Deuteronomy 18:1-20:20 ~ Luke 9:28-50 ~ Psalm 73:1-28 ~ Proverbs 12:10
Today is April 1st. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you. Yeah, it’s a shiny doorway to a brand new month, a month for those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere where it starts to warm up, new life starts to spring forth, and I realize for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere it is a time where autumn begins to really show itself. I guess if you’re near the equator it’s just another day like all the days, being pleasant and temperate. The beauty is it doesn’t matter because we’re all around the global campfire now, ready to take the next steps forward in the scriptures.
Today we’ll read from the gospel of Matthew, chapter 4, and we’re reading from the Cotton Patch Gospel today.
Then Jesus was taken by the Spirit into the country to be given a test by the Confuser and after a 40-day fast, he was plenty hungry. Well, the Confuser came around and said to him, “So, you’re God’s head man, huh? Then order these stones to become pones.” But Jesus told him, “Scripture says man shall not live on pone alone but on every word falling from the lips of God.”
Next, the Confuser takes him into Atlanta and stands him on the steeple of First Church and says to him, “Okay, let’s suppose you’re God’s head man, now jump down from here, for the scripture says ‘he will make his angels responsible for you and they’ll carry you along on their hands to keep you from stumping your toe on a stone.’” Jesus replied, “Yes, but it is also written ‘you shall not try God’s patience.’”
Again the Confuser gets him way up on a mountain and points at all the nations of the world and their splendor and says to Jesus, “Now, if you just let me be boss, I’ll turn all this over to you.” And Jesus tells him, “Scram Satan! The scripture says ‘you should let the Lord God be your boss and you shall give your loyalty to him alone.’” At that, the Confuser leaves him, and you know, the angels came and began waiting on him.
Happy April 1st! April Fool’s Day! We read from the Cotton Patch Gospel in honor of all of our Georgians out there. Our women’s conference will be in Georgia in just a few days and, I promise, we won’t be referencing the Cotton Patch Gospel at the More Gathering, but every April 1st I go in search of the most obscure, interesting paraphrase of the scriptures that I can find and this is what we found for this year.
Now, no, no, no, no nasty emails to me about how I don’t revere the word of the Lord. Before you press send on that, let’s just think about this. I’ve been reading the word of the Lord out loud every day of my life for the last 12 years. I do revere the word of the Lord. We just have a little fun, a little fun on April 1st. You get to play tricks on your friends, as childish as it might be, and so do I. Happy April to you all!
So now we’re at the end of the week and all of this week, for real, we’ve been reading from the Common English Bible, which is what we’ll do today, Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 1 through 20, verse 20.
Let’s go into the gospel of Luke and look at what is going on in Jesus’ life. Obviously the things that he is saying are things that people haven’t heard in a way that they haven’t heard before and it is igniting their hearts. He’s speaking with an authority that they just haven’t come into contact with before and everywhere he goes good happens, restoration happens, whether it be in mind, body or spirit. Everywhere he goes redemption follows.
So he’s begun to attract attention, attention from religious leaders, attention from those nearby, word is spreading everywhere, people are flocking to him. And the disciples say to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone throwing demons out in your name and we tried to stop them because he isn’t in our group of followers.”
That is a fascinating thing to say. The disciples probably said it out of protection for Jesus. Like, Jesus is the real deal. He’s got the real authority. He’s doing the real work of God and we can’t just let a cottage industry sprout up around this of fake people who are just trying to be little Jesuses, but they’re not in our group.
Now, think about it for a second. That posture can be found in the world today. It can be found when we think that the church we attend is the only Bible teaching church that there really is in this town and we go here for the word and we’ve got the hotline, we’ve got the main connect here. Everybody else is just maybe, sort of, kind of, but we’ve got it right. Or the denomination of the faith that we affiliate ourselves with, we would only go to that kind of church because they’ve got it right. All of the nuances are worked out and they’ve got it right.
Or the many battles that get waged on the internet anonymously.
Or the people that get labeled who are doing work in the name of Jesus and there is fruit to follow it, but they get labeled, ostracized, sidelined or discredited.
This particular passage of scripture helps us look at that in a new way. We need to first acknowledge there is only one Jesus and when Jesus was walking the earth and ministering, there wasn’t anything called a denomination of the Christian faith. There wasn’t the right church because there wasn’t any church. But the disciples, they kind of had this instinct that we can see in the world today. Maybe we can see it in our own hearts today. And Jesus spoke into it revealing the posture that we are to take in these situations. Jesus said, “Don’t stop him because whoever isn’t against you is for you.”
A lot of fragmenting of the church throughout the world could be healed up with that one sentence from the lips of the source, from Jesus himself. A lot of the pride and arrogance that we get about thinking that we have the corner on the truth and we are right, thereby segregating ourselves from each other, could be healed up if we just listen to Jesus.
