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In chapter 41 we have a description of the Leviathan. Most think it is a crocodile. That certainly fits the details. As I was thinking about this powerful creature, fierce in nature, I considered the fact that we too have been created by God. We were created in God’s image. When we know Christ as our Savior we have His Spirit within us. Are we fierce? Are we courageous? Can the enemy put a hook in our jaw and drag us anywhere he wants? Do we speak to our foe softly and expect him to stop his harassment? Does he play with us as with a bird? I could keep going on, but you get the idea. Like the crocodile we should be able, through God’s power, to put up a fight the enemy will regret. May he realize:

… “any hope of overcoming him is false.” (41:9a)

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 41-42

We are told that King David was the apple of God’s eye. Yet we know that David was not perfect, he did a lot of things wrong. But one thing he did do was repent quickly, even when it wasn’t his fault. An example of this is Psalm 60.

“O God You have cast us down, You have have broken us down, You have been displeased, oh, restore us again!” (60:1)

David was viewing this attack by his enemies as a sign of God’s displeasure in Israel. But if we look at the historical book of 2 Samuel, chapter 10, we see that the new king of Ammon mistreated David’s envoys when they had been sent to show respect for the death of the old king. Neither David nor Israel had done anything wrong to deserve this war, one that I might add they won. But David started out his plea for help with repentance, which is not a bad way to start any conversation with a holy God. The thing about David was, when he repented, he meant it. And so should we.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 60-62

Chapter 22 is a song that David spoke to the Lord, praising Him for delivering him from his enemies. This song is included in the Book of Psalms as Psalm 18. Because it is a long song, I’m going to just pick a few lines that I know I have sung in modern songs or like.

“I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies.” (v4)

“For by you I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall.” (v30)

“He makes my feet like the feet of deer and sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” (v34-35)

“The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation.” (v47)

My church, the one I pastor, is Church on the Rock. So, I’m partial to the psalms that talk about the Lord being our Rock. Just be glad you only read this and didn’t hear me sing it!

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Samuel 20-24

In chapter 31, verses 12-18, we have the Sabbath Law. The Sabbath was a day of rest, a time when the Israelites were to rest from their labors. It was a sign between the Israelites and God and was to be done for all their generations. God had worked six days during the Creation and He rested on the seventh. They were to do the same. When we talk about the Ten Commandments, no one struggles with not having another god before them, or not murdering, stealing or committing adultery. But many do struggle with sabbath keeping. They point to Jesus saying that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Legalists would say you can’t do anything on the Sabbath, the opposite would say you can do anything you want. I say not taking a day of rest is wrongheaded. It was established so we could refresh ourselves like God did (31:17). Traditionally, in Christian circles, this day is the day we gather together and worship the Lord. And what’s more refreshing than being in the presence of God?

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 29-32

When we study the life of Apostle Paul we see how much he suffered for the gospel’s sake. He was beaten, whipped, imprisoned, stoned, shipwrecked, in perils from robbers and just about everyone else. He was, at times, weary, hungry, thirsty, sleepy, cold and naked (11:23-27). He went through a lot to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unsaved. Yet, to all these things he adds one other:

“my deep concern for all the churches.” (11:28)

The fact that he considered his care and concern for the churches, as great a thing as his trials, shows he was a true apostle. Some preachers are just in it for the money and should be considered hirlings. But for those who give their lives for the gospel, they understand that it includes giving yourself for the church.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Corinthians 11-13

 

When Jesus spoke, people listened.

“And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.” (4:32)

Apparently, those listening had never heard the kind of preaching that Jesus did. He backed up the things He was saying with demonstrations of God’s power. An example of this is immediately given when Jesus casts an unclean demon out of a man. And the people’s reaction?

“Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” (4:36)

Signs accompanied the preaching of the disciples before and after the crucifixion of Jesus (Luke 10:20, Mark 16:20). Signs, wonders, healings and deliverances should be following the preaching of God’s word today. Jesus didn’t just have miracles following His preaching, He had crowds. Maybe if we spoke with more authority, we’d have both too.

