Genesis 23:1-24:51 ~ Matthew 8:1-17 ~ Psalm 9:13-20 ~ Proverbs 3:1-6
Today is January 10th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and, of course, like every day, it is great to be here around the global campfire that is the Daily Audio Bible. It’s exciting to be together for the next step forward. Look at us. This is our 10th step forward into this year, so we’re steady. We’re moving through. That is how it all works, one foot in front of the other, one block upon the next as we continue the adventure.
So we’re reading from the Common English Bible this week and the story of Abraham continues. Genesis chapter 23, verse 1 through 24:51 today.
Today Sarah, who is Abraham’s wife, and we’ve been journeying with them as the promise of a land and the people in that land begins to take shape, and really most everything else that we’ll read in the whole Bible is influenced by this couple, Sarah dies today. It is not a big, dramatic story in the Bible, but it is an important moment.
Abraham is living in Hebron. Hebron exists today. It is actually a city today. Abraham buys a little piece of real estate today, a cave in a field called Machpelah. This landmark will show up a little later in the story as we move our way through the scriptures. These places are real. This cave where this burial took place was not just to be the burial place of Sarah. It will also become the burial place of Abraham and his descendants. It is still there. It still exists today. Back in King Herod’s time, a huge monument was built over the cave and that is still there as well. These are the kind of places that you can see in the Promised Land Films that I’ve mentioned a couple times. Those can be found at the Daily Audio Bible Shop. It is just a great companion as you move your way through the Bible because you can either load up the film on your computer or stream it to your television or throw the DVD in and you can see these places that we’re talking about and what they look like today.
Sarah dies and Abraham knows that he is not too far behind in years and he begins the process of finding a wife for his son Isaac, this son of promise. Obviously the wife is going to play a pivotal role in the story of the promise and Abraham knows that this is an important decision. So he sends his servant back to his own clan, his own people and we’ll pick up with that story as we go forward tomorrow.
In the book of Matthew we’re getting to know Jesus. There is an interesting scene that we read today. A man who has some skin problems comes before Jesus and he says something interesting. “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.”
And Jesus reaches out and touches him and says “I do want to. Become clean.” And the man is clean.
Often we focus on the miraculous things that Jesus did because it makes him extraordinary. It makes him something that doesn’t seem to be normal. And yet the irony is Jesus’ posture in these moments isn’t that something crazy, extraordinary, supernatural is happening. Most of the time he does what he did with this man. He says don’t tell anybody about this. Just go show yourself to the priest, offer the gift, this will be a testimony.
He does this kind of thing all the time and we’ll get to that as we go forward. What is beautiful is the posture in this little, small story because it reveals a collaboration in the miraculous.
The man comes before Jesus and says “Lord, if you want.” In other words he’s saying I know you can do this. I believe that you can do this and if you want to, you can make me clean. So he is extending his faith. He believes this could happen if Jesus is willing.
And Jesus’ response is “I am willing. Of course. I do want to. Become clean.”
So in this year where we’re searching for margin and balance and wholeness, we have to look at our own lives with this stark reality and without all of the things that we talk ourselves into, without the way that we massage reality, inform it to whatever we need to present, and look honestly at the places that are not clean inside of us. Even as I say that, immediately some of those things or that thing comes up inside of us. Maybe it is some sort of addiction and we’re trying to say “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Or maybe it is relational debris from messes that we’ve made between us and other people. Or offenses that we’re carrying around. Or whatever. If we want margin in our lives, then we have to become clean. We have to become true.
A lot of these things are deep. They are deep within us. They are intertwined with other things in our lives and so to untangle all that can be difficult. Do we want margin? Do we want to be clean? Do we want wholeness. How we approach this is going to dictate what our true will is. If we want margin and wholeness more than anything else, then that is what our focus will be upon. If not, then we’ll create all the reasons why that is not possible and then once we’ve found the reasons why that is not possible, we’ll find people and circumstances to blame for it. Then we’ll assign blame to support what we’ve created. And then when that all runs out, we’ll blame God. This is just how easily it is for us to estrange ourselves from God when God is saying you can be clean. You can.
