2 Chronicles 29:1-36 ~ Romans 14:1-23 ~ Psalm 24:1-10 ~ Proverbs 20:12
Today is the 31st day of July. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is a good to be with you today at the end of month number 7. Today is the 212th day of the year, which means that here in the rolling hills of Tennessee things are hot and sticky and humid and fertile and green and beautiful and hot but it’s all good. It’s nice and cool here in the studio. Nice cup of coffee to my left readied and this month well. Reading from the names of God Bible this week. Second Chronicles chapter 29 verses 1 through 36 today.
OK. The apostle Paul is leading us into some interesting territory in the book of Romans. Interesting, because in this kind of stuff is still going on. And interesting that it was already beginning to form in the minds of the early believers then. And that is this idea that we can arrive at unity through complete uniformity. So, that if all moving in the same direction, believing exactly the same thing, like, cookie stamping out our faith, and our faith journeys, then we’ll all be going in the same direction. So, Paul says a lot of things and uses a few examples to illustrate the things that he’s saying. He says, welcome people who are weaker in faith. But that’s not an invitation to argue with them over your differences of opinion, your theological differences, or even your behavioral differences. And then he uses the example of food, which must have been an issue at that point in time when he’s writing this. Right? So, some people are eating anything. Some people are eating only vegetables. And depending on which side of the equation you’re on you sort of argue over whether you can do this. So, a person puts a big bite of steak in this mouth and says I’m a carnivore and I’m going to eat this. Or as a vegetarian, it might be a more healthy thing to do - treat the body as a temple, would be this. So, Paul is saying, look…and this is really a brilliant and wise way to look at issues like this…Paul’s saying, look, God has excepted all of these people as his servants. So, who are you to criticize someone else’s servant? What gives you the right to criticize someone else’s servant because they’re not doing what you do or what your convictions are or how you would like to order the world? What gives you the right to do that? The Lord will determine whether his servant has been successful, Paul says. And then he talks about holy days with the same thing in mind. Some people observe certain specific holy days for certain specific reasons on their faith journey. Other people think every day is a holy day. So, Paul’s given a couple of examples but we can see all kinds of examples in the world today, all kinds of battles being waged over theological formulas and behavioral differences and all kinds of stuff. So, Paul’s conclusion, why do you criticize or despise other Christians? Everyone will stand in front of God to be judged. All of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God. So, let’s stop criticizing each other. Instead, we should decide never to do anything that would make other Christians have doubts or lose their faith. So, one, when stop passing judgment on each other for our differences. Stop trying to make other believers in our image rather than in Gods image or in our understanding or persuasion rather than understanding we will all stand before God and it will all burn away and we will all find out we had things wrong and that He still loved us and collaborated with us and died for us and was with us and was within us, all along. And two, we’re not going to get an identity by running around condemning people. Like, just watching how people do things different than the way that we believe and, so, then we get an identity by saying I’m not. It’s like trying to find an identity by saying this is what I am not. As opposed to having an identity that is, this is who I am. So, Paul is saying, look, we have to be sensitive to each other in our differences because some of us can move into certain territory that other people couldn’t because the Holy Spirit hasn’t allowed them too. And conversely, they may be able to move in areas that we’re not allowed because the Holy Spirit won’t allow us in those areas. Simply because we all have a story and paths will need us somewhere. And, so, we can’t just flaunt this. We can’t make someone else fall or stumble because of the flaunting of our own freedoms. We have to be aware. Or as Paul says, let’s pursue those things which bring peace and which are good for each other. So, going back to his example of food, he says, don’t ruin God’s work because of what you eat. All food is acceptable but it’s wrong for a person to eat something if it causes someone else to have doubts. Alright, so you’ve got to be aware of your actions and what you’re doing. And Paul concludes, so, whatever you believe about these things keep it between yourself and God. The person who does what he knows is right shouldn’t feel guilty. He’s blessed. But if a person has doubts, then he’s condemned because he didn’t act in faith and anything and that’s not done in faith is sinful.