Pastor Roger Dean

The Gospel of Luke 3-4

After Ebed-Melech pulls Jeremiah out of the pit, King Zedekiah wants to talk with him. But he wants to do it on the sly because he is afraid of the princes. Jeremiah tells him to surrender to the king of Babylon. But Zedekiah says he’s afraid of the Jews that have already defected. Even though Jeremiah assured him that they wouldn’t harm him, the king won’t surrender. He’s even afraid that his conversation with Jeremiah will get back to the princes. (38:14-28). The fearfulness of this man results in the destruction of Jerusalem. Fearful leaders can’t make good decisions because they put their necks before their hearts. Not all of the choices that we are offered are the right ones. We must follow the Lord’s directions regardless of how hard it may seem. To not do as He says will always prove to be harder.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 37-41

 

God finally answers Job, and it starts something like this:

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: Now prepare yourself like a man. I will question you, and you shall answer me.” (40:6-7)

Ought oh, this doesn’t sound good to me. I don’t think anyone would think so. First off, a whirlwind would freak you out. Then hearing God’s voice coming out of it, that would make your head spin (as much as the whirlwind?). But to find out that you are going to be questioned by God, that would pretty much tear it. I think most of us have thought that when we get to heaven, we would ask God a question or two. But to have the One who knows the answer to everything, before He even asks, ask you stuff about yourself, that kind of quizzing isn’t going to be fun. In next week’s reading we hear Job’s reply. He basically admits his ignorance and repents. I think I’ll start doing that now just in case there’s a pop quiz this afternoon.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 39-40

David’s enemies are hounding him like a pack of dogs baying at the moon (59:14-15). But David’s answer to this is not to listen to the word on the street but to do this:

“But I will sing of Your power, yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning. For You have been my defense and refuge in the day of trouble. To You O my Strength, I will sing praises. For God is my defense, my God of mercy.” (59:16-17)

David knew his Lord, that He was not only a God of protection but also mercy. Sometimes we don’t feel that we deserve to be delivered but we have to remember that His mercy endures forever. Not all battles are the same, but our God is always the same, a God of mercy and power. So, stop battling yourself over your worthiness and give praise to the one who is worthy, our God who reigns.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 57-59

During Absalom’s rebellion, one of David’s counselors goes over to Absalom. Ahithophel was one sharp cookie, enough so that David prays his counsel will be foolishness to Absalom (15:31). David sends Hushai back into Jerusalem with the hopes that Hushai can thwart the advice of Ahithophel, who has just advised Absalom to sleep with David’s concubines. Hushai’s job was a big one because Ahithophel’s advice was like getting an oracle from God (16:23). The plan to thwart his advice works and Hushai’s advice is taken instead of Ahitophel’s because God was wanting that (17:14). This will cost Absalom his life. Ahithophel will take his own life because he knows that he has no future. When we are in conflict, we need Godly advisors, and we need to pray that our adversaries’ advice will be bad. But most of all, we need to trust God to work it all out like He did for David.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Samuel 15-19

In chapter 1 we see a couple of appearances of the angel Gabriel. Some classify him as a messenger angel because we see him bringing messages. But I don’t see the scriptures specifying that. He speaks independently to Zacharias and to Mary. He tells Zach he and his wife Elizabeth are going to have a son who’ll do great things. Zach questions this message, because of his age, and becomes mute for not believing (1:18). Then, Gabriel tells Mary she’s going to have a Son who’ll do even greater things. Mary doesn’t ask for a sign to confirm the message like Zach, but she does want to know how it will happen because she is a virgin. She then accepts the word (1:38). The reason her question wasn’t rebuked with muteness is because she wasn’t asking Gabriel to prove what he was saying the way Zach did. I think if an angel ever tells me something I’ll have plenty of questions. I’m just going to be careful how I choose my words.

Pastor Roger Dean

The Gospel of Luke 1-2

 

In chapter 32 God tells Jeremiah to buy a field. This seems ridiculous considering that Jeremiah has been telling everyone destruction is coming. But there is a purpose behind God’s directive.

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be my people and I will be their God.” (32:37-38)

Buying the land is a sign that God is bringing them back to the land. God could ask anyone to do something that might not make sense. The question is will you do it? When faced with this dilemma do what Jeremiah did, pray. He prayed for understanding (32:16-25). Don’t be surprised if you get this answer:

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh, is there anything too hard for Me?” (32:27)

