Hosea 4:1-5:15 ~ 2 John 1:1-13 ~ Psalm 125:1-5 ~ Proverbs 29:9-11
Today is the 6th day of December and like day 2 of jet lag recovery from Israel. It’s like I got home and the seasons have changed. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least the southern style which is fairly gray and brown and the leaves have fallen. We’re doing everything we can to sort of sleep when we must and reintegrate. One of the beautiful ways that happens is continuing with the rhythm that we’ve established for our lives every day to enrich ourselves through God’s word and listen to him speak. So let’s jump into that now.
We’re reading from The Message this week and we just really got going in the book of Hosea, so we’ll continue forward in that and then when we get to New Testament, we’ve got a new letter because we’re kind of moving through some of these shorter letters and it will bring us to 2 John. But first, Hosea chapter 4 verse 1 through 5 verse 15 today.
Introduction of a New Book (New Testament)
Coming quickly on the heels of John’s first letter is 2 John, the second epistle of John written shortly after he wrote his first letter and probably to the same people he wrote the first letter to. This letter was probably written from the city of Ephesus where John spent the latter years of his life and he wrote it to encourage and strengthen the church against the false doctrine that was so pervasive around them and to remind them that they needed to guard themselves against these false doctrines and live in truth and love in contrast to these false teachings.
This is all true today. There are plenty of false doctrines around us, plenty of things to be seduced by and it’s very important that we walk in truth and love, guarding ourselves as we carry forward the gospel, the banner, as ambassadors of the gospel on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ. So we begin 2 John chapter 1.
John reiterates what is throughout the entire Bible and throughout the entire faith culture that we live in to the point of cliché. That we should love one another is sort of foundational and irreplaceable and we all know it. But the question that remains is are we living it? To know about something and to live something, those are two different things. Just like to know about God is not the same as being in a relationship with God so we can know that we’re supposed to love one another and not and then what is the good of knowing about it?
Here’s the thing. Loving one another as Jesus loved us, that is the centerpiece of this faith. If we aren’t doing that, well then a couple of things. One, it’s not going to work. The faith journey is not going to work. Loving one another is the centerpiece. But it is not just this commandment. It is not just this cage. It is this invitation. To love one another is to live Christ-like. To love one another is to live healthy as we were made to be.
So may we take some moments throughout this day and kind of consider that, consider the ways in which we are loving well and consider the ways in which we are not because it is not like an on or off thing. It is like we sort of do this. What if we went all in and actually did set aside preference in every other thing and just lived in love for God’s people including the ones in our homes and love the world as Christ did? Then we would be living well. We would be living healthy. So let’s invite the Holy Spirit into what that would look like if we were fully engaged.
We do invite you, Holy Spirit, and we invite your life and your love to be a part of our lives, to spill out of the overflow of our lives into everyone that we interact with in any way. May we love as you love because this is healthy and this is right and this is how we are made. Anything less is living contrary to our design and so it makes a lot of sense that so many things won’t work. We’re living contrary. So help us, Holy Spirit. Set us right. Give us the eyes and ears of the kingdom. Give us your heart for those that you love and may we love them as you do. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s, of course, where you find out what is going on around here. It’s Christmastime around here, so a couple things. Today we’re going to start what we do annually in creating our Annual Virtual Christmas Party. So if you’ve been around the Daily Audio Bible for more than year, then you kind of know the drill here. If this is your first year, what we do is we call in Christmas holiday wishes for each other and then we create this little Christmas party that we can all listen to and a retelling of the Christmas story is involved and just our calls and it’s a really, really beautiful time.
So in order to create that, here’s what you do. You call the prayer line, (877) 942-4253, and leave your holiday wishes. However, there is one trick, one request. Since it is the prayer line, if you have a prayer request or anything like that, don’t mix it together with your holiday greeting or neither one of them…I mean, there is just no way to do that. So if you have a prayer request, call it in, of course. And then if you have a holiday wish, call it in separately, differently and then we will compile all of that together and have our annual Daily Audio Bible Christmas Party with each other. It’s a lot of fun. So we’re starting to do that now. We’ll do it for about a week so get your calls in for that.
