Exodus 28:1-43 ~ Matthew 25:31-26:13 ~ Psalm 31:9-18 ~ Proverbs 8:12-13
Today is February 8th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and it’s great to be here with you for another step forward, another time together around the global campfire as we move through the Bible this year in its entirety. And this week we’re reading from The Voice Translation and picking up where we left off yesterday where God is giving out instructions for what a tabernacle would look like, this central place, this central and portable hub for God to dwell in that will be in the center of their culture and civilization even as they are being formed in the desert. Exodus chapter 28, verses 1 through 43.
In the book of Matthew it’s fascinating, because Jesus is finishing up this discussion he was having on the end times. All this happens in Jerusalem and it is inspired by the disciples just marveling at the amazing temple. So these guys are from Galilee far to the north, but Jerusalem is the holy city. It is like the most beautiful place they can get to, and so going there is just an amazing sensory overload and they are talking about it and Jesus tells them everything is going to be on the ground. No stone will be left unturned. It is all going to be thrown down. That is what spurs this conversation and this teaching that he begins. So he is kind of finishing up that today by saying in the end where there is judgment people will be separated to the right and to the left, sheep and the goats and it is the sheep who will enter into the kingdom because they were vigilant, like we were talking about yesterday. They were awake and aware and were willing and able to give their hearts to the least of these and care for them. Jesus is saying “when that happens it is done directly to me. It is doing it to me.” The goats don’t do that and it doesn’t work out.
So immediately after this conversation, which wraps up most of Jesus’ teaching, I mean, it is only a couple of days before Passover, so Jesus is about to be arrested, his freedom is about to be taken and he will be separated from his friends in very short order, so this is kind of wrapping up. As this is all going on, this woman comes and anoints his head with very valuable ointment. The disciples’ reaction immediately is “what a waste! She could have sold that ointment for lots of money. She could have given it to the poor.” That is an appropriate reaction after the teaching that they just heard about the least of these. They don’t want to be the goats, so they are reacting to this. Jesus’ response is “it’s good that you are concerned about the poor. They’ll always be here with you, but I will not be.” So it’s not about running around handing out $5 bills to poor people that you can find with signs on the sides of the road always. If that is what the Holy Spirit says to do, that is what the Holy Spirit says to do. But it is not about running around trying to accumulate a number of good works to prove that you cared about the less fortunate, although that is important. It is that what you do in thought, word and deed is something that you are consciously aware that you are doing for and even to Jesus and that we are in this world acting like Jesus.
Isn’t the goal of being a believer to be Christ-like? That means to be like Christ, to be like Jesus, to go into this world and be Jesus to them, which opens up the doors wide to possibility. Jesus said “for when I was hungry you fed me. When I was thirsty you gave me something to drink.” These are tangible things, but there is more than just physical hunger. There is more than just physical thirst. Look around you. Do a 360-degree spin and you will find the hungry and the thirsty. We are all hungering and thirsting for something.
Jesus said “when I was a stranger you welcomed me into your life, into your home. When I was naked you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick you tended to my needs. When I was in prison you comforted me.” These are all tangible, physical, real things, but they also speak to the spiritual deficit that is in this world that we are here to be like Jesus in. We’re here to eradicate these things from the earth because they do not belong here. They were never supposed to be here. This was never supposed to be our reality. It is so normal to us, after all of these millennia, that we don’t know it any other way. So we see that we’re like the children of Israel coming out of slavery. They don’t know anything else. It is all they know. Being a slave is completely normal to them, even if they don’t like it. It is completely normal to them. But when they’re called out into the wilderness by the mighty hand of God, they are grumbling about what was normal because now moving into freedom is uncomfortable. It has to be contended for. It has to be fought for.
We find ourselves in the same situation. We are here, the salt of the earth, the light of the world. We have a huge job to reclaim this place as the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. So yes, when we find hunger and thirst, when we find the stranger without a friend, when we find the naked, when we find the sick, when we find the imprisoned and oppressed, we have to be like Jesus and we have to do it like we are doing it for and to Jesus. All of a sudden we see we are continually being remade. We are continually being pulled toward freedom just like the children of Israel out in the wilderness. We have a massive role to play and a lot is at stake. There is so much more going on. All of a sudden we find our place in a larger story, one that is cosmic and epic and vital.
Jesus cements this stuff into place as he uses this woman who is anointing his head as an example, because he is like, “I’m telling you, the good news of the kingdom will go all over the world and wherever it does, this story is going to be told. People will remember her because this is exactly the posture of heart I’m talking about.” Once again the Bible throws up a mirror, full length, in front of us, and there is nowhere else to look but into our own eyes. Is this true of us? Have we seen the larger story? Have we seen how important it is that we are here because there are hungry and thirsty and naked and sick and imprisoned people everywhere, but some of them only we can get to? For some we may be the only kind hand of Jesus ever extended toward them in any way.