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 32-36

In today’s chapters we have Elihu and God speaking, and they use similar imagery in their descriptions of God’s abilities. Elihu references thunder and lightning, snow, gentle and heavy rain, ice and bright clouds. God talks about the foundations of the earth, the sea, light and darkness. He also mentions snow and thunder, clouds and rain. Elihu’s purpose seems to be to extol God’s greatness. God doesn’t seem to be bragging on Himself but rather showing Job how minuscule he is in comparison. Does using God’s creation, as an example of God’s greatness, make Elihu a better spokesman for God than the other three friends? We don’t really know. But we do know that he isn’t rebuked like the other three. The next time we are supposed to be consoling a friend, instead of pointing out our friends flaws and sins, maybe we should just brag on God’s greatness. It seems to have worked out for Elihu.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 37-38

When King David heard that enemies were coming out to fight, he sent Joab to meet them (10:7). As Joab is preparing for battle, he says this:

“Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what is good in His sight.” (10:12)

As we are preparing ourselves for some kind of battle, we need to remember that God is in control. How He handles the situation can be different every time. Sometimes there is no fight, and the enemy flees, as the case was for Joab and his men that day (10:13). We just need to stay strong and have faith that God is well able to handle any situation we may encounter. God may not do what we expect but we can expect Him to do what is right for.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Samuel 10-14

The first part of chapter 22 is called “Responsibility for Property.” Most of these laws are just common sense. If you steal a sheep or ox, you paid back five times. You see the 5-time restoration rule in other places in scripture. If you killed a thief while he was breaking into your house at night, you were not guilty. If it was daylight when you killed the thief, you would be guilty. The idea here is that you could tell who it was, so you could’ve identified him. If your animal ate your neighbors’ stuff, you owed him for what it ate. If you loaned a neighbor something and it was stolen, and the thief wasn’t caught, the judges were to determine if you were in on it. Nowadays, many of our laws still make sense because they are based on Biblical principles. But some of them that we have don’t make sense at all. When it takes a lawyer to figure out your tax laws, you know you’re in trouble.

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 21-24

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said…”(6:14-16)

(Room doesn’t allow me to continue with the rest of 16 and verses 17-18). The obvious answer to all these questions is NONE! This doesn’t mean we can’t be friends with sinners. How else can we love them to Christ? But what it does mean is we shouldn’t get married to them, go into partnership with them or worship with them. And yes, unbelievers worship together in a variety of ways, some of which even appear Christian. You are God’s temple, so act like it.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Corinthians 6-8

We all have failed, sometime or the other, in our Christian walk. We’ve done or said something that made us feel lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon wheel rut. If we feel we have betrayed the Lord, it makes the feeling worse. Imagine if we were Peter, and we had spent years with Jesus, only to deny him publicly. When Jesus said he would do this, Peter proclaimed proudly that it would not happen. It happened. He had to be terribly upset, depressed even. Maybe that is why, when the ladies find the empty tomb, they are told this:

“But go, tell his disciples—and Peter— that He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him, as He said to you.” (16:7)

Why single Peter out? Jesus knew that Peter had to be despondent and needed the extra reassurance that all would be well. When we fail, Jesus cares. We need to receive His forgiveness and move on. He is going before us, just continue to follow Him.

Pastor Roger Dean
The Gospel of Mark

In the first eleven verses of chapter 27, the Lord tells us He made everything, it’s in His hands to do what He wants.

“I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me.” (27:5)

He goes on to say that He is giving all the land around, including Israel, to Nebuchadnezzar and whoever will not serve him will get destroyed. God decides which nations rise and which falls. No one could ever have defeated Israel when God was on their side. But disobedience and worshipping other gods sent them down the wrong path that led to destruction. Later God decides He has used the Babylonians enough and gives them to be destroyed by other nations. God decides these things. Now is the time to pray that our nation opens it’s eyes and follows God. Later, may be too late.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 27-31

“Surely God will not listen to empty talk, nor will the Almighty regard it. Although you say you do not see Him, yet justice is before Him and you must wait for Him.” (35:13-14)

Stop blabbering. God isn’t going to listen to your hollow promises, when you’re telling Him how much you’ll change if He helps you out. He is a God of justice, and He is going to rescue those whom He chooses, when He chooses. His decision will be right. Right in His eyes and right for you. You might not think He’s doing anything, but He is, and He’ll do it in His time. All your talk won’t change it. He’s not the devil that you’ve been given authority over. You need to chill out and wait on Him. Wait, wait, wait some more and watch what He does.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job chapters 35-36

The title of Psalm 51 is A Prayer of Repentance. When I first started going to church, I remember hearing a song by Keith Green. He was very popular at the time but died in an airplane crash. The song was based on verses 10 and 11:

“Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

To me this speaks of one repenting. I know, I’ve done it many times. We sang a song in church back then that was similar. One of the two added:

“Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit within me.” (12?)

