John Nunnikhoven is a member of The Fellowship of Ailbe and has begun working toward what, Lord willing, will become a re-awakening of the Church as a body directed into living the Kingdom in the here and now as it awaits the yet to come.
Books by John Nunnikhoven
Then He said to them, "These arethe words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Yes, so important that all things must be fulfilled but when the Spirit opens my understanding it becomes an entirely new set of circumstances. So good!
And so bad when I attempt to rely on my own understanding. Disaster! Train wreck!
Morning Psalm 81, Noon Psalm 119:105-112, Evening Psalm 32
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
Then He spoke to them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all thingstake place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
The Lord was assuring His followers of that day and this one also that even as we watch the progress of the seasons through the natural process of nature, knowing certain step must be accomplished, so must we be alert to the signs of His return. Just as the fig tree begins to bud in preparation for the ripening of its fruit, so must we watch for the Son of Man to return in a cloud with power and great glory.
His return will not be as a thief in the night but in power and great glory. Until then we are to be faithful labors in His vineyard.
Morning Psalm 80, Noon Psalm 119:97-104, Evening Psalm 31
Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it tothe end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with mywhole heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, Andrevive me in Your way.
Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devotedto fearing You.
Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments aregood.
Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness.
As I read through this stanza, several times, I was struck by each of the first seven verses and their pleas for growth in the ways of the Lord. Teach! Give! Make! Incline! Turn! Establish! And turn again! Finally that summary plea, "Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness." I hear a note of desperation in the voice of the scribe who wrote this beautiful tribute to the LORD, God, the Almighty.
May I and each of my readers be consumed by the same thirst for the Word.
Morning Psalm 79, Noon Psalm 119:89-96, Evening Psalm 30
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all thingswhich are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
Ir is very easy, in this time of great confusion and stress, to wonder if this passage maybe presaging the Last Days. But no, certainly not in the 1stparagraph. Jerusalem is still being trampled by the Gentiles and the trampling shows no sign of abating, and will be until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Would this mean that the Temple Mount is finally and completely under the control of Israel? Stay tuned.
When I was a young boy, I would awaken in the middle of the night, worried that I had missed the return. My solution was to check to see if my younger brother, Joe, was still in bed. There was no doubt in my mind, he was a much more obedient son than I and surely the Lord would take him.
But the Second Coming will be an affair of great turmoil in the heavens, the seas, and distress of the nations. It is not hard to be suspicious in this time of worldwide Pandemic, record hurricanes and forest fires, but not yet. We have yet to see the Son of Man coming in a cloud of power and great glory.But we will. Stay tuned.
Morning Psalm 78, Noon Psalm 119:81-88, Evening Psalm 29
Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again." But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.
At first brush, I find this very strange. Jesus plainly stated that the prophesies, which the disciples clearly would have been familiar with, will be accomplished. But they didn't understand. So what made me such a hot shot that I have complete recall and total understanding of the Word of the Lord? I'm not! And I don't! Either!
But what the Lord expects from all of us who name Him as our Lord and Savior, is acceptance of those 'all things' until the time is right for understanding. I must accept that there is much that I cannot comprehend as a finite being, but must trust that the LORD,God, the Almighty, the infinite being, is in charge of all things
Morning Psalm 77, Noon Psalm 119:73-80, Evening Psalm 28
Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
Doesn't this sound like many 'christian' households on Sunday morning? “I've been so busy this week, all I need is a chance to sleep in and rest” Or “I promised Aunt Sally I would spade her garden this morning” Or “Our son is bringing his fiance for breakfast this morning and we need to meet her.”
What would we do if we got a call from Uncle Megabucks asking if we could spend the day with him discussing our role in the administration of his estate? Jump out of bed, call Aunt Sally and give her an excuse, get a hold of #1 son and tell him dress appropriately to meet the family patriarch?
What happened to the Lord's Day? The day when all things are ready to spend the day in communion with Him?
Morning Psalm 76, Noon Psalm 119:65-72, Evening Psalm 27
And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat. When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all thingsare clean to you. "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them
Isn't our Lord telling us that we must seek to use everything to glorify the LORD, God, the Almighty? The Pharisees were willing to use relatively insignificant and available herbs as a donation to the LORD, rather than seek to find ways to live justly and spread the love of God.
Do you notice that this is the only example that Jesus gives as an example where we are prone to substitute something cheap for something that demands commitment and sacrifice on our part?
The next two examples deal with our love of self. The Pharisaical nature, inbreed in all of us, loves to be recognized as men and women who advance the Kingdom.
Good morning, Pastor John, thank you for all that you do. Nobody ever greeted me as Programmer John, yet my contribution to advancement of the Kingdom should have been as God honoring as my calling as a pastor. And in those days I didn't realize that the root purpose of my being was to serve God.
Morning Psalm 75, Noon Psalm 119:57-64, Evening Psalm 26
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it,and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it."
This is a very interesting passage “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” The Father is revealed to us by the Son (if we are the one to whom the Son chooses to reveal the Father to) Predestination? Well, maybe not for we must keep in mind that in 1 John3:22 “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
I must always bear in mind that Scripture is always consistent. Therefore I am a participant, I am commanded to strive to live in a way that is pleasing to my Lord.
Morning Psalm 74, Noon Psalm 119:49-56, Evening Psalm 25
So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their owncity, Nazareth.And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
There were many precise directions for the cleansing and dedication of a firstborn according to the Word of the LORD. Joseph and Mary performed tnem all. Not only was this absolutely necessary, it gives us a very consise picture of the importance of the Word of the LORD in the Jewish family. I get a picture of regular family devotionals focused on the law of God as it dwelt with all aspects of Jewish life.
What has happened to the practice of family devotionals among Christian families? Even the most devoted? Do we expect the Word to become ingrained in our childrian's lives through some mystical osmosis? Maybe sleeping with the Bible under their pillow?
Morning Psalm 73, Noon Psalm 119:41-48, Evening Psalm 25
My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes.
Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.
Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously.
I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.
I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame!
I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart
My brother, the nameless, faceless post-Excellic scribe pleads for undestanding of the Word of God. And in doing so, sets the stage for all of us who are coming behind. A paraphrase of this stanza would be a plea to give an understanding of all things, God wise. It won't happen but it is a worthy goal.
Morning Psalm 72, Noon Psalm 119:33-40 Evening Psalm 24
(I)t seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
Luke is using the 'all things' phrase to establish his qualifications for what he is going to report. This might be called a restricted 'all things'
Morning Psalm 71, Noon Psalm 119:25-32 Evening Psalm 23
Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here while I pray." And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, evento death. Stay here and watch." He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all thingsa repossible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."
I have read this passage countless times but was shocked to realize that this specific “all things” includes not accepting the sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for my sins. I don't want to carry this any farther at all for I quickly run into conflict with God's promises. I think, that of all the verses I've looked at so far, this one really drives home the point that the LORD, God, the Almighty's all means all in a way that no one else's all really means all.
Morning Psalm 70, Noon Psalm 119:17-24 Evening Psalm 22