Then also the Christmas Box is something we’ve been talking about. I love it when we do this every year because we pack this box full of resources, things that are like, yeah, I’ve been wanting that. Things that you’ll want to keep. Things that you’ll want to give away. This Christmas Box is full of stuff.
The Promised Land DVD series, the two DVD set with four hours of content from the land we just got back… I still haven’t done all my laundry. It is still in my clothes, the dust of that land is on my shoes and feels like it’s still on my skin. So yeah, the land of the Bible, the places that we were just at and so much more is included in Promised Land and that is in the Christmas Box.
And then Bible Stories About Jesus, the two CD set, the reading of the gospel of Mark in its entirety using age-appropriate translations for children. It’s great for the car. It’s great for bedtime. It’s great to introduce those children in your lives to the stories about Jesus and how it is that he came for us and what his coming means to us. So that is Bible Stories about Jesus.
The Family Christmas album is included. Jill’s latest album that we released this year is included.
My latest book Reframe, From the God We’ve Made to God With Us is in there as well as the films that go along with the book in DVD form and this will be the last time those are available so they are in the box this year.
Then your choice of our Windfarm house blend coffee or our English Breakfast tea, whichever you prefer.
What else? The Daily Audio Bible Christmas cards, so there is like a pack of 20 of them with their envelopes. They are in there.
And the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Bulb for 2016 is in there. That is the only place you can get it, is in the Christmas Box.
So check that out at www.DailyAudioBible.com in the Daily Audio Bible Shop.
Then the other thing we’ve been mentioning is the advance registration for the More Gathering coming up this April and it’s amazing and it makes for quite the unique, one-of-a-kind Christmas gift for the women in your lives. So check that out at www.DailyAudioBible.com. You’ll find it in the Initiatives or in the Events section. You’ll find it. All the information, all of the stuff that you would want to know, that’s all there and advance registration will go to the end of the year. So check that out as well.
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 so very much for letting the Daily Audio Bible continue to exist and move forward into the next year. Thank you humbly. That we get to do this is amazing. That this community exists and is a beautiful, beautiful representation of the body of Christ in this world, it’s amazing. So thank you for your partnership. There is a link on the home page. If you use the Daily Audio Bible App, push the More button in the lower right-hand corner. Or if you prefer, the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996, Spring Hill, TN 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment or right now a holiday greeting, (877) 942-4253 is the number to call.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian and I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hello. My name is Jennifer and I’m from Las Vegas. I’ve been listening daily since January 1st of this year and I’m able to tell who each person is by the voice before each person’s introduction and for that I’m thankful for the dedication of the Hardin family. I’m calling today for Gloria who called in about a month ago and had lost her cat. My heart broke when I heard the call and I still think on that call with sadness today. I know there are some crazy and horrible things that go on in the world that many may think are more deserving of my concern, but there is something so sweet in the trust of a pet. I don’t know what message there is in the loss of your cat, Gloria, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve been thinking about you and I hope that you found some comfort while searching the Lord for answers. May God bless all of you. Thank you.