It’s interesting that so much of our faith journey is about modifying our behavior and it’s so interesting that this was going on all the way back to the beginning of the church. Like, we just want to conform ourselves to a certain set of standards that we believe are the image of Christ. And, so, if we can just get our behavior in line with certain convictions and then everyone could get on the same page, then we be moving in the right direction, which is sort of beside the point because these things only happen from within us. These changes that, actually, stick, that are actually transformational, that make us different then we were, they happen within us. So, does this mean that we can just do whatever we want then, as long as we keep it a secret and it’s just between us and God? No. There are plenty of things that human beings should avoid in general and we find those things outlined in the scriptures and even in the writings of Paul and even in the book of Romans. So, as humans, there are things that are never going to be good and we should avoid those things - period. What Paul’s talking about is a layer up. The kind of ways that we try to get identities from each other by what we do and don’t do. They segregate us. And then we try to make that the issue - the way that we can overlay our convictions and instill them in someone else so that they will be made in our image. That is counterproductive and we don’t offer each other the grace of the journey, the fact that the transformation is happening inside of us and it takes time - walking with God. It takes time for things to form and settle and become solid. We have to have grace for each other in this journey because, the truth is, for all of our dogma, underneath all that, is a flailing, frail person. Behind our personality is a real being reaching for God. And, so, when we throw our dogmas around in a way we are just revealing our own unrest inside. And our Father, he’s not ruffled. He’s not taken aback. He’s right here, fathering us, if we’ll let Him and stop trying to parent everyone else around us. Just allow ourselves to be fathered by our Creator, Father. Then He will lead us into what is healthy and good and nourishing and right for us. And do we not think that He, by the power of His Holy Spirit, can do that for everyone else? Does He need us to be the perfectionist of the family, always pointing out everything everyone else is doing wrong? I think I can handle it. He sustains the world and offers your next breath as a gift. I think He can handle it. Let’s have some compassion for each other, for ourselves in his journey, as we open ourselves fully to God and allow Him to lead our life where it is going.
Father, we invite You and into that. Because it’s kind of loaded. Because we have certain convictions and we can see somebody moving in a direction that seems as if it’s going to be harmful. And, so, as brothers and sisters we step into those breaches, and You lead us into those things. It’s just when things begin to twist, when things begin to shift and it’s really more about our convictions and super imposing those on everyone else that all of the sudden we become dogmatic and in a cage. We’ve become boxed in and it’s getting smaller and smaller and more constricted. And, so, we release that. We release ourselves. We release everyone else. And invite Your Holy Spirit, in freedom and in truth, to lead and guide us on the narrow path that leads to life. And it is a narrow path and few find it. But we want to be the ones that find it. And we want to stay on that path, walking with You and being transformed by You in a very personal and individual way. And, so, we don’t become unaware of everything that’s going on around us. But we become hyper aware of what You are doing inside of us so that it’s no longer we who are looking at the world and judging it. We are looking at it through Your eyes. Eyes of what could be instead of what is. Eyes of achieving the impossible instead of suffering the limitations. We ask You to help us look at ourselves this way and everyone else as we continue the work of spreading the light and good news of continuing to sneeze this into the world, drawing all people to You. Come Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here. So, be sure to check it out.
This is the last day of July and we are going to be moving into August tomorrow. July, of course, was the month that we finally gave birth to Sneezing Jesus. And we’ll be doing another Sneezing Jesus Facebook Live at the discussion group for Sneezing Jesus, which is facebook.com/groups/sneezingjesus. We’ll do that on August 3rd, which is coming up here in a few days. It will be at 7:00 p.m. So, make plans for that.
