Exodus 29:1-30:10 ~ Matthew 26:14-46 ~ Psalm 31:19-24 ~ Proverbs 8:14-26
Today is the 9th day of February. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. How are you doing? It’s good to be here with you today. I am glad that we have come together for these few moments that are sort of carved out of the day to give to God and to just sit away from all of the other things that are going on and just relax, allow him to wash over us through his word. So we’ll head back out to the mountain of God in the desert where God has given instructions for what a future tabernacle will look like, sort of the center of their culture and now he is talking about the priestly ministry and how they should look and what their role is in constantly reminding the people of where they have come from, who God is, and where they are going if they will obey him. Exodus chapter 29, verse 1 through 20, verse 10 and we’re reading from The Voice Translation this week.
For the first time this year, first time in the gospel of Matthew, we’re moving into the territory of the last days of Jesus. I imagine that pretty much everybody who is listening right now kind of knows that territory, knows that story, but if you take the time to sit with the story, you see just how rich the tapestry is, all of the nuances and tensions, the betrayal of Judas, the forethought that went into it, the fact that it is not just a betrayal of Jesus, but it is a betrayal of all of them and all that they have been through together. He has turned his back utterly. The cries of Jesus to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, looking for any alternative way because what is before him is humanly unspeakable in its magnitude. The way that the disciples just didn’t fully understand everything that was happening so they are turning to Jesus and they are like saying they’ll stand with him right until death, but they won’t. And Jesus knows that. It’s like we have this moment with the Last Supper and it is the last time that anything they ever knew, like their whole awareness of their life and the world around them has come to this point and it ends at this Last Supper. Nothing is ever going to be the same again ever, ever. And that is how it should be when we encounter this story—that nothing is ever going to be the same again, ever, because it can’t be the same again. We’ve been irreversibly invited forward.
So as we go through this for the first time this year, may we give it the weightiness that it deserves and may we contemplate what we’ve read today, the tapestry, the textures, looking for ourselves in these stories. I often look for myself in the story. Where am I sitting at this table? I’ve betrayed Jesus and it hasn’t cost 30 pieces of silver to do it. I’ve said I would stand by him until my last breath and then walked away without another thought. And yet every time I can locate myself in that story, I just hear Jesus. “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant poured out for the forgiveness of sins.” So we may have been across this territory and this story 1000 times, but it is a story that should stop us in our tracks. Our souls, our eternity cost something precious, so it is important that we don’t treat it as something worthless.
Jesus, what do we say? The proper response would be to fall to our knees and put our heads on the ground and stay in silence, because what is there to say? What we’re witnessing you do in the gospel of Matthew is something no one else could do and the only hope of our salvation. So as we enter into this story, we enter into it soberly, inviting your Holy Spirit to reawaken in us what this cost, what this means. Give us the larger story because we are constantly, constantly being pulled backward into something very small where we fight with each other and are always unsettled and never satisfied. Yet this one story changed everything in the whole world, so we give this the honor that it is due. Thank you. Thank you. But that is so lame. The thank you should be born out in our thoughts, words and deeds, by the choices that we make. And you so lovingly give us your word every day, bringing us to crossroads every day, facing choices every day where we can make the right choice. Even though we often choose our own way, we can make the right choice. So as we walk with you today, not as a concept, but as a reality, may the choices, the motives, the postures of heart, our will, our bodies, may everything that we do today be an act of gratitude and thanks for what you were willing to do before we were ever here. We thank you, Jesus, with our lives. And we pray these things in your name. Amen.
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And that’s it for today other than to just encourage some sober contemplation today about the thoughts, words and deeds, about everything that is what we’re going to be involved with today. Is it an act of gratitude or not? I love you. I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hey Dabbers, this is Becky in Philadelphia and I love you guys so much. I just got home from a weekend, a leader and committee weekend for the Liberty Region of Young Life. We were up at Lake Champion in New York and it was just really a great time of renewal and to see the vision and the love that all of these mostly college-age students and committee people, the love that they have for the Lord and the outpouring of that into teenagers and middle-schoolers and college students. It was just really, really encouraging. And with that, I was reminded of my ginormo list of people that I hear calling in on the Daily Audio Bible that I keep note of and that I pray over and pray for and just have not called in for. So that being said, I’m just going to list off some of the names that I have in here and some of them are from a really long time ago, but I want you to know I’m praying for you. March of last year, J.C. M., you called in, Pastor Gene’s son. Would love to hear from you again. November of last year, maybe even the year before, I don’t remember, Lisa in Macon, GA, you called about your foster parenting and I just want you to know that I love you. March 19th of last year, Kathleen from Minnesota, you called in with that amazing song. I still think about that. You are incredibly talented. Thank you for that. Must check my timer. Oops! I’m about out of time. I love you guys. You’re so great. Have a good day.
