Ezra 10:1-44 ~ 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 ~ Psalm 31:9-18 ~ Proverbs 21:3
Today is the 10th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it’s great to be here with you today. Grateful for the coffee to my left, grateful for the technology that brings us together right now, grateful for the community that we share together as we journey through the scriptures in a year. And speaking of that, we’ll conclude the book of Ezra in our reading today and then continue Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. So, first, Ezra Chapter 10 verse 1 through 44 today. We’re reading from the Good News translation this week.
OK. So, Paul, I mean, we talked extensively yesterday about a specific incident that was going on in the Corinthian church with a son being in a sexual relationship with his stepmother. And then Paul transitions and continues on with this idea of taking one another to court and allowing, essentially, the secular society to judge the small matters that could and should be worked out between one another or with the leaders of the church. And there’s a reason for all this. So, like, Paul’s being quite direct in the first part of this letter in a fairly confrontational way. So, he’s saying, some things that are going on should not be going on. There’s a reason for this though. Paul’s worldview is that Jesus declared he would make all things new and he believes that to be absolutely the truth. And, so, what that means is that we are being made new creations in Christ, being reborn, born-again, as Jesus said. So, like, restarting as something new. And for Paul, Jesus is the turning of the tide in the human race within this species. Jesus is the turn - the reintegration of God and man together in righteousness because of God’s mercy and grace - all the stuff we watched form in the book of Acts and that Paul unpacked in the book of Romans. So, it’s from that context that he speaks any of his letters. And as he’s speaking today, he’s basically saying to the church in Corinth, come on. Like, we are, we have to be better than this on all of these things. We have to be better than this. We are being remade as new creatures. The turning of the tide has come and we have to do better than how we were because we’re not the same as we were. We’ve got to get rid of all of that. And I think this portion of the letter is succinctly summed up in one verse. And it’s brilliantly stated. It’s one verse that would be worth committing to memory. It’s kind of one of those ones that you want to write on your doorstep or wrap around your fingers…you know…or somewhere where you can remember this, always. It’s this: ‘Someone will say I am allowed to do anything’. Yes, you are. ‘But not everything is good for you’. Right? Just because you can do whatever you want doesn’t mean that’s going anywhere and doesn’t automatically mean that it’s going to turn out well or that it’s even healthy in any way for you. So, someone will say, I’m allowed to do anything. Yes, but not everything is good for you. I could say, and this is Paul, I could say that I’m allowed to do anything but I am not going to let anything make me it’s slave. So, boom! I need like a mic drop effect that I can put in here from time to time. That’s like the mic drop effect right there. That summarizes everything that we’ve been working through. The freedom that you have can also enslave you if you let it. This is like when I was a kid in church and I’m sitting in the pews…the old, hard, wooden pews with the gross carpeting on the floor…right…it’s just gross…and…I don’t know…just red…or some…I don’t know…if you ever were in an old-time church you know what I’m talking about. And the preacher is saying, ‘can I get an Amen.’ That’s kind of how this verse works because it’s comprehensive. We can apply it to anything in our lives. Yes, you have the freedom to do whatever you want. But not everything you might do will be good for you. And although we can do whatever we want we must not let anything make us it’s slave. So, think about your life right now. Just…kind of…maybe you can’t do this is you’re driving right now…just kind of calm yourself here…even just close your eyes for a second…just breathe deeply for a second. Think about your life and now invite the Holy Spirit to show you the entanglements, the different big and small entanglements that are kind of wrapping themselves around you because you are doing things that are not good for you. You can do them but they’re not good for you and they are slowly entangling you and making you a slave. Those are the things to invite Holy Spirit in. And, you know, sometimes what comes up in that is, I don’t know how to get out…like…I’m entangled in lots of ways, relationships, and entangled with business partners, I’m entangled in all kinds of ways. And kind of the posture of the apostle Paul would be, look, you are a new creature, a different kind of being now and you have got to walk with God away from the things that are making you a slave to them. And it’s really easy to read into Paul because he’s direct and blunt in his communication style. It’s very easy to read condemnation all over lots of the things that Paul says. But when you get to condemnation you have to…you know…like…if you’re feeling condemnation from somebody, you actually need to take a step back and a deep breath and count to ten and say why do I feel this. Do I feel this because this person is literally, falsely characterizing me and condemning me for things aren’t a part of my life or that aren’t being portrayed well or true? That’s one thing. But if you’re feeling this thing rise up in you because it’s completely the truth, well, then no one’s condemning you. You’re condemning yourself. Paul’s posture isn’t domination. Right? So, it’s not like domination by condemnation. Which is something that everybody kind of brussels at and many people flee from. That’s something that should not be done, it’s not good for anybody. That’s not Paul’s point though or his posture. His posture is, come on. Wake up. We are different than this now. There are freedoms unspoken that we can walk into. There is no telling the kind of freedoms that we can experience because Christ now lives within us. The human and the divine are reunited together as humanity was intended to be. There’s no telling the freedoms. There is no telling the beauty and the grace and the wonder of being here on earth in Christ. There’s no telling what we can do. We’ve got to stop this other stuff. Wake up. There’s freedom. This is Paul’s posture. And, so, this is the invitation.