Jesus, when we have a chance to see a bigger picture and that it is important that we are vigilant and aware and awake and walking with you intimately, intertwined in an inseparable relationship, we get an overwhelming sense of the larger story, that we’re a part of something bigger and it matters. Yet it is so much easier to ignore these things. It is so much easier to lose ourselves in distractions. But your word, oh your word, it will not allow that. It is constantly before us, holding up the mirror, asking us ‘is this who you are? Are you who you were made to be? Is this the way you want your life to go?’ We’re always given the advance road ahead and we get to choose. So we invite you to change the posture of our heart so that our heart beats like your heart, so that we are like you in this world, so that when we look around at those near and far, those who have been against us and those who have been for us, those who are near and those who are far away from us, that we look at them all like you do, as other creatures created in the image of God who each have a vital role to play in reclaiming the earth and bringing your kingdom. When we sit out of our role of making the connection, that touch, being your hands and feet, then we not only hurt them, we hurt ourselves. So come Holy Spirit, give us the posture of the kingdom, the eyes and the ears and the awareness of the kingdom. Send your Holy Spirit upon us that we might walk through this day fully aware of our role in this story today. Come Jesus, we pray in your name. Amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here. This is the last day, so today only my publisher has my latest book – Reframe, From the God We’ve Made to God With Us on sale in its e-book form for $2.99. So wherever you get your e-books, whether you’re like an iBooks user for Apple or you use a Kindle or you use a computer for that matter, you can get Reframe for $2.99 and read through that. I think that it will help you. I think it will help you. So check that out. If you’re like I don’t really like book books, well, you can get it in book form or audio form or however you like to ingest your reading material, but the e-book is on sale like at www.Amazon.com or iTunes or www.ChristianBook.com or wherever you get your e-books for $2.99 today only. This is the last day of it. So check that out.
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Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
I received a full day’s pay for one hour’s work. A lot of people were angry. They said the boss was a jerk, but I’m thankful for his mercy, his generosity, his grace. There is nothing I’ve done to deserve such a fate. The earth is the Lord’s and the wholeness thereof. I am that I am when I’m giving out love. I rain on the righteous. I rain on the thief. Both have their problems and both get relief. It’s not about them or the things that they do. My grace is sufficient for them and for you. I am the potter and you are the clay. Complain all you want. It will still be my way. Nothing you’ve done is deserving of love. When I look, what I see is my Son from up above. His blood is your garment. It’s his blood I see. He gave up his right to bring you to me. So sit back, relax secure in my grace. If you know my Son, then you’re in the right place. Complaining and grumbling are what humans do. Some folks are happy but those folks are few. The prize goes to those who endure till the end. But all are my children and I love them all, amen. Thank you, dear Lord. I could never repay. I worked for one hour and got paid for the whole day. Thank you, my Father. BlindTony1016@gmail.com. I would like to give a shout-out to Gigi, my little sister there with the seizures. Wow, your prayer really touched me. I see what Jesus was talking about, about the faith of a child. And I really, really loved what you said about I believe, help my unbelief. I felt you. I definitely felt you. Keep the faith. Keep the faith. And I would like to give a shout-out once again to the Hardins.
Hello, from beautiful Cincinnati, OH, this is Daniel Johnson, Jr., and I’m calling today. I just listened to…today is Sunday, the first Sunday in February and I can’t remember the exact date, but it’s Superbowl Sunday, so I should know what this is, but anyhow, I just listened to today’s podcast and listening to the prayers and the prayer requests and a few calling in with encouragement, I just have to tell you it’s so cool hearing all of this. It just feels like it I’m getting a big hug from all of you just hearing this. And you’re not talking to me directly. But just hearing that we’re doing this and that we have this community going on, every time that I hear your voices it feels like a hug coming from you. At the end of today’s podcast there was Melisa from Alabama and it always feels like you’re…I mean, again, I think that is one of the things that cemented it for me was it feels like I’m getting a big hug from you, Melisa, from everybody that calls in and I just want to give a hug back. So I’m going to sing a little bit. [singing] I love you with the love of the Lord. I love you with the love of the Lord. I see in you the glory of our King and I love you with the love of the Lord. [singing ends] From beautiful Cincinnati, OH, it’s Daniel Johnson, Jr. God bless you and make it a great day.