Our God is a forgiving God and I thank God for it. He will put you back where you belong spiritually, when you repent of your sins. And when you do, you will have the kind of joy that’s just like being saved all over again.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 51-53

When David is trying to bring the ark of God into Jerusalem, one of the men touches it and dies. This freaks everyone out, and they decide to leave the ark at Obed-Edom’s house, while they figure out what went wrong. Obed-Edom was the perfect person to leave it with because he was a Levite. Some Levite’s families were priests, others were assistants etc. Obed-Edom’s clan were doorkeepers. Their job was to watch over the ark and keep it safe. It says in 6:11 that while the ark was in his house the Lord blessed him and his whole household. This blessing must’ve been great because people told David about it. The ark was considered the place where the presence of God was. The message to us is, if we allow the presence of God into our house, we will be blessed. As Christians the Lord’s presence is with us. We just need to guard the door to our hearts.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Samuel 5-9

The first time Joshua appears in scripture is when he is told to lead men in the battle against the Amalekites (17:8-16). Moses stood on top of a hill and held out his rod toward the battle. As long as his rod was held up, Israel prevailed. When he started getting tired Aaron and Hur (identified as an assistant to Moses 24:14) helped hold up his arms. After the battle was won Moses erected an altar to honor the Lord and called it “The Lord is My Banner” (Yahweh Nissi). A banner was a standard or battle flag on a pole that could be lifted to signal troops. It could call the people to fight, have a meeting or to receive instructions. Moses was saying that if he lifted up the Lord, the Lord would direct his battles. God still does this for us today. His love for us means He not only protects, and provides for us, but He also fights for us. The allegory of the Song of Solomon had it right:

“He brought me to the banqueting house and His banner over me was love” (Song of Sol.)

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 17-20

We often hear about “momentary light afflictions”, so let’s look at what Paul had to say about them:

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet our inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (4:16-18)

We all have trials and afflictions, and I doubt if any of us enjoy them. But the issue is our perspective. If we view our trials as a process in our spiritual growth, it is easier to bear them. This requires dying to the flesh, which never sees the eternal aspects of life. So always remember, the trial is but for a moment, and your life is eternal. Like people always say, the things that don’t kill us make us stronger.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Corinthians 4-5

People are fascinated with the signs of the times, especially in relation to the end of the age. Reading chapter 13 verses 3-13 we see a list of things that must happen. Let’s see how many have: people saying they are Jesus-check; wars and rumors of wars-check, check; earthquakes and famines- check, check; delivered to councils and beaten-check; testifying before rulers and kings-check; gospel preached in all nations-no; family members killing each other over the gospel-check; Christians hated for the gospel- check. As you can see from this checklist, there is only one thing in this passage that needs to happened before the end. Those who study these things say we are very close for all the people groups of the world to hear the Good News. If you are not ready for Christ’s return I’d get ready. Ready or not, here we go.

Pastor Roger Dean

The Gospel of Mark 13-14

The Lord tells the king of Judah a lot of stuff through Jeremiah the prophet. Today let’s look at this:

“Thus says the Lord: Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor she’d innocent blood in this place” (22:3)

We often find in the Old Testament the command to take care of the stranger, orphans and widows. I’ve written on this before. But I’d like to concentrate on “Execute judgment (dispense justice) and righteousness and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor.” I think we live in the greatest country in the world. But that doesn’t mean we hit all the marks. We need to pray for our leaders that they try their best to do all the things in verse 3, not just some of them. If they will, it will be good for us, our children and our children’s children.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 22-26

Elihu repeats back some of the things that Job has been saying (33:8-11). This shows that he has at least been listening to Job. But Elihu doesn’t agree with Job (has anybody?). He says:

“Look, in this you are not righteous. I will answer you, for God is greater than man. Why do you contend with Him? For He does not give an accounting of any of his words.” (33:12-13)

Why do we contend with God when things are not going our way? Because we want it our way! Most often, when this is the case, God doesn’t explain Himself because He doesn’t have to. He is the Creator of all of heaven and earth. He can do what He wants. Once you have eliminated the idea that the devil is thwarting you, then you can decide to submit to God’s will. You may be told why, you may not. You may realize it later, you may not. But we can wrestle with God for the wrong reasons. Check your motives. You will never be a pure as God and He knows best.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 33-34