Father, we take the invitation and we see it and we accept it and we walk into it. Yes, we can do whatever we want. It’s true. And the truth is, we do whatever we want and blame You for whatever doesn’t go right. That’s not helpful. That doesn’t change us. That’s our own attempt to justify ourselves. But we cannot make ourselves righteous. We will not be able to come before You because we earned it, because we were so good that You have no choice but to accept us. We’re all here because You loved us enough to come and get us. That’s it. So, we can do whatever we want. But that doesn’t mean we should. And we invite Your Holy Spirit to show us the things we’ve gotten ourselves into that are beginning to make us its slave. We want to cut those ties and renounce those things in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and move away. Come Holy Spirit show us what that looks like. In the name of Jesus, we ask. 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 Prayers and Praise Reports:
Hey guys. How are you doing? It’s John…just John. I want to thank you all for praying for me for my request to help our marriage and things like that. And anyway. I’ve got a report. Let’s call it that. I just…ah…she left…she’s gone. She moved to New Jersey…totally out of the blue. She’s never been to New Jersey before in her life. So, it’s been in play for six months or something like that. And I, of course, and am always on the road. So, you know, shame on me. But, anyway, I just ask everybody to pray that she stays happy, that she get what she really wants. She’s a really good woman. I remember when Brian married she and I again at En Gedi Springs back on our trip in Israel. But, you know, stuff happens and you have to move on. One door closes and God opens another for you. He never gives you anything He won’t help you handle. And I really have to believe that because if I don’t I’ll crater. But, anyway, so, I just want to say that everybody’s praying for marriages, pray for them, work on them and just keep your eyes open guys. There’s things that you just might miss…that…one little change…one little word might make the difference…all the difference in the world. Pray every ____ night if you’re challenged with something like that because He shows up. The things is, what I learned, is that he shows up in a way you might never expect. That’s what He did for me. And it was kind of like a wow moment. So, two weeks ago I was doing a leaving Las Vegas thing, trying to drink myself to death. You know, that’s one way to do it. And today I’m smiling, happy, and that’s gone. That’s past. What I have is right now. What I have is the future. And think we all have that, thanks to God. So, anyway, Love you all. And I lost the time on this thing. But, God bless you. Praying for you all. Praying for marriages. Praying for the prayer warriors. God bless you. Out.
