Exodus 5:22-7:25 ~ Matthew 18:21-19:12 ~ Psalm 23:1-6 ~ Proverbs 5:22-23
Today is the 28th day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. Wow! We’re almost all the way through the month of January. Okay. See, it goes fast. That is how this works. It is great to be here with you today at the close of a week and so we’ll be beginning a new week tomorrow, obviously, but here we are. We’re reading from the Contemporary English Version this week, which is today, so let’s move back into this story of Moses and the children of Israel who are in Egypt, a vast multitude that was foretold but are slaves in a land far away from the one that was promised so long ago. Exodus chapter 5, verse 22 through 7:24.
We’re seeing a showdown brewing here between the Israelites, their God, and the Egyptian Pharaoh. We’ll talk about that as we move through this, but I do want to point out as we move into it that we see another example of things not just disappearing, but things being contended for, things that are difficult to move through to find the freedom that they are looking for. This is the story of Joseph. This is the story of the Bible.
So often in our lives we think okay, I’ve received Jesus. I’m a regenerated person. I can do whatever I want, and we start doing things, only to find that we have to contend for them, that we have to move through them and then we’re mad that it doesn’t work like some sort of magic mantra. But if we look at the stories in the Bible, if we look at the rhythm of the Bible, we see that is really rarely ever the case. God calls to a person, calls them out of where they are and then the road out into complete freedom is a road that must be contended for.
We can think, well, that’s not fair. Why can’t it just be made right again, just easily? But you have to think about your own life. What were the things that gave you the character that you have? What are the experiences in your life that are most memorable, that you would say, these are the most pivotal moments of my life that have established who I am and what I believe. Probably almost all of those have to do with a difficult time that you walked through in one way or another. We are a people who understand that when we contend for something, when we fight for something, when we stay faithful and true to something so that we can achieve a goal, those things are the things that become true and solid. We will watch it play out in the story that we’re in, the story of Moses. We’ll be traveling with Moses for quite a while now.
When we move into the book of Matthew, we’re seeing Jesus once again talk about what he talks about a lot, what seems to be very important, something that he puts out in his teachings that is unavoidable, although we’ve been trying to avoid it for thousands of years and we still try to avoid it. Jesus talks again about forgiveness.
A lot of times when we begin to think about forgiveness, we get all Moses-like and start trying to figure out all the reasons why this can’t happen. No one understands what that was like. No one knows what that felt like, how I was, how that has affected me. And Jesus is just saying essentially you’ll never be free until you forgive and let go. And Jesus used a story, an illustration, like he does all of the time, to unpack it so that we can actually see what this looks and feels like.
So there is this guy. He owes a ton of money to the king. He cannot pay it, but when he is called to account, he is about to lose everything, everything. He is about to lose himself. He is about to lose everything because he can’t pay it back, so he falls to the floor and begs just for some more time. Like, I’ll do this. Please, please don’t throw everything away. Give me some more time. And the king has mercy and forgives the whole thing, like the whole thing. He walks out of there without the burden of a debt he can’t pay. But as he is leaving the king’s palace, he finds somebody who owes him a small amount of money and forces the person to pay it or go to prison, actually throws him into prison because he can’t pay. When the king finds out about this, it’s not a good scene. Then Jesus says, “that is how my Father in heaven will treat you if you don’t forgive each of my followers with all your heart.”
Okay, so boom! It’s like Jesus holds out the mic, drops it and walks away. There is nothing more to be said. We have to, we HAVE to understand right at the beginning of the year that as we move into this, these are fundamentals. This is not an option. This is not an optional thing. We cannot walk with God if we do not walk with forgiveness for those around us. It doesn’t work.
Jesus isn’t trying to issue a command we can’t live up to because we’ve been through too much. There is no other way to get free because this thing that we’re holding that we cannot seem to find forgiveness in our heart for has us enslaved. It is becoming a part of our identity and it is not supposed to be, and so it is dead weight. In a very literal way it is death for us. We have got to let it go. The only way to let it go is in collaboration with God. I release that time, I release that person, I release that whole set of circumstances that was so devastating that I can’t seem to get over, I move on in time, but it is still there, it is still under the surface, it is still there, I release that to you, God. I ask your Holy Spirit not to let me try to wrestle it back out of your hands. I release them to you. I release that to you. Your mercies are new every morning. I am not that person anymore. I forgive myself and everyone else. Come Jesus.
