Ezekiel 39:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Psalms 118:1-18; Proverbs 28:2
Today is the 19th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you at the shiny threshold of a brand-new week. And greetings from Louisiana, from the deep South, from the Shreveport area. We’re excited to bring the Sneezing Jesus message this morning, but we can talk about that at the end. Looking out in front of us for the week, we will touch for different books of the Bible this week. We’ll complete the book of Ezekiel before the week is out and move our way into Daniel. And we’re in the book of James in the New Testament. We’ll complete that and get into first Peter. So, that’s kind of the outlook for the week. And let’s dive in. And we’re reading from the New International Version this week. Ezekiel chapter 39 verse 1 through 40 verse 27 today.
Okay. So, we have to talk about the book of James at the threshold of this brand-new week because the implications are fairly profound, what’s being said here, profound enough for us to snap ourselves to attention. The first shot across the bow is that you can’t just say you have faith, you can’t just declare you are a person of faith, and that there’s nothing in your life to back that up, like, it has not transformed you because that’s not real. That’s like you walking around saying that you are wealthy when you have a negative balance in your bank account. Just because you say it doesn’t make it true. Or to stick to the themes found in James, you can’t oppress the orphan and the widow and then claim that you are full of faith. It’s not true. You can’t compartmentalize your spirituality and wherever you put your faith into a segment of your life that doesn’t touch any other part of your life. Your faith informs everything and it informs your thoughts, words and deeds. It affects the way you operate in the world profoundly or it’s not really there. And you can’t say you believe in God but live as if there is no God. That won’t work either. Or as James says, you believe that there is one God, good. Good for you, even the demons believe that and shudder. And, so, to summarize his point, James says, a body that is without its spirit is a corpse. It’s dead. And in the same way faith, without it transforming the way you behave, without it affecting your deeds, is dead. And, so, we can see that James is very direct. He’s not messing around at all with this letter. It becomes a mirror into our own souls as the Bible often does, but this is like a full-length mirror because were being clearly told that if we claim to have faith but it is not affecting our behavior, it is not transforming the way that we live our lives, then it’s dead. And we have to examine ourselves in this. And we can stop there, as if someone had thrown ice water in our faces to wake us up and contemplate this, but James isn’t done. He turns to a practical example of what this looks like when he turns the conversation to what comes out of our mouths. He talks about how a small bit in the mouth of a horse can turn the entire large powerful animal or the way in which a small rudder can steer the course of a large ship. And then tells us that’s how our little tongs, these little things that live behind our teeth, inside of our mouth, steer the trajectory of our body and our entire life and then summarizes his point in a clear and concise way - with the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse human beings who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Okay. So, if you skated through the faith checkpoint that we just talked about with his full-length mirror in front of you and you’re like, now, my faith actually does change the way that I do things, and then we get to the words bit of this and we realize, oh my gosh, I really do have the capability of worshiping God and cursing my brothers and sisters out of the same mouth. I’ve done that. And according to the Scriptures this should not be. So, if nothing else, at this point James should have our attention. And he’s not done. He has one more point in this trifecta of confrontation that we find in the book of James today for us to ponder. And that is this, if you think you‘re wise and have understanding then it should be evident, it should be visible in your life, but if you’re harboring bitterness and envy and selfish ambition in your heart, if you’re keeping that compartmentalized and keeping it inside you, then you need to understand that that’s not coming from heaven, it’s unspiritual and demonic. And it being called demonic here, this isn’t just, like, you know, a word from Greek that could have many different meanings. Like, that’s a literal translation, demonic. And James says, where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. And where is the there that you find disorder and every evil practice? Inside you. That’s pretty stark. That’s full-length mirror stuff. And then he contrasts that disorder with the wisdom that comes from heaven and describes that which should embody all believers who profess faith - the wisdom that comes from heaven is, for starters, pure, then peace loving, and considerate, and submissive, and full of mercy and good fruit, and impartial, and sincere. Peace makers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. And that contrast brings us to a fork in the road as the Bible so often does. We can see where the two paths are going to lead. Do we want to be led into the unspiritual and demonic, into disorder in every evil practice or do we want to follow the path of righteousness? The choice is ours to make.
Father we have plenty to contemplate and we invite Your Holy Spirit into that contemplation into the ways that we follow the well-worn paths of our lives and behave accordingly and the things that should not be. And we invite Your Holy Spirit into that. We surrender all of that to You. Come Holy Spirit and lead us into all truth. Lead us on the path of righteousness. Show us what You are after in this. Come Jesus. We pray in your name. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website. It’s home base. It’s where you find out what’s going on around here.
And what’s going on today is that we’re in Louisiana and looking forward to being at River Valley church in Bossier City this morning. Looking forward to spending time among friends today. So, looking forward to seeing some of you.
And, of course, we’ve just launched ourselves into Thanksgiving week. I know that’s not how it is all over the world, but that’s how it is here in the United States and that usually launches us into the holiday season. So, this is a big week and we’ll talk about that as we go.
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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
Hi. This is Melody from Canada and today was the reading about discipline in Hebrews. And it really struck me about piano practice because I know that God has given me a gift of music to bless others with and I just recently started piano lessons again and it’s been really hard to practice. Just kicking my butt and trying to get myself to practice is really hard and it kind of makes sense now in that passage about resistance and things not always being easy. So, I would ask that for prayer that I would be able to discipline myself and with joy. I’m a teacher and I know that if I try to force my kids to do something than its not really fun and it won’t work very well. So, I just want to motivate myself to do that and also break through any obstacles so that I can be a blessing. Thanks so much. Bye.
Good day Daily Audio Bible family. This is Pamela, the teacher / pastor’s wife, calling from Huntington, NY. I just want to give a praise report. First of all, hello to everyone. Thanking God for Brian and his wonderful wife and family, taking their time and ministering to us on a daily basis. I so appreciate it. It’s such a blessing to my life. But, at any rate, I want to move quickly. I have a praise report. I came home work and was exhausted and wanted to make a cup of tea. And I put the kettle on. I went to bed just to lie down but I ending up sleeping all night, and to my surprise, I got up the next morning, and I just thank God, that the tea kettle was still going. All the water was gone and it was still on. It had burned. It leaked…leaked for nine hours but it never caught on fire. And the pot didn’t even burn. And I just give God the praise. I give him the glory and the honor for protecting me and my family as we slept. Danger, He protects us from seen and unseen. And I’m just so grateful. And I just want to give this praise report, how God allowed an angel to protect us. My house did not catch on fire. And I will never do that again. Just praying for everyone. God bless you everyone. Have a great day. Bye.
Hi. This is His 100th Sheep and I’m from Maine and it’s 15th of November and I am calling for a dear sister in Christ who just left a message that she and her husband had lost two daughters to gun violence and now her husband is facing cancer. And she was asking for our prayers. My dear sister, I want to let you know that I will pray for you and I know that many people who heard your cry are going to pray for you. I’m glad that you listen to the dream that that pointed you in the direction of DAB for prayer. Stay with us and keep us updated.
Hi Daily Audio Bible community. This is Ashley. I just wanted to offer some thanks to this community for helping with loneliness. I’m divorced and I know that I have sought comfort in very and sinful ways to kind of combat my loneliness and it has only brought me a lot of pain and sadness. And hearing ways that other people are drawing closer to God to help with loneliness instead of committing sin is very uplifting for me and very helpful. So, I just wanted to offer my praise and thanks that you guys are there and that you are helping me. Thank you. Bye.