Many times I’m angry God with You as well as men. Why is there such happiness and wealth where there is sin. Why do I still suffer while pie falls from the sky. Yet daily I stay serving you and daily still I cry. My heart is filled with anguish with the present and the past. Faith sometimes gets week dear God it seems like it won’t last. I also get confused dear God when often wrong seems right. Temptations from the wicked one turn darkness into light. I long for you to comfort me. Lord can you hold me know. My Spirit Lord cries out for Thee as humbly now I bow. I trust You Lord above all things. You’ve taught me not to fear. I know there’s nothing in this life that can harm me while You’re near. Stay with me and comfort me. I struggle every day. Even when I know You’re right I still want things my way. David felt that same way too and everything I’ve said. A man you called after Your own heart who still lives though he’s dead. I’m thankful God that in all things I can open up and see. And share with you my inner thoughts. There are so many sides to me. I’m also thankful from my heart that I can speak the truth. Your loving hands have been on me from the time I was a youth. Never have You left me and I pray You never will. Let Your peace surround me now. My wrestles heart keep still. Closer Lord each day to thee please let my actions be holy and acceptable in thy sight for all eternity. Blindtony1016@gmail.com. Like to give a shout out to Less Like Me…haven’t heard from you in a while brother…time to check in. And Gigi…would be good to hear from you too. And Leah from Waskahegan…ya. Anyway. Be good to hear you all’s voices…
Hi you Daily Audio Bible people. This is my second time calling in probably two or three days. I wanted to reach out to…it’s either Peggy or something like that in California. And you touched my heart so much because you said that you were backslidden and now you have cancer. And I just want to say, your prayer was so sweet that you’ve already repented of that…Peggy or Patty in California. God has forgiven you completely and He loves you. Keep listening to the Daily Audio Bible reading every day because then you’ll hear His heart and how He loves you, how forgiving, how much mercifulness, and how much longsuffering He has with all of us. And it’s because you’ve already repented, I feel like, for that part of it, you’re already on your way. You’re already on your way. Just move forward to the next good thing. The next good thing, Patty or Peggy, is you’re reading your bible and you can talk to God just like you talk to another person. You don’t have say ‘these and thoughs’. But just take some time with him every day and He’ll bring you back. As far as the cancer goes. I’m going to be praying about that too. But I know your heart. Your heart is true and your heart is right and the main thing you need is that full assurance that He sees you’re cries, He hears your words, and…
Hey Family. It’s Redeemed in Him from Virginia. Today is August 6th 2017. And I heard Debby from California who is very upset. She’s a first-time caller and previously walked away from the Lord and is now diagnosed with cancer. Debbie, I want to reach out to you and anyone else who previously feels that they’ve walked away from the Lord. If you have returned, there is a party going on right now in heaven because you have returned to the Lord. I want you to go and read, out loud, because there’s power in speaking God’s word out loud, Luke 15:1-10. Verse 7 says, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sheep who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others. Your faith will grow by studying His word. I would start Romans, chapter 4 and 5. And remember that Romans 10:9 says, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 8:31-39, remember, nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. Romans 4, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Debbie, God sees your heart when we humble ourselves before Him and ask for forgiveness of our sins and keep thanking Him for everything you have. Please let us know how you are doing. We love you and are with you and are praying for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Viola in Maryland, Victoria S., Louise in Alabama, Drew in the bay area, Lisa The Encourager, Charlette in England, Mark S., Robert F., Paula in Albuquerque, More Than a Conqueror, Suzy, Jay in New Jersey, Nadene in Michigan, Christy in Kentucky, Will is Bozeman Montana, Dianna B. in Newburgh Indiana, Gods Girl in east Texas, Dr. John in Jordan, Darlan in Utah, Candice in Oregon, Pastor Gene, my girl Nettie A., Erica M, Boya G…sorry…I’m a very emotional…Laura L. B., Jennifer S., SarahJane, Sheila P., Deborah C., Billy in Montgomery, and anyone that I may have missed…I want to thank you all for your prayers. You know, when it rains and the rain gets in your face and every drop literally makes your eyes blink but you’re awake and that’s what I feel right now. I feel like all of you have been praying over me and every name that I mentioned has been a rain drop onto my face making me blink and it’s washed in with my tears…tears of love…tears of gratitude. I have been so blessed by this community and I would love to continue being a blessing to you all and all of your encouraging words and knowing that God’s will will be done and God has a plan. And something my husband continues to say, focus on the things you can change and be thankful for all the gifts that God has given us especially our little baby g, Aden. I love you DAB family. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you, Brian and Jill Hardin and the DAB family…everyone behind the scenes. Cheers. Asia in Munich.