That is the posture of heart we’ve got to have and it has to become second nature because it is the true nature of the kingdom of heaven. We see Jesus give this very example. We will watch this in all of the gospels. We will watch this as we move forward. There is a time that Jesus is going to be nailed to a cross. It is not a spoiler alert. We all know this. He is going to say as he’s being killed, “Father, forgive them.” If we can understand this, we will understand that it is gold, that it is treasure, that it is a key that opens doors to freedom everywhere in our lives. We don’t have to carry it anymore. We’re looking for some sort of retribution, some sort of penance, some sort of justice and we’re not the sovereign, so we have to let it go. We have to release it to God.
Father, we can’t really do this on our own. I mean, we can try. We can try to be out of sight, out of mind. We can try to put it away and just move on and just let time heal all things, but without this act of actually releasing things to you, it is still there. So Holy Spirit, we need your help. And so we invite you into this day, bringing up things and people and situations that we just haven’t released. Help us to release those things, to go back into those places, only to go back there with you and not just go back there on our own and find bitterness there. We go back there hand in hand with you, inviting you to reinterpret and allowing us to free our own selves by letting go of some of this stuff. Some of it is hard. Some of it is deep betrayal. Some of it is abuse. Some of it we may not be able to completely interpret any other way but to get some help. So just help us to do whatever we have to do to find ourselves in a posture of forgiveness. Lead us however we need to be led so that we can find that place where we really, from the truth of our heart and the depths of our identity can open our hands and let those things float away to you. Come Holy Spirit. Without your counsel and guidance, we’ll just be wandering aimlessly. So we need you in this. And we invite you into it. Come Jesus. With all your compassion and your great power, indwell us that we might see the world as you do, through forgiveness, compassion, grace, mercy, forgiveness and may we bring those things into this world. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ask in your name, amen.
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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
Hi, my name is S.B. in Virginia and I have been listening to the Daily Audio Bible since 2006, I believe, right after Brian started and I think this is only my second time calling in, but I had to call. Today is January 23rd and I just listened to Brian talk about his mom. I don’t think I’ve cried so hard for a full hour listening to that, but Brian, we are all praying for you in the loss of your mom. The way you articulated that was so beautiful. I just dealt with my husband losing his mom last year. It has been a year and though I thought I understood it, I think I understand it a lot more just listening to you, so thank you for that. The reason that I’m calling is because this touched a place in me that I just feel like God meant for you to say that message. I’m sure I’m not the only one that is going to respond this way, but in terms of having to forgive people. My prayer for this year was to reconcile my relationship with my mother. She did not raise me. I was raised by my grandmother, similar to your situation with your mom, and it has been a long road not having her in my life and becoming a mother myself. It is just something that I feel like God wants me to reconcile, so how timely for you to send this. Just asking for prayers from everyone as I seek to rebuild this relationship with her. I think I’m just scared of rejection again and not knowing how this is all going to work out, but I feel like this is the time, so thank you again, Brian. God bless you and bless the Daily Audio Bible. I’ll be listening. Everyone take care. God bless and I’ll be back with an update. God bless. Bye-bye.
Hey family. This is Melisa from Albertville, AL. I have a praise report. I called in a few weeks ago and asked you all to pray for my coworker, Gary W. that had a mass on his brain stem. So they went to the hospital. They came out and told his fiancée he may have a year, maybe two years to live. So they went back in. The neurologist came out and told Kathy, “here’s your miracle. We are 99.9% sure that it is just an infection.” So he does not have cancer. God is so good. God is able. I know somebody prayed for him so I said I’ll say this. Bob with throat cancer, God is able. Irma with a stomach disorder, God is able. Salvation is Mine with breast cancer, God is sure able. Don’t give up you all. Little Jillian with cancer, I know your mom called in, God is able. I just thank you all for praying for him. I know I hadn’t heard anybody mention his name, but I know somebody prayed. I’m just giving God the praise. You all don’t give up. There is nothing too hard for our God. Brian, I love you so much. I’ve been praying for you. I’ve been lifting your family up in prayer. You all have a great day. Bye-bye.
