Daniel 8:1-27 ~ 1 John 2:1-17 ~ Psalm 120:1-7 ~ Proverbs 28:25-26
Today is December 1st. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. Wow! This is the beginning of the last month of the year. We have journeyed 11 full months together in this year. Wow! It is great to greet you from the land of the Bible where we are kind of moving toward the last phase of our journey for this year into the scriptures and the land in which the scripture happened, but wow, welcome to December! In just a couple of weeks it is going to be Christmas. What in the world? The year did go by fast, I have to tell you, but it is exciting to be here with you today. So we’re reading from the New Living Translation this week and we’ve been moving our way through the book of Daniel, which is what we’ll do today, Daniel chapter 8 verses 1-27.
There are some days in the scriptures where things are so clear, direct, understandable that you can’t ignore them and you need to spend time with them. The Proverbs are often like this, but here are plenty of places in the scripture that are like this and what we read today in 1 John chapter 2 is like this. It is really a clear explanation of the reality that we live in. Rather than me saying some words or reading it over again, I challenge you to go to your Bible and spend some time with it with this question. Is this how I live? Is this what my life looks like? It explains so much if we’ll be honest with ourselves about the posture of our heart toward God and toward one another and the beautiful grace of Jesus and knowing that we’re all in different places and different seasons and at different stages of our lives.
Father, we invite your Holy Spirit into this as we do most every single day. Without you planting this in our lives and our openness to it to change the way we look at things, then we’re just trying to control this relationship and not surrendering at all. We are just trying to manage. So we come and surrender to you your will, your ways. May they become ours as your Spirit rises within us to spill out from us into this world. Come Jesus, we pray in your name. Amen.
Okay, so yesterday was a full day in the Jerusalem area and a lot of jostling around as it is in Jerusalem and moving through some checkpoints and all of that.
We started our day early and it really was early because the day that moves us toward Jerusalem is a long one and so we were I think delirious. I was really tired getting here. Some sleep, but a really early morning because we began the day ascending up on the Temple Mount, and you have to get there early or it can be complicated.
So we went up on the Temple Mount. It is spectacular. Even though there is no Temple on the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock is there. It is a Muslim controlled area. We went up and the views from there are really wonderful. It was a blue sky even though rain had been forecast as is the case today. We spent some time up there. We looked around, did the whole of the Temple Mount and then made our way down to the Pools of Bethesda. We reconsidered Jesus there with the man who had been waiting to get into the water for 38 years and for the collaboration that Jesus invited this man into and the waiting and the longing and the wholeness and everything that has been coming up in our hearts. So a little bit of time there.
Right next to the Pools of Bethesda is a church called St. Anne’s. In all the hustle and bustle, every single day of this journey is a journey unto itself and each day has its own personality and there are little oasis that come up throughout the day where there are these moments. This particular church that is there at the spot is from the Crusader Era, but it has acoustics that are rare, that are really reverberant in a very pleasing way. With the size of the group that we have this time, we were able to basically take all the seats. So the priest, he came and gave us a little bit of an encouragement. The church is known for its grandparents, for prayers for grandparents. So that is nice. It was nice of him to share and encourage us. And it was very encouraging. And then Jill, my wife, she came up to the front and pretty much threw down and all of a sudden we were all singing together. The reverberation is angelic and it is just this moment of serene worship. It was just a surreal and beautiful experience. It really was lovely. If there weren’t other people trying to get in there, I think we could have stayed in there a long, long, long time. But it was a beautiful, beautiful moment.
Then when we departed there, down through the Lion’s Gate, got on the bus and began to make our way toward Bethany where the Tomb of Lazarus is. So we considered some of the stories that happened in Bethany once we got up there, of course the calling forth of Lazarus from the grave as well as the story where a woman comes and kisses Jesus’ feet and weeps over them and brings an alabaster jar of ointment. We considered the stories of Jesus there in Bethany and then moved on our way toward Bethlehem.
With a little lunch in our bellies, we went into the Shepherd’s Fields which are obviously a famous reference point in the Christmas story and being the Christmas season that is special. It also is very intertwined with the story of Naomi and Ruth and Boaz, so we spent a little time there.
A little shopping in Bethlehem and made our way to the Church of the Nativity, which has been under renovation for several years now, I think about a year and it will be complete. I’ve been there before the renovation started so before the scaffolding was up and all of the pillars are wrapped and all the restoration there is takes to care for a building that is so old and has been through so much. It requires the cooperation of so many different Christian traditions. We were able to go in and go down into the grotto and see the spot where Jesus was born. That is always special.