May we examine our hearts today and realize that God has permission as the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies and the Creator of all things to do things and use people and operate in ways that we don’t understand or that we can’t wrap our minds around or that we can’t own. He can get his will done however he wants to in spite of us. We’re kind of wasting our time trying to be the doctrine police. I’m not saying doctrine isn’t important and I’m not saying theology isn’t important. They are. But when we get this attitude that we have it right, it’s cemented in, we know all there is to know, then we have absolutely put a ceiling on our experience with God. God in the Bible and in our lives today has no problem disrupting that status quo. He has no problem smashing that cement because he isn’t interested in all of that. He’s interested in a first person, loving, loyal, intimate fellowship, covenant relationship with us. If we’re ever going to get our doctrine and theology right, we should probably be in relationship with him and celebrate what he is doing in the world, however he is doing it in the world, wherever the fruit of the Spirit is, wherever hints and whispers and news of the kingdom is. We should spend our time in collaboration with God rather than falling for the distractions that divide us because it was Jesus who said a house divided against itself can’t stand. We can see this has been going on a long time, all the way back to the very disciples of Jesus and Jesus speaks into this at the very beginning. All we need to do is listen. All we need to do is listen to the one we say has rescued our souls for eternity. We should just listen. “Whoever isn’t against you is for you.” That’s what Jesus said.
Father, we invite you into this because we do get that posture often. Anytime something bristles us as the wrong thing, anytime it is not something we can control, this kind of begins to well up in us. It is challenging our own faith and that is why we react the way that we do because we can’t imagine you working in a way that we wouldn’t do or that we can’t understand. This is simply exposing our hearts, exposing our fear, exposing our doubt, exposing our pride, exposing our arrogance. So we invite you into that. Come Holy Spirit, we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask, amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what is going on around here.
I’ve got a big announcement. So many of you have been asking about this and now we’re ready. Basically, every year we go back to the land of the Bible and invite as many as can come to experience the crunch of the earth beneath our feet and the wind in our face and experience these places firsthand that we’ve spent so much time in, in the scriptures, and so many of the stories that unfold begin to unfold like right before your eyes. We’ve got that all set up.
The next time we’ll be going to the land of the Bible will be February 19th through March 4th, 2018. Because of the way that we do this, the amount of moving around and the amount of things that we’ll see, we have a capacity. You can go on these trips that are huge, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people, but they kind of follow a certain loop, a certain highlight reel and we try to go a little bit below the surface and really experience from the furthest south to the furthest north, from the furthest west to the furthest east of the land and all in between, really chasing down the stories in the scriptures and trying to apply them to our lives in the moment as we experience what happened there. So yeah, there is a capacity and, well, they sell out. So now, right now you can register for our trip, our pilgrimage to the land of the Bible, to the promised land that will take place February 19th through the 4th of March (which happens to be my birthday) of 2018. Go to www.DailyAudioBible.com and look for Israel 2018 links. You can go to www.DailyAudioBibleIsrael.com which will get you there. I couldn’t be more excited that we get to experience this together again. We had a fantastic time. We always have a fantastic time. I have deeply fond memories of the time that we had just a couple months ago.
So it’s available. You can register now. If it’s kind of on your bucket list or something that you want to do, registering now will guarantee that you can go. So check it out and I look forward to seeing you in Tel Aviv.
The women’s conference, the More Gathering for Women is coming up in just a few days, begins on the 6th of this month, so just a few days, and we have an intercessory team that has been praying for months over everything from equipment to camp to safety to travel to every woman’s heart that is in attendance, so I’m kind of calling out to the whole community now. Let’s cover this in prayer. It’s a very beautiful thing that happens and we want a canopy of prayer, a dome over everything about this. So thank you for your prayers for the More Gathering that is coming up in a few days.
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 for your partnership in keeping the community here every day. So the link is on the home page. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible App, you can press 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, (877) 942-4253 is the number to dial.
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
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. My name is Andra K. and I am calling from Balotra in the Bahamas. This is my first time calling. I’ve been listening now for going on three years and I can surely say that the Daily Audio Bible has transformed my life. I just wanted to (just finally get the courage to call in), but I’m asking you to pray for my country right now. We are getting ready for a general election and a whole lot of things are happening. So please keep us in your prayer. I am so thankful for Brian and Jill and the Daily Audio Bible family. You’ll be hearing more from me, but continue to pray for us. God bless you all. Have a blessed day.
Hi everyone. This is Karen in St. Louis. I would have called yesterday, but I was so broken I couldn’t. I just want to ask your prayers for all of us out there that are single and alone, who have no other soul in this world that they are humanly bonded to. I know that the Lord is with us and that he is for us, but boy, I know that it is not good for man to be alone and so I think this isn’t the first time I’ve come to this place. I think part of it is tripped off because I joined a high school reunion committee for a 40th high school reunion and I wanted it to be a community where I could let my light shine, but I don’t really feel like I fit in. I don’t really know these people. I was pretty much stoned all through high school and had very superficial relationships. I did meet one person who was my best and dearest friend and the Lord took her to be home with him eight years ago. I miss her so much. But in this timeframe I’m just being tormented with dreams about going to picnics or reunions or events and being alone and trying to talk to people and being brushed off. You know, this has actually happened in real life and so the pain is very deep, it’s very real and the longing for a husband and a family has never realized, and so anyway, I just covet your prayers. I ask that you reach out to those who are single, and thank you so much.
