Lamentations 3:1-66; Hebrews 1:1-14; Psalms 102:1-28; Proverbs 26:21-22
Today is the 30th day of October. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. Great to be here with you today as we settle into the rhythm of this week. And, so, we got off to a big start yesterday, beginning the book of Lamentations and then reading Paul’s letter to Philemon. We’ll continue in Lamentations today, but we read Philemon in one sitting, which will bring us to the book of Hebrews, where we’ll camp out for a while, once we get to the New Testament. And we’ll talk about that when we get there, but now we are here. Lamentations, chapter 3 verses 1 through 66 today. And we’re reading from the Good News translation this week.
Okay. So, the book of Hebrews that we’re about to begin is one of the most compelling exhortations to stay true, to keep the faith that we have, in all of the New Testament. And while that’s true, the letter to the Hebrews is a bit of an anomaly, because we don’t know, fully, its origins. Although the apostle Paul’s been credited with authorship in several traditions, this is not very likely. And its also unclear which Hebrews are being written too. It could have been Jewish believers in Jerusalem or possibly believers in Rome. So, biblical hermeneutics is the study of the where and the why and the when of a sacred writing, believing that it mattered, that God inspired something to be written at a specific time and that that specific time matters to our interpretation. We can’t fully do that with the book of Hebrews, although we can get close. Timothy, Paul’s spiritual son, is mentioned in the letter. So, it’s contemporary with Paul’s writings or maybe just slightly after. What is very clear is that persecution has begun to take place in the Jewish community and, although it’s not martyrdom, what’s happened is that the Jewish believers and those who sympathize with them have begun to suffer ridicule. They’re looked at with contempt. And, so they been thrust to the sidelines. They been marginalized as irrelevant and weird. And this part we can apply directly to our cultures around the world today, as the efforts of the culture try to frame followers of Jesus as irrelevant, backwards, a little weird. The pressures placed on those early Jewish believer because of this were making many of them just this kind of like fade back into the woodwork, like hiding their faith, doing what they could blend in. And at the same time, others were turning their backs on the faith altogether and not moving back into Judaism. The letter to the Hebrews steps in and encourages Jewish believers to stay faithful to Jesus and not to turn back to their former ways. It encourages them to hold on. And, through them, it tells us the hold fast of the hope that we have in Christ without wavering at all. So, this is a very important message for believers today and it just happens to be given brilliantly through the Jewish heritage in the lens of the Old Testament. And, so, we begin. Hebrews chapter 1.
Okay. So, we’ve done a little bit of a flyover of Hebrews to give ourselves some context for where we’re going in that letter. And then we get to the Proverbs and its continuing on with what we began to talk about yesterday, when we were told that when you remove the fuel from a fire the fire goes out and equates it to gossip. When you remove gossip, the quarreling stops. Which should tell us just how insidious that kind of behavior can be in a community and should give us pause before we pass on those tasty morsels. And the proverb continues with that thought today - charcoal keeps the embers glowing. Right? So, it keeps this thing simmering down below, hot coals just waiting to flare up. Wood keeps the fire burning. Troublemakers keep arguments alive. Gossip is so tasty and how we love to swallow it. Now it’s easy enough to come to these kinds of passages in the Scriptures and go, okay, I’m reminded again that my words matter, okay, I’m reminded again that in my interactions lead to things and create things, and this is a good devotional thing, I should remember this. And, so, we kind of move past it without realizing just how significant of the thing we’re talking about here. For the Proverbs to use fire as the metaphor for what we’re talking about when we talk about gossip and arguments, we should pay attention because fire consumes things, burns things up, burns things down, which can be fine if you trying to incinerate garbage, but not so good if you’re burning your house down. Right? So, like, if you’re burning down all of the relationships around you, that’s not a good recipe for life, but that’s not going to stop until the fuel is removed, which is our words. And gossip is one of those transmission vehicles that, it’s like the Bible says, it’s tasty. It’s tasty to be in the know and to have some little bit of information that nobody else has and then to pass it along and then to create a reality around that little bit of information filling in all of the blanks, we love to swallow that stuff. We just need to understand that were swallowing poison. So, it’s easy enough for us to go like, okay, if I am a gossip, I should stop. But it’s not just that, it’s the willingness to listen to the gossip that perpetuates the problem. Like, if there is no place to pour out the gossip, well, then it can’t take hold. So, it’s not just for those who are willing to gossip about someone else. It’s also about those who are willing to listen to such things without pointing out to that person, look, you need to take that up with them, like, this isn’t me, and we don’t have all the details here. So, you need to take that up with them and then I’m happy to have a conversation if they’re here but I’m not going to talk behind their back. That wouldn’t be right. I wouldn’t want that done to me. You wouldn’t want that done to you. So, we can’t do that to them. And that’s fair. And that may get you on the outs for a minute. You’re no longer the place where the gossip gets dumped on but that’s kind of the point. Troublemakers keep arguments alive, the proverb says, in the same way that charcoal keeps embers glowing and wood keeps fires burning. And we shouldn’t participate in any of it if wholeness and restoration and renewal are really what we’re after. And so, let’s remember this as we move through our day. Let’s pay attention to the things that we’re saying and the things that are being said to us. And it’s simple enough to use the proverb. Am I adding fuel to the fire by saying this or by listening to this?
