Ezekiel 44:1-45:12, 1 Peter 1:1-12, Psalms 119:17-32, Proverbs 28:8-10
Today is the 22nd day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you today. Here in the United States it’s the day before Thanksgiving. So, a lot of cooking going on today for the feast that happens tomorrow. You may be cooking up a nice turkey right now while your listening. I know that’s going to be happening in my house. I won’t be doing the cooking. I’m not the magic there. My wife is. Jill is an amazing cook, but I don’t think we’ve come here for cooking tips. We’ve come here for the Scriptures. And, so let’s dive in. We have just a couple of days left as we move through the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament and then today we will begin first Peter and we’ll talk about that when we get there. But first, we’re reading from the New International Version this week, Ezekiel chapter 44 verse 1 through 45 verse 12.
Okay. So, yesterday we finished up the book of James, and we were left with plenty to ponder, plenty to examine and to consider, especially as it relates to our words. And now we find ourselves at the threshold of the first letter or epistle of the apostle Peter, and we’ll find, as we can deduce from the Gospels, that he will be very direct as well and that Peter’s passionate and direct encouragement is for believers who are in persecution or are beginning to be marginalized and coming under persecution. And, of course, we’ve come to know the personality and character of Peter through the Gospels and in the book of Acts. This a very passionate follower of Jesus. One of Jesus inner circle along with James and John. And probably Peter’s lowest moment was that of denying Christ three times. Remember that from the passion stories? But as is true with each one of us, God redeems everything. And that denial, although a part of Peter’s history did not become Peter’s legacy. He was the man when the tongues of fire of Pentecost came down upon the believers who preached a message where 3000 came to Christ in one day. And he spent the rest of his life before he was martyred spreading the good news. So, this first letter from Peter was probably written from Rome although we don’t know that for sure, there’s nothing positive about that. It was likely written between A.D. 62 and 64 somewhere around the time that the apostle Paul was first released from prison in Rome. In fact, there is some persuasive evidence that maybe Paul asked Peter to write this letter. And again, that’s conjecture, but make some sense. Paul was leaving on a missionary journey but there was persecution in the region. And what is compelling about this is that John, Mark, and Silas, who were accompanying Paul happen to be present with Peter as he wrote this. And these were assistants to Paul. So, that’s where that idea comes from. The letter is written to the strangers, sojourners scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia. These were five provinces of the Roman empire that sit in modern-day Turkey now. And he uses the term ‘strangers in the Diaspora’ because this would be well known in Jewish culture. So, you remember the 10 tribes, when the Assyrians came in and they were lost to history? Well, they were dispersed. They were in the Diaspora. So, you remember when Judah was captured by Babylon, and they were taken away, and many fled in all kinds of different directions? Yea, they were dispersed. So, those in the Diaspora were those who would have been scattered all over the world in different exiles and those were who were estranged and found themselves strangers from their homeland. And, so, this letter is written to bolster and encourage and lift up those who are suffering persecution and those who were, that it’s looking like they’re about to enter a time of persecution, encouraging all believers to stand firm in the grace of God. And we’ll find that Peter’s direct and forthright. And as we embrace this letter we’ll see that that rings true, that that’s actually helpful, and that it matters as much today as it did then. And, so, we begin First Peter chapter 1 verses 1 through 12.