This is Reverend Shar E. calling from Aurora, CO, and I listened, Brian, to your talk about your mother last night and I just wanted to tell you that I am in prayer for you as you go through the mourning process and of course we don’t go through that alone. We go through that with Jesus. Your message, even though my parents are still alive and I am 67 years old, I really thought about my own children, my three children, and about the day that will come where I will go to my heavenly home. I know in my heart that they will carry those same feelings that you expressed about your mother and I know those feelings are reciprocal. I know your mother felt the same way about you and I feel the same way about my own three children, two sons and a daughter. So I just want to thank you for being vulnerable and talking about the process of your mother dying and talking about the hope of eternal life. And I wanted to tell you that I am in prayer for you and for all of us in the Daily Audio Bible community as we walk through life, go on this journey, continue on. Thank you Brian. God bless.
Hello, this is Michael from Vancouver, Canada. I called about probably a year ago regarding my stomach or digestion issue. I was losing weight. I had throat __________. I couldn’t digest. The doctor ordered ultrasound and blood tests for me and couldn’t really find anything wrong so the doctor thought I could wait and see or I could continue to do more tests, a CT scan, things like that. But we decided to wait and see. I felt better after that, so I forgot about it and __________. But recently symptoms came back again and I’ve lost about 10 pounds for the past several months and I’m really, really underweight now. Couldn’t digest. I don’t know why. No matter what I do, no matter how much I try to eat, I am just continuing to lose weight, half a pound to a pound per week losing weight. So I know I’m not supposed to worry about tomorrow, I should have faith, but in my condition, it is really hard to continue to not worry so I would like to ask for prayer support. Please pray that the condition is not really, really bad that it can’t be cured, get better soon because of my family responsibilities. I have a family to take care of and really hope I can get well. Thank you very much for your prayers.
Hi, this is Steve from New Hampshire and I want to just say Brian, I so appreciate your ministry. I’ve really appreciated what you’ve shared about your mom as you shared with us the journey that you are going through with the loss of your mom. I think it is very helpful. Appreciate that. I’m actually calling today to pray for McKenzie from California. You were talking about anxiety that you’re dealing with and I’m in my 50s. I know you’re just a teenager, but I last month, December, was dealing with some anxiety big time. I guess some kind of a chemical thing. They ended up putting me on medication that has helped and I just want to pray that the Lord would bring you your solution for the anxiety, whatever that is. So Father, we lift up McKenzie to you and pray for your healing touch, Lord God, whether you use medical means or just supernaturally, but I pray that right now that peace that passes all understanding would guard McKenzie’s heart and mind and just pray that she would continue to have a tender heart towards you and seek you and just be a blessing wherever she goes, Lord God. Touch her, in Jesus’ name. Also wanted to pray for Tim and Carissa who lost the baby. I’m so sorry for that and I just pray that the God of all comfort would guard you and protect your hearts and minds and may he grant you peace. May God just turn this tragedy into triumph for you. I just pray that God would give you the resources you need right now, the people, the provision. Whatever that might be, I pray for. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. God bless you. Bye-bye.
Hi DAB family. Hi Brian. This is Patty. I’m calling from Torrance, CA. I’m a 10-year listener and this is my first call. Brian, I just listened to your talk about your mom and there are so many emotions that welled up in me. I thank you for sharing your story, this difficult time that you had, but the beautiful story of your relationship with your mom and her journey. Family, I’m calling specifically to ask that you pray for my mom. She is going to have knee replacement surgery on January 31st. She had a different knee done 15 months ago and she had some complications and had to have a second surgery done, so I’m praying that this one would go well, that her recovery would be without any problems, and that she would be relieved of the pain and regain mobility. Thank you family. I love you all.