Father, we submit our tongues and our ears to You because we’ve submitted everything - our heart our spirit, our body - everything that we are - our identity, our awareness – we’ve submitted these things to You. And, in doing so, You promise to renew and re-create us as we were intended to be. This is sanctification. And, so, this becomes a much bigger matter. So, come Holy Spirit. We invite You into this area of perpetuating arguments that don’t need to exist and spreading gossip that is full of things that aren’t even real. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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Right now, what’s going on is the Global Campfire Initiative, which is our move as a community to face outward and march forward. And I told the whole story of that last week, of all of the new technologies that we’ve been building for years, literally. But it’s now kind of reaching a culmination point, a sort of phase one point, where we’re about to unveil this new integrated Daily Audio Bible app that is completely ours, that is connected to our system that is completely ours, and the new web player that also looks like the app and is integrated and works because it’s ours. And all of that is great. We are going to take some big steps forward. But in prayer, over this year, God has invited us to make this app free. And in the past it’s always been $0.99. And that was kind of always the plan, to keep it that way, until we felt God impressing upon us – nope, this is to be given away. So, we’re inviting the community, the global campfire community to dive in and participate in the Global Campfire Initiative as we face forward and outward toward those who will come into contact because were doing this. And that is really a beautiful thing because, as we take the journey next year, we’re going to hear brand-new voices who are going to find this because of what we’re doing right now. So, we began this last Tuesday with the hope and wish and prayer that we could finish the Global Campfire Initiative by the end of this month, which is tomorrow. And it looks like that’s about where we are. And, so…man…I mean I’m humbled every day that we get to do this at all and I’m doubly humbled when we need to do something together that we do. And, so, I thank you, all of you who have participated in the Global Campfire Initiative up to this point. I thank you from the bottom of my heart because we’re taking some big risks now. And, so, to step forward in faith, and watch God show up through his people is a humbling thing indeed. So, we made these Hatch Show Prints here in the rolling hills of Tennessee, these unique posters that are beautiful in their old school technology, as a memento as a commemorative of this moment in our history. And we only have a few of those left. So, if it’s in your heart to partner with Daily Audio Bible in this way, to do this mission, we’ll send you one of those for your contribution of $200 or more. And you can do that dailyaudiobible.com. Just scroll down and you’ll find, in the initiative section, the Global Campfire Initiative. And you can read about it there and see the Hatch Show Print. And, of course, I told the whole story about this last Tuesday. So, you can just kind of scroll back and listen to that if you haven’t had the chance, but I thank you in advance for your partnership as we step into this new season together.
Of course, if you have a prayer request or comment, if you’re carrying burdens that are best not carried alone, that’s what we do, that’s what the Global Campfire is. It’s a community where we come around the light and warmth of the word and let it wash over us and wash into us each and every day and then we live it out. And one of the ways we live it out is that we’re good at praying for each other. So, if you’re carrying burdens you shouldn’t carry alone, there’s a number you call, 877-942-4253 is that number. And that’s one of a couple of numbers. That’s the number you can call if you are in the Americas. If you are in the UK or Europe we have a number 44-20-3608-8078 and if you are in Australia or the lands down under 61-3-8820-5459 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:
Good morning my DAB family. I hope you are all well. It’s Margo from Australia and I’ve got something on my heart. I’ve been wanting to call in and I am really hoping that it will encourage some of us as it has encouraged me. I want to say something to those of us, and I include myself, who suffer from depression and anxiety. I’ve had the illness for 18 years and it is a horrible thing to live with and it does make life really tough. Unfortunately, in this society it’s really become an epidemic. But what I want to say though is, do not give up on God. If you’ve been this way for a long time, like me, that doesn’t mean that He’s not still going to heal you. I’ve always likened this illness to like being in a prison. So many times, I have cried out to God and just begged Him so to just let me out of this prison, to please set me free from this prison of depression. At this point in time He hasn’t, yet. Just because He hasn’t yet doesn’t mean He’s not going to. It really struck me the other day when we read in Jeremiah chapter 37. When it said that Jeremiah was put in prison and he stayed there for very long time. Now, I don’t know how long that means but maybe it was 18 years like me. I just want to say, don’t ever give up on God. His arm is not to short that it cannot save. Personally, I cannot wait for 2017 to be over. It has been, by far, the worst year of my life, quite frankly. Yet I find myself feeling closer to God than I ever have. I think it’s because I’ve finally come to a place where I’ve stopped being angry at Him for not healing me and I’ve just decided to be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord. I really hope that encourages you. Bye for now.