Jesus says to this man “I do want to make you clean. Become clean,” which is interesting because to become, that is to begin to be. Maybe there are some things in your life that you’re struggling with that you need to be clean of and you just don’t know how you’re going to get there. Jesus is basically saying you can do this. I want to help you. Start now. Begin to be clean, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all better right this second, but you have to start. Begin to be clean.
So may the cry of our hearts be Lord, if you want, you can make me clean and may we hear his response. I do want to. I’ve been waiting for this for so long. Begin to be clean now, today and tomorrow and the next day. Don’t look back. Freedom awaits you. Wholeness is available. Life more abundantly will begin to spill out from within you.
Jesus, this is our prayer today. Lord, if you want you can make us clean and we hear you say I do want to, become clean. Help us, Holy Spirit, by your power and by your wisdom to understand and know the places that you are after in this. We surrender them to you. We begin to be clean because through you this is possible. So come, Holy Spirit. We open ourselves fully to you, the attics of our lives, the basements of our lives, the closets of our lives, under the rugs, under the furniture of our lives, the places that we shove things to get them out of sight. We invite you to show us the places that we’re hiding things even from ourselves, things that need to be clean. Come Jesus, we pray. In your precious name, amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It is where you find out what is going on around here so check that out. Check out the Daily Audio Bible Shop. The Promised Land Films are there. They are in the Daily Audio Bible Shop so when we were just talking about Hebron, if you want to see that, grab a copy of the Promised Land Films and then you’ll have this as a companion to go through the scriptures and you’ll be able to dive in each time we come to a location and look for yourself. So be sure to check that out.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian. I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hello. Good morning. I would like to share something with you. Yes, you are depressed. Yes, you have anxiety. Yes, you are dealing with a situation that is overwhelming. Yes, it seems like it is too much to bear. Yes, there is hope. There is joy. There is rest in the precious and matchless and mighty name of Jesus Christ. What we believe together as a family, as believers, as Christians is that through Christ all things are possible, that depression can be overcome, that anxiety can flee, that situation that you’re dealing with will pass. Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we thank you God. We bless the name of God. We praise you God. Father, your son Jesus Christ is the most amazing, precious and powerful gift we have ever received and we thank you for it. God, we take this moment at the beginning of this year to recognize your power, your sovereignty, and your omnipresence. Father, Paul tells us that we can learn to be content through Jesus Christ. We pray that now, in his holy and precious name, amen.
Hi DAB family. This is Becky in Ohio and I just wanted to add to everybody that studying the word every day and getting the word with Brian and then mulling it over and learning the word and getting it out of our head and into our heart is how we overcome. We know we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. Understand who we are in Christ and then sometimes we have the time to look up the scriptures and pray the word and then sometimes we have to have in our hearts. Last night at this time one of my children fell over a banister, hit his head, propelled him up into the air and down 14 feet onto the ground below, and as I’m running down the stairs, out of my mouth is coming “the Lord will beat down your foes right in front of your face and smite those who hate you. He will break the teeth of the ungodly. The Lord will not allow the enemy to take anything from you. God will protect you from hidden traps and danger and darkness” and speaking life into the child and speaking life into him, that “God is a keeper of your bones and not one of them is broken.” You know, the child did not even get unconscious. His head was a little bit red. I got him ready, took him to the hospital and they released him in about a half an hour. He had a bunch of tests that said there was nothing wrong with him. So be encouraged. Be encouraged. Not just listen to the word, but learn the word. God bless you all. Love you. Bye.