered by Babylon, almost 100 years later, after a 13 year seize. However, the island city of Tyre itself held out another 200 years, until it was wiped out by Alexander the Great. A lot of years passed between Isaiah’s prophecy and Tyre’s final destruction. Something for us to remember is that God’s word is going to come to pass. People say Jesus will not return because they think He should’ve already been here. He will come back because God’s word says He will.

Pastor Roger Dean

Isaiah 23-28

When Job is trying to get out of his conversation with his friends, he shares what I’d call a dim view of the afterlife.

“Are not my days few? Cease! Leave me alone, that I may take a little comfort, before I go to the place from which I shall not return, to the land of darkness and the shadow of death, a land as dark as darkness itself, as the shadow of death, without any order, where even the light is darkness.” (10:20-22)

Even if Job was thinking of Abraham’s busom, that’s a dark view of leaving the earth. But David says in Psalm 23:

“Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

David had a different perspective on death than Job. And Job got something else wrong in his passage, we are coming back! We are coming back with our Savior when He returns. Now there’s something to bring us even more comfort.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 9-10