For me, there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of chaos and a lot of tradition layered upon tradition layered upon tradition, but every time I start walking down those steps it just hits me, the significance of the arrival of Jesus, especially in this season of Advent. That he would come for us at all. I mean, we had it all. We had perfection and we managed to really mess perfection up, this perfect intertwining of relationship with God. We managed to mess it up significantly, and that he would come, that he wouldn’t give up, that he would love us, to not let go, to not turn his back, to not just go ‘well, you’re on your own now. I don’t love you anymore because you haven’t loved me.’ He loved us first and he loves us always. So just to be there in spite of all of the layers of tradition, just to understand that he came, he came for us, he would not let us go brings so much hope because he has never stopped coming for and he will never stop coming for us. That is the hope of our salvation and the ground upon which everything that we believe in exists and stands upon. And so to be in that spot, as brief as it is, is a powerful moment.
So we were able to have that moment before moving our way back through the hustle and bustle of Bethlehem, which is a Palestinian controlled city and so a different culture. Very nice people. Everyone was very kind to us and always is but very, very different than what we’re used to. The irony is that it is not so different from what Jesus knew and understood. So we moved our way and got back on the bus and back through the hustle and bustle and back through the checkpoints and all of that and made our way back to end our day.
A number of the group went into the Jerusalem markets. If you’ve ever been there, that is a story of its own. It’s chaos and color and smells and more chaos and more beautiful humanity. So that is an experience of its own. Others of us needed to check in with things back across the ocean and get some rest and some other things done, so we ended our day and are ready for a new day with a new personality and a new complexion.
We thank you for your continued prayers over us. Stamina is definitely something to pray for. Rest, good quality, deep restorative rest. We’ve been at this and it feels like we’ve been at this for a long, long time, so rest is important at this point so we thank you for that. Of course, always safety, technology, travel, all of that. We thank you for your prayers. We’ll talk about what we’re doing today after we do it.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It is where you find out how things are and what is going on around here. You can follow along with this trip. We’re posting videos and even broadcasting live as often as we can get stable enough connection to do it at the Daily Audio Bible Feedback page which is www.Facebook.com/DailyAudioBible. So there are definitely little moments from each day there and you can go back and watch through everything we’ve been talking about. So that is there.
The Christmas Box is well underway and you can get yours at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Shop. It is chockful of resources that have been created for our community and its enrichment. It is full. It is a full box. So you can see everything that is there at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Shop. Check it out. We’re always selling out of them before the season is over.
If you are wanting the Christmas Box for Christmas and you are ordering internationally, outside of the United States, you need to do that today or tomorrow at the latest. I mean, you can do it at any time, but tomorrow is sort of the time period where we feel like this is the last day that you can safely expect it to get there for Christmas. We do our best but just a heads up on that if you are international and want the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box. If you are in the United States, there is still some time on that, but we always do sell out of them. So check out the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Shop.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at www.DailyAudioBible.com. There is a link. It is on the home page. Thank you here in the last month of the year, the homestretch of the year, for your partnership, allowing the Daily Audio Bible to exist and continue and be here every day faithfully and consistently. Thank you for your partnership. If it has been a life-giving thing to you this year, then thank you for partnership and being life-giving back.
As a community, we are really good at praying for each other. So if you have a prayer request or comment (877) 942-4253 is the number to dial.
And that is it for today. I’m Brian. I love you all the way from Jerusalem and back and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hey fellow Dabbers. This is Joe the Protector from Georgia here. It’s November 28th at about 7:40 in the morning. I just finished listening to the 28th podcast and just wanted to call in. God has been putting on me that I’ve heard a lot of desperation in some of the calls coming in lately as in from Alleah from Waxahachie and others. And Alleah, we have you. God has you. The body of Christ has you lifted up, girl, so don’t despair. As children of God we’re not to be discouraged. I know it happens in our flesh, but we’re supposed to lay our flesh down and become like Christ more and more every day. So I want to read this passage that I just got finished reading a moment ago and made me call in. Philippians 3:12, starting in 12: Not that I’ve already attained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own, but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, which is the kingdom of God. I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way and anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. I know we’re all at different maturity levels in our walk with Christ, but….
Hi Daily Audio Bible family. It’s James, the teacher in LA and I just listened to the November 27th podcast. I heard Krista from I don’t know if she said Saskatchewan or Alberta, I’m sorry, but you said that you were just going through a lot of anxiety, nausea, and that you felt like you were in the valley of the shadow of death. I don’t know if you’ve read through this recently, but I just felt I need to read this to you and anyone else who feels like they are going through a valley. Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies and anointest my head with oil and my cup brimmeth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Krista and everyone else out there who feel that they are being done in by the enemy and in darkness, the Lord is with you. I need to remember that too. God bless you family. I love you guys.