Father, we thank You for Your word and the rhythm that it provides for our lives in community here Daily Audio Bible. We thank You for this constant in our lives that is so often a rescue for our circumstance and advice and counsel for the road ahead. And, also, Your pursuit of our hearts, of setting us free by forcing us to expose things inside of ourselves and face things inside of ourselves and name them and surrender them to your Lordship. We are grateful. And as we turn into this season, here in the United States, of Thanksgiving, we all turn toward family and gratitude. But this is also the time when a lot of things get brought up inside of ourselves and we find ourselves fulfilling roles in our family from days gone by, and all kinds of turbulence mixed in with gratitude and thankfulness and joy. And then we come out the other side of this and here we are in the holiday season and it gets busier and busier and busier. And, so, Father, we commit to this rhythm, to staying true to this rhythm, to continue to walk with You and listen to You, heed Your counsel as we move into the busier part of the year, the most joyful time, as the world rejoices at the coming of a Savior, but also a time that can be exhausting and can be depressing, and has its own challenges. And, so, we’re holding on to You. And we’re holding onto Your word in our lives every day. Come Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And we just acknowledged the season that we’re moving into as we went before the Lord together. And this is a joyful time of year as we turn toward thinking of others and giving gifts and receiving and all centered around the coming of the Christ child who would grow to be the Savior of the world. And, so, that’s what’s going on around here. Every year for, oh gosh, 10 years or more, I can’t remember when we first did this, I just remember it was a basket the first year we did this. But we compile resources together and make a Christmas box that is full of things, things for you to choose for yourself and for your own journey and things to give away. And we always bring that out the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, also known as the day that the shopping begins for the Christmas season. And that’s what we’ll continue to do. This Friday, the Daily Audio Bible Christmas box 2017 will become available. And we always sell out of them because, on our side, our intention is to create a box that is a valuable, valuable for giving away, valuable for keeping for yourself, and bundling resources together so that we can offer them as inexpensively as we possibly can this one time of year. And I think this box is really well-rounded and really tailored to the season that we’re moving into. So, I’ll give you little overview of what’s in the box this year. Some of these things I’ll be talking about maybe a little bit more detailed as we move forward, but I’ll give you a sneak peek. So, for starters, we’re moving toward the season of Advent, and you know, I’ll talk about Advent when we get into the season of Advent. Lots and lots of you already know what Advent is and you maybe observe it or at least are aware of it every time it comes around. And others of you are probably like, I’ve heard of it, I don’t know what it is, it’s not something that is part of the tradition in my church, we don’t do that. No problem. No problem. I mean, observing Advent isn’t in the Bible. But there is an ancient rhythm to the Christian calendar that moves us through seasons and if we’ll pay attention to that calendar it has really rich traditions that focus our hearts on the time of the year that were in so that we can particularly give reverence to what’s going on. Advent’s one of the seasons. And this has been going on among brothers and sisters since fourth and fifth centuries. So, it’s a long-held tradition. And Advent means coming or arrival. So, it’s the season that we put ourselves in the position of the people who were longing for a Savior to come and praying for that and waiting expectantly for that. And then Jesus came. So, we put ourselves in that posture of longing, of waiting expectantly, as we move ourselves through all of the story of the arrival of Jesus and the mystery of it. And we also acknowledge that we are in that same time still. And we can put our hearts in that same place because we are awaiting Jesus second Advent, His arrival. We are waiting for Him to come and the fullness of his kingdom to arrive. And it can be a beautiful, beautiful time of reflection of pondering the mystery and setting our hopes on Christ. And I said all of that to say that first up in the box is a CD. And the CD is called Advent. And it’s full of beautiful songs of longing and contemplation for the Advent season. Not like Christmas carols, these songs are meant to allow us that space in our lives to contemplate the season. And it’s beautiful. It was created by our friends at Mission Chattanooga, really, really good friends of ours and a church that has really built an intentional core of songwriters and worship leaders and it’s just a beautiful, beautiful album for the season. Then, next up in the box is the family Christmas album. And that is a project that I produced and arranged. And that project is full of Christmas carols that we would, that we know, that our traditional around the Christmas season. And I guess I’m biased, since I created it, but I think it’s lush and orchestral and beautiful and family Christmas is what I think it says. It’s is the kind of project that you put on after you know you trimmed the tree and everything’s, you know, ready to go and you have that rare moment of quiet in the evening and maybe you’ve got a fire burning or maybe the lights are off and just the Christmas lights are going and you have this minute to just get a cup of hot cocoa or whatever and exhale - this is the perfect soundtrack for that. So, in the box, some music for the season. And then next up in the box is a book that was written by my friend Ian. And this book has been one of the most influential reads for me, personally, for the year 2017. I read this book earlier in the year and then had long, long discussions with my wife, and then brought it to our kids, and then brought it to everyone around the Daily Audio Bible that works with us, and then gave away a ton of them, and then made some inquiries to see if we