The other thing about Sneezing Jesus is, if you have that book, and you wouldn’t mind taking a couple minutes to plant seeds - I mean, the whole thing is about planting seeds - but if you’d go back to like Amazon or Barnes noble or wherever you got it and leave a review for it, that is legitimately planning a seed. That legitimately makes a difference for those who will come into contact with it in all kinds of different ways, whether that be through word-of-mouth, or interviews, or media, or whatever…the things that happen…those little seeds planted there of your story, that matters. So, if you feel you can take the time to do that. That would be awesome.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here in the thick months of the summer time. Thank you for your partnership. There is a link at dailyaudiobible.com right on the homepage. If you are 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 PO Box 1996 Spring Hill TN 37174.
And of course, 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 Prayers and Praise Reports:
This is Candace from Oregon calling with words of encouragement, especially for those who might be in really difficult times of struggle. I want you to really keep in mind…this is for me too…that our Lord, Jesus, He knows all about what we’re going through, down to the most excruciating details of it and He will not abandon and us and He will see us through. A friend, dear friend, Gary B. has made it clear to me that we’re not on a cruise ship, we’re on a battleship in life and the scripture really bears that out. It says in first Thessalonians 5 verse 8, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. We have that. We have this hope and it is sure, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Even though we mess up every day. That is not too big an obstacle for Him. That’s why He came. And He died to pay for all of that and deliver us from it. And you can’t earn His salvation. He has got your back. And He’s going to see it through by His great grace and mercy and love. So, look to Him…
Hi my name is Dee and this is, actually, my first time, I guess, calling in here. I’ve been a listener since the beginning of the year and my prayer request, it’s really urgent to me. I’ve had chemical depression for 28 years and for the last 2 years I’ve been unstable with my meds. I don’t know why. Possibly going through menopause also. So, my meds have been ineffective for very long. And I’m just really, really in bad spot and I’ve been really suffering so last 2 years on and off with this - pretty much on all the time. I’ve been on multiple medications that the doctors of tried unsuccessfully. I’m on my fourth one now within two months. Anyway, the anxiety is extremely high all the time. It’s coming to a point where it’s really hard for me to work and I support myself, I’m not married. So, I need income. I just don’t know where else to go, what else to do. And I love the Daily Audio Bible. It gets me through each morning I listen to it. I just wanted to call this in and ask for prayer, please. Thank you all and God bless you.
Hi everyone this is Karen in St. Louis and I’m having to re-record this because I was just so broken up you couldn’t really understand me. I’m asking for prayer for heart encouragement, deep hear encouragement from the Lord. And I’m praying for a mate. I’ve been single all of my life. When I became a Christian at 29, I dove right in and just really wanted to get to know this God that saved me. And I love Him with all my heart. And here I am 30 years later, still with this unmet desire that nags at my heart, real heavy and hard sometimes. I know part of that is because I don’t have that family connection, that bond. My parents are gone. I have family members on Facebook that literally block me because, I guess, I post Christian stuff and they don’t want to see it. And I love them. I try to love them as best as I can to reach out but it’s like there are walls up and I know there’s a ton of walls up around everybody in my family. We had a very, very dysfunctional family growing up. So, anyway, God has put some wonderful women in my life and the church that has helped to encourage me and that I’m able to encourage. But I do minister people and I pour out and I pour out and I’m just longing for someone, just to be able to give me a hug or just to have my hand. But it’s going to be OK. And, so, anyway, I just covet your prayers. Thank you.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family. This is Stan the Perseverer from Maryland. I am calling because I just finished reading or listening to the Podcast for the 26th of July. And as I watched the sun go down and I listened to the word and heard the prayers and confessions that you all made, I just felt so connected to you all and I’m thankful for that. This morning I was really wrestling with a pounding headache and felt so alone. And tonight, as I listened to the Podcast, I realized that with you all out there, I’ll never be alone. It’s been a hard couple years for me and this morning I was thinking and wondering, God, what do You have for me? I’m 62 years old and I want to walk in faith and do something great. Although, I even know that that’s not in my hands for the rest of the season in my life. So, I just wanted to give you a shout out and say thanks for be who you are and covet your prayers for insight, God’s insight, into what He has for me in this next season of life, after divorce. I love all of you. God bless you. Bye-bye.