Hi, this is Irma from Missouri. I have been thinking about calling for so long. I’ve been in DAB for quite a while and actually just caught up. I’ve been behind about five or six days, but I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers for each of us, even those that you don’t know. I pray for you all as I hear your prayer requests and I just am so, so honored to be a part of this special thing that we have going on here. Brian and your family, thank you so much for your ministry. So many people that I’ve gotten to know over the years that I’ve been listening, just listening silently but still praying. Blind Tony, I love the faith that you have. You have pulled me through so many things. So many other people too I can’t name as well. I just wanted to ask for prayer for my family. I’ve been feeling a tug on my heart to call in and ask for prayer. I feel like I walk alone with the Lord here most of the time. Just pray for my family. We’re having so many struggles going on with grandkids and spouses, marriages, all kinds of things. The Lord knows. God knows. I know that you know. Just please, please pray for our family. And I wish you all the best of the special holidays and God’s hand in your lives. I love you all. Thank you.
Hello. It’s Bries calling from the Northwest Territories, Canada. I’ve been listening for about four years and I really enjoy the fellowship and I really appreciate Brian reading and the commentaries that you give every day. It’s great to be part of community and to feel so enriched by the word of God and then the commentaries and the prayers. I am calling in to… First of all, I heard today someone from Saskatchewan, Canada calling in for prayer who was having a lot of depression and physical problems and her doctor changing medication. I just want you to know that I’m praying for you. With all of us praying together, you will be healed, in Jesus’ name. And I wanted to share some praise reports. I myself was healed after a surgery, that I wasn’t expected to be healed of all the __________ I had. However, I seemed to have been and I just praise God for that. A lot of people were praying for me. And another one is that I know a friend of mine has been healed from breast cancer completely. No symptoms. Without surgery and without any treatment. So praise God for that. Just to encourage that God indeed does answer prayers and does heal today. God bless you. Bye.
Hello Daily Audio Bible. This is Nathan, Gift of God from Illinois. I know I haven’t called for like forever I think, but I wanted to call today because a good friend of mine told me a story, something that happened to him and I’m hoping it’s an encouragement. I’ve known this guy for like 40 years. We’ve been best friends. Sometimes he can start a sentence and I’ll finish it for him. He was telling me unbeknownst to me he and his wife had like $2 in their checking account. That was all the money they had. Running low on food. Now he runs the books because it causes a lot of anxiety for his wife to be involved at that level in the family budget. So he decided to share with his wife that that was all they had and so they decided to pray. He prayed “God, just need food. Plain and simple, we need food.” And he is a believer, been a believer most of his life and very faithful. So just within like a half hour or so, a short amount of time, there is a knock on the door. The son answers it and said “hey, mom! It’s our next door neighbor.” And so his wife went to the door and she said, “Todd, get down here now!” And the next door neighbor had a box of food for them. Apparently her dad was giving food boxes away and couldn’t find __________, gave it to her, and she had no idea of the circumstance and gave it to him. Previous to this she had made a list of food items that they needed and this is the miracle. Other than just the food arriving, every single thing on that list was exactly what she wrote down except for two items. It was even like she wrote down green beans and it was green beans in the box. This is God. This is the God that we…
Hey family, it’s Scott from Carolina. I wanted to check in after the holiday on Monday and just give you a few updates. I asked you to pray for my son Josh. He is improving and I just want to ask you to continue to pray. It is a long road for him and everything that he does is a challenge with anxiety and distraction, so just keep him in your prayers, that he would be able to focus and concentrate. He’s planning to start back in school in January. We praise God for that. I also wanted to reach out to Olympia. Indonesia, wow! Awesome. I remember you talking, I think, Olympia, earlier about going there and so I think that was you anyway. We want to lift you up in that new culture and environment. And also Alleah from Waxahachie. You know Alleah, you were one of the first voices I heard when I started listening to Daily Audio Bible and I just don’t know how to say it, but I just want to say I love you and I want to pray for you now. Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for Alleah and we thank you for her love for you. Father, we just pray that you would surround her with the prayers of thousands, Lord, and give her the comfort that only you can give. Father, we pray for this family, Lord, and the struggles that are going there. We just love you and praise you. In Jesus’ name. Have a great day family.