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible. This is Dorcas from New York. I’ve called before. I started listening in October of 2016. I’m calling because I need prayer. I shared that I went totally blind last year and even though I’m dealing with it and God works all things for our good, I am struggling because I do not have a lot of help. I do not feel that people include me in things and I’m struggling with a situation here at work in which they are making it look like I cannot work anymore because I went totally blind. I am quite good at computers and there is a lot of technology out there, but I need prayer for God’s favor here. I also need prayer for my son because I don’t think he’s dealing with my total blindness very well and he has kind of isolated himself from me. He doesn’t speak to me very much. I am doing everything that I used to do when I had some light perception, but now things are a little harder for me because sometimes I can’t tell what I’m holding in my hand, whether I’m going to cook or going to clean or whatever it is. And there is just no one to ask for help. I have a guide dog and a lot of people just don’t seem to want me around because of the dog and so sometimes I’m feeling very alone, even though I know that the Lord is with me. I want to ask you to just pray for my protection at work and for the Lord to give me favor. And I want to thank Brian and his family.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is Deborah from Providence, RI. Thank you Brian and your family and all the other saints for all you do. This is a call to congratulate Pelham, Molly and their new baby. God bless. It is a wonderful thing to hear. And also to say I was very happy to hear from Bill B. two weeks ago. And also Blind Tony, praying for you. You’re such an inspiration. I pray that all is well, that you’re getting better. And Yvonne H., we haven’t heard from you for a while. I hope all is well with you. God bless and have a blessed… Also people, I’ve been listening to this coming on 11 years and I know there are a lot of us that have been listening to it for a long time. This is not without a cost. Brian and his family are paying for this. We need to donate, people. Even if it is $5 or $10 a month, we need to donate so that it can continue because with all this time I’ve been listening there hasn’t been one day that Brian or Jill has not come on to give us this podcast. It’s a great sacrifice for them, so I thank God for them. Please people, let’s donate. God bless and have a great day.
Good morning guys. This is Jen in SoCal, aka Prayer Warrior Princess. I want to share a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing that we normally would pray only on the first day of Hanukkah but last year I started saying it to the Lord when I got painful news. It was a way to transform my thinking about the circumstances and to make proclamations that I would trust God through pain, so I would like to pray this over us as a proclamation that each of us meet our challenges this year with a mindset of God’s abundant love for us, of his kindness and his tender mercy. I pray that the things of earth would grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu Melech haolam asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner Chanukah. Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, king of the universe who has granted us light, sustained us and enabled us to reach this season. Father, for everything under heaven, you have appointed a season. We yield to your wisdom and your love for us in 2017. You know what seasons are needed for each of us to cultivate the soil of our hearts and minds. Fortify us. Grant us life and sustain us to meet the challenges of each of these seasons with your grace and your peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hey, good morning DAB friends and family. This is currently Larry from Monterey, CA, but I used to be Larry from __________. It’s been awhile since I called in, but I wanted to start the new year off right. I have some prayer requests, but first I want to congratulate Pelham and Molly for baby Andy. I just heard the podcast and I was so, so excited for you guys. What a blessing. And the fact that you recognize and see God’s miracles in this and share them with all of us, that is just… you know, we’re honored. Anyway, I want to shout-out to a few people, people that won’t __________ praise here, but that’s the way with Jesus. Always great to hear from you, Tony, Blind Tony. First off, always praying for you, Brother. I absolutely love your stuff. Joe the Protector, I haven’t heard you in a while, but I’ll tell you I miss you. It is always great to hear from you. Toni from Chicago, I haven’t heard you in a bit either, but I’m always praying for you. It is just so great from them. Missing a lot of other names too, but anyway I want to start the new year off well and I have two big prayer requests actually. The first is just for my marriage. Me and my wife Bridget, we’re going through some struggles and I would just like you guys to give a prayer for us. But mainly my mom. My mom has stage IV lung cancer still and she is still fighting, breathing, and doing well, but she did get a bad report from a PET scan a few weeks ago, so if you could just pray for Theresa in New York, I would really appreciate having all the other Dabbers out there praying for my mom. It would be really, really awesome. I think I know that. Anyway, I love all you guys. I’m always listening, always praying for you all. Thank you Brian and Jill for just having this available and I look forward to getting my new coffee subscription too. Take care.