Hey Brian. This is Jim from Southern New Hampshire. I want to thank you brother, so much, for your ministry. I praise God for this. God ____ prompted my heart to look for an audio bible podcast and I found the DAB community. I’m so thankful for that. As one brother said today, being washed by God’s word every day is amazing and I have really ___ so very much. Sharon in northern CA, I am praying for you sister. I am praying for your broken relationship, that God would heal and bring reconciliation for your husband and your children. Rayna in LA, I am praying that God will heal your body and take away the pain and will give you the vitality and the steadiness you need to do your job. And today, Thomas, you called in saying that you were going to have surgery on the 23rd. I assume that that surgery went well brother and now I am praying that God will give you a quick recovery. Daily Audio Bible family, try to ___ today. Keep looking up.
Thank You Father God for helping us. Thank You for being the rock that we could stand on. Thank You Father God for helping us with our depression, our finances, our lives, our work, our children. Thank You Father God for helping those who are in pain and for subsiding their pain. Thank You Father God for helping our kids who are addicted to substances and letting us be a light to them and putting hope in the them. Thank You Father God for the lady that called October 25 about her pain and that she wants to give up and she wants to be pain free and You are going to help her. Thank You Father God. We thank You in advance for all these things. We thank You that You are Our Father. We thank You that we can come to You. We thank Yu that we can surrender all to You. We thank You for being in our lives and our thoughts and our minds even when the world tells us not to and we stray away from You and You come back to us Lord Jesus. Thank You Father God for everything that You do, the blessings that You give us that we don’t deserve. Forgive us for our sins Father God. We love You so much. Thank You Father God for helping us all and for bringing peace into this family. Thank You Father God for helping Brian with his decisions and growing this ministry and giving Him the desires of his heart. Thank You Father God. We love You so much. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Singing – Way past anything I could dream of. Lord You rock my world. My hearts quaking at the sight as You make all things new. Can I really be part of this resplendent joy – Singing stops. You are beautiful. Your justice rolls down like mighty waters. Oh, this very host proclaims your name. Alleluia, Alleluia! Singing starts - Way past anything we could dream of. Lord You rock our world. Our hearts quaking at the sight as You make all things new. Singing stops. We can really be part of this resplendent love. You are beautiful. Thank You Lord. Thank You Jesus. This is Candice from Oregon and I just want to say to each and every one of you, just what an honor it is to be among you. And I’m thanking God, Brian, for just the wonderful vision and dream of what’s about to take place as far as technology and the new app and I just want to encourage every caller and everyone who’s not calling, just stay in the word and look to Jesus for everything.
Father God, thank You for this new day. Thank You for this beautiful earth that You’ve given us. Father God, I lift up Spain to You today. Thank You for Spain and what You are doing there. Lord, I pray particularly for all the regions of Spain but in particular, Catalonia. You know what’s going on there Lord, You know about the ___ between the Catalonians and the Spanish government and I just pray Lord that You be at work in that situation. Oh God, we pray for peace, not unrest. I pray Lord that people would be able to talk to each other and to communicate and not act rashly. Thank You for who is in charge there. Thank You for the government officials on both sides. Please be at work in that situation. And may Your name be praised in Spain. I pray Lord, I pray You’ll be blessing Your people there, that Your name will be praised and that more and more people will hear Your word. Thank You for all the different things that make up Spain, all those different regions, all those different flavors. Pray Your blessing on them. In Jesus name. Amen. Alright. This is ___ from the UK. On Facebook quite a while ago I said I thought about changing my name to Beloved By Him. So, this is Beloved By Him from Gloucester in the UK. Today is Friday the 23rd of October. May God bless You wherever you are. In Jesus name. Amen.