Hi, this is Iris R. from Pitt Meadows, B.C. I’m just phoning because I want to encourage the women that are going to the More Conference. I went last year for my first time. I am a round peg in a square hole. I don’t feel like I fit in lots of times, but you know the Lord needs round pegs. I’m praying for you, that you go, that you have an open heart, that you step out, take that step and don’t worry about the obstacles that go on that seem to close a door to you going. That is Satan wanting you to stay. He wants you to be isolated. He doesn’t want you to see yourself as God sees you. No, God looks down from heaven and he sees you has white and pure and forgiven and because of an abusive past, I did not believe all those things about myself. I believed that I was damaged, that it worked for other people, it didn’t work for me. But that is not true. That is a lie. You know, Jesus died on the cross and he said it is enough. Anyway, go and you’ll meet wonderful ladies, be warmly received. God’s word will just echo in your heart and your life. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with fear. I never knew what it was. It didn’t have to be anything, but the first night I was there, I woke up the next morning hearing ‘I’m not longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.’ Go and rejoice. Thank you. God bless you, Daily Audio Bible.
Hello Daily Audio Bible friends and family. This is Jamie from Phoenix. I’ve heard a lot of people use this one scripture when they’re talking about their kids not following Jesus anymore and I wanted to give you a different look on this scripture. It’s Proverbs 22:6. Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. Now, I’ve had a problem with this scripture and it gave me a lot of guilt for many years until a pastor had me read it again. And we got to the point where it says ‘and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ It does not say that he will never depart from it. It says when he is old he will remember it and not depart from it. So hopefully that is some encouragement for you because, yes, a lot of our children are not following God and we need to continue to pray for them, that God will touch their hearts again, but hold onto the faith and hold onto the scripture that says when they grow old they will not depart from it. Again, this is Jamie from Phoenix and I haven’t been using my name when I’ve sang a couple of songs online and that was Through Every Storm and God Will Take Care of You. I will talk to you guys later and I love you. Talk to you later. Bye.
Hi guys, this is Mark from New Hampshire. Hi DAB family. I’m sorry. It’s been long overdue that I’ve given this testimonial. Should have done it earlier. I’ve been keeping Jill informed of all this and actually I saw Brian twice last year, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and the one in New Hampshire I actually brought a van full of recovering addicts to watch Brian. They found him very inspiring, so thanks Brian. Back in 2009 my son had been homeless due to his drug addiction for two years, and after his third suicide attempt, countless detoxes and attempts at outpatient programs, I made a prayer request to the DAB community in hopes that God would reach into my son’s heart and bring him back to our family. Soon after that he asked me from the bottom of his heart to help him. He told me he was tired of living this way and would I please get him the help that he needs. And of course, me and my wife said that’s all you had to do, son, is ask. So this story goes on forever, but I’ve got to do this in two minutes. God brought this whole mess full circle and it was nothing short of a miracle. On a side note, I got sober 17 years ago. I became a drug and alcohol counselor and now my son, who has been sober for the last five years, has moved back home and is working with me. My son developed a spirituality which many would envy. Our family’s faith in God could not grow any stronger. My son and I get up every morning. We ask God to guide us and help us to help the young men in the world that are suffering from drug addiction. Last year we actually opened Lake House Recovery in New Hampshire, a recovery home that teaches the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, brings young men back to their higher power, which of course most end up simply calling God. So last week we opened our second home. My son who was literally on death’s door back in 2009 is completely healthy, articulate, and he actually proposed to his fiancée and they’re getting married in October. I can’t wait to fly out to that. The whole rest of the family is extremely healthy and happy too and I just wanted to call in quickly and thank all my DAB friends for praying for him and of course me and my wife are going to continue to pray for you all. So thank you so much. Take care guys. Bye.
Hi DAB family. This is Will from beautiful Bozeman, MT. Brian, I want to thank you for this ministry. Jill, thank you so much for what you do with this ministry and just praying for the upcoming conference with the women. And I’m calling in today because I need prayer, DAB family. I got up this morning to pray and just starting praying. The first thing I heard is ‘draw near.’ And the Lord was just speaking to me in that respect. Of course, I immediately thought about James chapter 4, and of course verse 8, draw near to God and he’ll draw near to you. Then the next thought in my mind was ‘forsake. Begin to forsake.’ For me I saw that drawing near to God means for me to begin to forsake things in my life. I need prayer. I want to honor God. I want to do his will and honor him in every way. Of course, my life is not in order. I’m chaplain for the bobcat football team of Montana State University. We are having a coaches’ Bible study and that is an incredible thing, but I know that there is more that God wants to do in me and my family, my marriage, with work. And all the stuff going on, I need to forsake those things that God is calling me to draw near to him for. So please, DAB family, pray with me. If you want to reach out to me, my email address is Chylly5@yahoo.com if you want to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you so much for your encouragement everyone.