Thank God we do not need to do animal sacrifices. Jesus is the only sacrifice that we will ever need. They offered a lot of animals on the altars under the Old Covenant. God had set that up but in Ps. 50:10-15 He points some things out. He didn’t need their animals. He owned every beast and the cattle on a thousand hills. If He was hungry, He wouldn’t tell them, the whole world was His and everything in it. Would He eat the flesh or drink the blood of bulls or goats? This wasn’t the point of the offerings. The idea was they were to:

“Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.” (v 14)

They we’re giving thanks for the things they had and we’re returning a portion of what they had to Him to pay Him honor. It was not just a duty but an act from the heart. When they did this, they could call upon Him and He would deliver them, and they would give Him even more glory. Are we thankful? Are we honoring Him with our resources? We don’t need animals to do that. We just need the right heart.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 48-50

 

The last half of chapter one is entitled “The Song of the Bow.” The song itself was written by David as he lamented the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. The title is appropriate because Saul’s tribe, the tribe of Benjamin, was known for their abilities with the bow and arrow. The song was written in the Book of Jasher or The Book of the Upright. This book is also mentioned in the Book of Joshua, when Joshua commanded the sun to stand still (Joshua 10:12-14). The margin notes in my study Bible says that the Book of Jasher was a national songbook. We do not have it in our Bible. Why? Because God didn’t want it there. Every so often you come across a reference to a book or the writings of someone that didn’t make it in our Holy Bible. I believe this is by design and that they were not needed. Some want to make this a conspiracy and blame Constantine or some council of old or King James. I say we should be happy with God’s word as it is. Most of the people who spout this stuff off are not even reading the Bible they have.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Samuel 1-4

God had done some mighty things to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. The plagues, the parting of the Red Sea. Yet with all of that they still walked in fear and doubted His care for them. And they complained against Him and Moses whenever any need wasn’t immediately met. Yet they had a reminder of His presence with them every day and night:

“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.” (13:21-22)

How could they not see these pillars and not remember all He had done for them? But what about us? Do we forget all the Lord has done for us? Do we whine the minute our needs are not met? We have been given something greater than the pillars. We have been given the Holy Spirit. We should be reminded always that God will never leave us nor forsake us.

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 13-16

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.“ (1:21-22)

Those of us who know Christ as our Savior have been marked by God with His seal of approval. All of us have been established together in Christ and anointed by God. The guarantee of this is the Holy Spirit. A guarantee is a pledge or deposit on something that shall be completely and fully possessed later. It is like earnest money, a down payment on the purchase price. The Holy Spirit in our lives is a foretaste of what we have in our future when we are no longer in this flesh. The truth is, Jesus paid the price for our purchase. We are just waiting until He has taken us to Himself. And until then we have the Holy Spirit as a bond and seal of our faith.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Corinthians 1-3

The Triumphal Entry is the title of the 11:1-11 passage. It is the final days of the Lord’s ministry before His crucifixion. This was the Sunday, before He was hung on the cross, on Friday. His entry was a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, which says in part:

“Behold, your King is coming.”

Anything used for sacred purposes was not to have been used for anything else and the colt had never been ridden. The customary way to welcome a king was to put the fronds and clothes on the road. By quoting Psalms 118:25-26, the people were proclaiming Jesus as their Messiah. Hosanna means “save now” and it came to be used as a shout of praise, like Hallelujah. Well, with the way the world is going we could shout Hosanna, Save Now! Our King will be making a Triumphal Return, and we need to welcome His arrival. He will not be returning on a colt but on a cloud. Can I get a Hallelujah!

Pastor Roger Dean

Mark 11-12

Most of us wouldn’t do anything evil to a child. We especially don’t want to do anything damaging to our own children. Imagine being put in a situation where your village is under siege and you’re starving. God tells the Jews this is going to happen to them, and they will eat their own kids (19:9). Eating your children was part of the original curse for disobedience when God gave out the blessings and cursings (Leviticus 26:29). When we look at history, we see this actually happens when the Babylonians invade in 586 b.c. And again, to Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 a.d. I have to believe that those who did this were already evil people and bad parents. Then I think about how many care so little for their babies that they don’t even let them be born. Or those we see on tv that harm their own kids physically, verbally and emotionally. All this makes me want to hug my children and let them know I love them.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 17-21

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