Hello Dabbers, this is Forgiven from Michigan. It’s been a long time since I’ve called, but, as everybody says, I listen always and I do pray. I travel for my job, 34 states, and I just heard Amanda and Drew on the prayer line. Wanted to reach out to both of you and say that Amanda, we go through times. Satan is just pounding on your door right now because he knows the situation you’re in and I’m praying that the Lord will hold you strong. Stay in the word. Stay in Proverbs. They will teach you things and God will become clear. I thank you, Lord, for Drew in the Bay Area and I pray, Lord, that as he is in the smoke right now and he doesn’t know what is coming at him next, I pray, Lord, that you’ll give him clarity and help him, Lord, to stand firm on your word and pray continuously. I just pray for both of these. Lord, thank you so much for who you are and what you do. I thank you that you’re a big God. I thank you that you love us with an everlasting love. Please be with Amanda and help her to stay strong, Lord, in you, being a new Christian. Help her, Lord. Be with Drew in the Bay Area. And I pray, Lord, that you will clear up his smoke and give him clarity and I just pray, Lord, that you’ll just love on them both. Thank you, Lord, for this line, for this opportunity, and for your love everlasting. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Hi family. This is Pastor Gene from Bradenton, FL. I love you, Lord, with all of my heart. My brothers and sisters are here listening to this podcast because they love you and they desire to pursue you. Father, we pursue you on behalf of Jessica and her husband who have been very hurt by church leadership. Father, please mend their hearts. Please help them to fix their eyes on you, to seek reconciliation as much as it depends on them and then just put it on your shoulders. O God, it’s not easy, but I pray, Father, that there will be reconciliation and that you will give them peace. Father, I pray for my brother Mark S.’s son. His heart is full with hatred. He needs healing. Father, draw him to you and help to find peace and joy in you. Father, my sister Salvation is Mine has been diagnosed with cancer, but you are with her and you can deliver her and I believe it and I agree with my brothers and sisters for her full healing, in Jesus’ mighty name. Father, I rejoice with my sister Laura who has full custody of her kids. I am praying, Father, that you will continue helping her and that the contact with her ex that hangs up on the 5-year-old will change, O God. Touch that man’s heart. Touch that man’s heart, Father. I pray in her mom’s case that her mom’s will will prevail and that no one will get away with doing something inappropriate with this inheritance. Father, I mourned with my sister Angie on the passing of her sister-in-law Brittany and I pray for her, her husband, and the rest of the family, asking for your divine healing over their lives. And I bless all my brothers and sisters in Jesus’ mighty name. I love you, Father. Amen.
Hi, this is Rae from New Jersey. I just heard the prayer from Lana in Canada whose mother passed away four months ago and she is going through emotional pain that is getting worse and she said that the loneliness is unbearable and she is having panic attacks, anxiety, disturbed sleep. I just wanted to tell Lana that I just thought of the poem about the footprints in the sand here. There were two footprints where God was walking alongside of the person and then there are some points where there is only one footprint and basically to make a long story short, it’s where God carries that person through the most difficult times in their life. I encourage you, Lana, too, because of the panic attacks and anxiety and disturbed sleep, it is perfectly okay to get mental help, services of a mental health professional. I’ve been there. I’ve been where the loneliness is unbearable and God does not seem to be enough. I pray that God will give you the grace to get you through the really bad time in your life and that eventually in time that you can go and pick a place to carve out a new life for yourself by going out socially and…
Hi, this is Joyful in Tennessee. I was calling for Amanda who I just heard your voice message and I think you’re separated for about seven months and you’re just in a little bit of a dark season. I just wanted to encourage you. And when I heard your message, I started to pray for you, Amanda, and I just felt these two words. I felt “rise up.” Rise up, sister. You are beautiful. You have a purpose. And you are created for so much more, so just walk. Walk in the Lord. He is with you and he will not leave you. And I don’t know what you’re going through and I know __________ the pain and the loneliness that you feel right now and I just want you to know I am going to walk and pray with you through this. So just hang in there and rise up. How beautiful is that? Lord Jesus, I just pray for Amanda, that you would comfort her heart right now, Lord. That you would rise up. That you would bring her out of the ashes and turn her into something that is beautiful and that has strength and courage in you, Lord. I just pray that you would bring people around her, Lord, to encourage her and let her know how worthy she is. Thank you for her. Amen.
Hi, this is Melody from Canada. I was really touched by reading Psalm 30 today and the prayer. I’m sitting in a beautiful prayer room in the house my husband gave me. And three years ago I was living with my parents. I had lost my job. I had lost my house. I had severe depression and self-harm. I had lost my dignity. I was like a little child again and God has restored. He has lifted me out of the pit and restored me to so much. I’m teaching some ESL children and married and my family restored. When I was really struggling, my friend prayed a prayer that Corrie ten Boom had said and said there is no pit that is so deep that God cannot bring you out of. And that is very true for me. So Father, thank you for lifting me out of the pit and thank you for lifting everyone out of the pit who cries to you. And I pray for everyone today who is crying to you for help. In Jesus’ name, amen.