Hi Dabbers. This is Mary calling from Melbourne, FL and I was listening to the community prayers today and I wanted to mention a few of them here. Christy in Kentucky, I wanted you to know that we’re praying for your mom, Cynthia. I know that she has liver issues and I know that it is really difficult for you at this time, but we’re praying for the doctors, that they will give good wisdom to you and that they will make good decisions regarding your mom. And Bonnie from Virginia, when I heard you call in, I about jumped out of my chair. It was so nice to hear from you. And I understand that you’re not going to be talking about Vivek, but we’ll wait until you call again. But you did mention that you’re having a job assessment tomorrow, February 6th, so we know that God works out of time and we know that he is with you so we are going to be praying that God will be with you, that everything that needs to be done will be done in Jesus’ name. Don’t be nervous about it. I have a scripture for you and it says that, Philippians 4:7, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. So just trust the Lord and know that he will be with you. I also wanted to pray for Christy from Ohio. You said your dad had surgery on the 3rd of February, so it has already happened. I just pray that he will be well. I know that is a very difficult surgery. I’ve had two knee replacements. But he should take time because it does take time to heal. And also you had said something about your company, your newspaper is being bought out by a larger company and you’re a little afraid that you might lose your job. You just need to trust in the Lord. Again, that same scripture, Philippians 4:7, that he is going to guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. So have faith in him and trust him to do all things well. And I wanted to speak a little bit to Keith. Keith, you called in and you said you were stuck in your faith, that you needed peace and forgiveness for things you’ve done. I want you to know that the Lord is going to forgive you. All you have to do is turn around. He’s right there. And please read 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins…
Hi, my name is Susan from New Jersey. I called a couple times before with anxiety, undiagnosed depression, insomnia, just kind of really didn’t seek any medical help for it, just seeking the Lord continually, always praying. Anyway, today I was listening, February 5th, to Brian’s commentary at the end and his prayer really touched me, so I just wanted to say thank you Brian for all your words today and what we do and what we say really does have an impact on what happens in our everyday life. If we just stop and listen for the voice of the Lord instead of reacting immediately, give ourselves a chance to just take a deep breath and listen to what God has to say before we add any of our own input. A lot of times for me it ends up with reacting __________ and just because of my own brain making too much noise. So that was really, really helpful for me today. God bless you all. Thanks for being there, DAB family. Bye-bye.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Linda in Alberta calling. I first called in August 2015 and some of you may recall I was so deeply distressed about my daughter with her dual diagnosis of mental health and addiction. So many people, Not Ashamed, Laura in Southern California, Joe the Police Officer, Barb, Humbled in Texas, Linda in Southern California, Pastor Gene, Burning Bush, all of you prayed for my daughter and many, many others have also. I would like to let you know that she is 92 days in recovery now and she is working on a plan for her life. She is rebuilding it really. She is in a program with some woman who have the same past traumatic experience that she had. She has been very fortunate to have weekly regular counseling. To me this has just been more than I would have ever imagined. Not to say that God isn’t big, because he is, but I just couldn’t imagine we could be having this in our life again with her and seeing her be so healthy because really it’s a mother’s nightmare seeing her child struggle so much. One reason that I’m calling today is well, I wanted to give an update, but also when my daughter was in her addiction, she made some choices that now have put our family in great danger. My daughter is really, really full of fear and anxiety right now. I would like to ask that you would just pray for her safety and our safety and that she would continue well in her recovery and that her relationship with God which has been restored, that her roots would grow deep, deep down into him in her relationship with him. Also that the evil one would be kept away from our family. And I sure appreciate it. I pray for each one of you as I hear you call in. Thank you. Linda.
Good morning. Michaela from Gloucester UK. I’m just calling to say hi really. It’s been a while for me, but I just wanted to tell you about where I’ve been because every now and then I find myself in a deep hole I’ve dug and I can’t see my way out of it. It’s only through God reaching down and pulling me out of it that I ever get out of it to begin with. So back in the summer I had a good opportunity to serve God in a way I hadn’t really served God before and when I first got it, it was all excitement and I was really __________ about doing it, __________ would be great fun. And then I took my eyes off God and then you’re looking at the waves and how tall and how high they are and how scary it actually is and oh no, I can’t actually do this. Because of my own strength I can’t do it, but with God’s I can do everything and I kind of forgot that. So I entered this downward spiral of sinking deeper and deeper and I’m digging myself deeper and deeper trying to get out of it by myself without God’s help. So I do this. This is kind of a cycle at the moment when this happens. Thankfully God has brought me back out again and I thank God so much for the people he has placed in my life, people from my church family here and my family family who are there to talk to me and drag me out of it. And you guys as well, because at those times when I stop listening is when I really need to listen. But when I do start listening again, you guys are such an encouragement and I thank you so much for that. I thank God that even though I’m going my own way he still blesses me and does things so I can still him even when I’m in that dark pit. So I just pray that he would shine with brightness in all of our lives.