Hi, this is Mark from the Four Corners Area. This is my second time to call. I’ve been listening for about six months now and it is a true blessing. I am so blessed to have this community. I want to put in some prayer requests. The first prayer request I have is that there is some sort of resolution as far as my own family and my church family. We kind of fell away from the church family the last year and I just pray that there is some sort of resolution there because I need God so badly. Also I pray that God shows me who to give to. If it doesn’t happen to be this church family, who do I give to? Also want to pray about my addictions. I have an addiction to pornography and alcohol and this leaves me so down, especially this winter, and I just hurt so badly sometimes and I’m so hard on myself. And also want to pray for my son who has an eating addiction. His name is Nathan and please pray that he can change his ways. I’ve been working so hard with him so he can change his eating habits and it just doesn’t seem to be making headway, so I want to pray for him. And I also have doubts with myself about whether I’m a true son of God because of my lack of self-control recently. And I have a daughter who has a porn addiction as well and she is a very young age and it surprised our family, kind of shocked us, so if you could just be praying for my family, that would be wonderful. I love you guys. I am so fortunate to have you guys to…
Good evening DAB. This is Sherry calling from British Columbia, Canada on Friday, December 2nd. This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I don’t have time to sing it, so I’m going to say the words. God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day. To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray, O tidings of comfort and joy. From God our Heavenly Father, a blessed angel came and onto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same, how that in Bethlehem was born the son of God by name. O tidings of comfort and joy. Fear not then, said the angel. Let nothing you affright. This day is born a Savior of virtue, power and might. So frequently to vanquish all. The friends of Satan quite. O tidings of comfort and joy. The shepherd at those tidings rejoiced much in mind and left their flocks a-feeding in tempest, storm and wind. And went to Bethlehem straightway this blessed day to find O tidings of comfort and joy. But when to Bethlehem they came wherein the infant lay, they found him in a manger where oxen feed on hay. His mother Mary kneeling onto the Lord did pray, O tidings of comfort and joy. Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place and with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace. This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface, [singing] O tidings of comfort of joy, comfort and joy. O tidings of comfort and joy. God rest ye merry gentlemen. [end singing]
Hi, this is Victorious Soldier. Just calling tonight. I wanted to say hi to Chante and let her know I’m praying for her. And good to hear Not Shaken. I definitely got you in my prayer, my sister. Chante from Detroit, my prayers are with you, Chante. Praying everything is working out well over there in Detroit. Pastor Gene, wanted to say hi to you and still praying with you, praying for God’s miracles to be done. I wanted to pray for Pam. She was talking about Teri who has stage IV cancer. I wanted to pray for the healing in her body. Gracious Father, we come before your throne of grace once again. Father, in the name of Jesus, Lord, we just thank you tonight. We just thank you for your people, Lord. We just thank you for the answers to their prayer. You have your time of judgement, Lord. You have your time of deliverance, Lord. In the name of Jesus, we just ask you to deliver, Lord. We just ask you to open up doors, Lord. We just ask you to show up and show out and be the God that you are. We know that you are able. We know that you’re mighty. We know that you’re awesome. We just need you right now to let the world know that you are who you say you are. Lord, we just ask you to touch Teri and dealing with stage IV cancer. We just ask you to bless her, Lord, and heal her, Lord. In the mighty name of Jesus, we thank you for healing her with your miraculous healing power. And Lord, let her know that you love her. We just thank you, Lord, for bringing Brian and Jill home tomorrow. We just ask you to have your way, Father. We ask you to continue to bless Blind Tony and all the Dabbers in all the challenges and all…
Hello beloved brothers and sisters. This is your sister, Candace, from Oregon. Let’s pray together. Dear Lord Jesus, we bring before you our sister, Pastor Gene from Bradenton, FL. We thank you that as you call her back into the fire on December 5th, that she obediently goes there, that she knows as the day approaches and as the day happens that she is enveloped in our prayers and that you are her strength and her song. Lord, thank you. Thank you that you never leave us for one second. Thank you for what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were in the fire. O Lord, you are a great God and we praise your name. Thank you for my seven piano students who will be giving a recital tonight at my church and for some of them who don’t have the benefit of your church but will be surrounded by your people tonight, bless each one of them. And I pray that as they do this courageous thing of playing very difficult music in front of all of us, that you bless them. And Lord, as I’m training and developing young musicians, I remember in all of our churches throughout Advent and the Christmas season, please come, please bring just glory to your own name, Lord, that we all may become much closer to you. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Hello family. This is Carol from Minnesota. It’s been quite a while since I called. Last time I called I was asking for prayer for my friends Dan and Annie, both of whom were battling cancer. I’m happy to tell you that they both have conquered their battles and are doing very well. Thank you all so much for your prayers. I’m calling today for myself. I was supposed to be on the Daily Audio Bible Israel trip right now, but I was in a serious car accident in September and I’m unable to travel because of my injury. I was in the hospital for four days and in rehab for six weeks. I’ve been home now for about three weeks. It’s been a difficult time financially as I have been unable to work and without a paycheck since September. I’m thankful to say that I have a wonderful circle of friends and family that have surrounded me with their care, concern, prayers and help. The Lord has been with me through it all for which I am very grateful. The problem since the accident is that I’m having a hard time sleeping and sleeping is what I need to heal, so I’m asking my DAB family to lift me up in prayer to our Father for good sleep and complete healing. I would be so grateful to all of you for doing that for me.