could get them for the Christmas box this year. And this book is called, The Road Back to You. And I’m going to need to go into this in more detail at another time. Actually, I’m going to see if I can round up my wife and do coffee with Jill and Brian about it. So, we’ll talk about that as the days go. Then, next up in the box is two books. We’re including two copies of Sneezing Jesus in the box this year because Sneezing Jesus is just meant to be given away. I mean, it’s meant to be read and pondered, but then the response is to pass it forward, to sneeze it forward. And we’ve been doing that since it came out in July and the stories have been incredible to hear. So, if you don’t have Sneezing Jesus yet, then there’s one in the box for you and there’s one in the box for you to give away. And if you already have it then there’s a couple for you to give away. And then, every year we include in the box or your choice of our windfarm lose leaf tea, our boutique tea. This year, in the box for the tea selection is honey bush and ribose, a South African tee. And our whole bean coffee selection is our own Daily Audio Bible blend. And it is fresh roasted at altitude in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and then shipped to you so that it arrives fresh and you can tell that it’s fresh as soon as you open it up. So, your choice coffee or tea. Every year in the Christmas box we have the annual Daily Audio Bible Christmas bulb. I think this is the fifth year that we’ve done this, I believe. The only place to get Christmas bulb is in the Christmas box and it’s got the Daily Audio Bible logo on it and the word for the year which has been ‘Margin’. And, wow, that has been quite a word for me this year. So, every year when we put our tree, I put up the bulbs from the Daily Audio Bible from these different years on the tree and its, for me, in my heart, it’s my way of bringing you into our family and our home. I see those hanging on the tree and they represent a whole year together. And every time I see them I just think of the community that we that we share together. So, the Daily Audio Bible Christmas bulb is in the box. And then, a pack of 20 of the Daily Audio Bible Christmas cards that are new and unique and specially designed each year. This year the cover is Peace on Earth and inside is a portion of Scripture from the gospel of Luke around the birth of Jesus. And if you send out Christmas cards, this is a great way to invite people along for the journey with you next year. I mean, there’s nothing about these Christmas cards that just screams Daily Audio Bible. Right? It’s not like that kind of a thing. They’re like cards that you would go to any shop and buy to send out for Christmas and the only thing Daily Audio Bible about it is just on the back, you know, where you’d, like, see Hallmark or whatever, it’s just Daily Audio Bible back there. But there’s plenty of blank space inside for you to write your notes of holiday cheer and greetings. And maybe want to invite some people along with you for the journey next year through the Bible. And incidentally, you can get the Christmas cards, like if you need more than 20 or whatever, you get them at dailyaudiobible.com in the shop as well, just as standalone’s. And they’re not like, we’re not trying to raise money off the Christmas cards, their $5. $5 for 20 of them with the matching envelopes. So, you probably can’t get Christmas cards more inexpensively than that. We create them each year because it’s a great opportunity to invite those that you care about deeply, that you would love to take the journey with you through the Bible in year, into the community for next year. And then, finally, we have included a Black Wing pencil. We introduced those earlier in the year when we introduced the brand-new Daily Audio Bible writing notebook, the new journal that that we custom made from the ground up and paired it with these pencils. And I talked at length about that when we brought those out. So, I won’t revisit that right now. Maybe, I’ll tell the story as we get to the season. But we’ve included a black wing pencil of your own. And their normally sold in boxes. In fact, that’s the only way we’re allowed to sell them, but we talked to them and they agreed to allow us to put one in each of the boxes. And, so there’s one for your writing pleasure in the Christmas box. You may think, pencils, isn’t that kind of old school? Exactly. Writing with a pencil that you have sharpened, that is made out of cedarwood and Japanese graphite, that is the best pencil you can get. It is a joy. I have journaled my way through this entire year using these Black Wing pencils. And, so, we’ve included one in the box. So, there’s little bit of an overview. The Christmas boxes will be available on Black Friday. So, this Friday. And we’ll talk more about that as we move along.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link on the homepage. Thank you profoundly for those of you who have been willing to click that link. If you prefer the mail, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 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 Prayers and Praise Reports
Hey family. It’s Jordan from Michigan. Wow! So, I listened to the community prayer line last week and there were, like, eight people that called in and from the couple days before that as well. And I can tell you, with each person that called, man and I started to tear up. Sometimes I started to full-blown weep every time I heard that people would actually take the time to call in and to try to nourish my soul like that. That is just beyond words, a gift from God for sure. And I just can’t thank you enough. And the prayers are working. This week, I feel as though I’ve had my first successful week as a teacher. And I’m getting a lot more support. And for the first time my career I have some hope. And I always have my hope in God but in my career as well. So, thank you, I love you, and have a blessed day.
Hey everyone. This is Sheryl in Arizona. I think today’s the 17th. It’s 10:04 my time in the evening. I’m calling in, I was sitting here feeling a great deal of anxiety and it was just put on my heart to call in. I just need you guys. I need your prayers. I hate anxiety. I am trying to trust God. If you could just pray whatever the Holy Spirit lays on your heart to pray I would appreciate it. I’m just being hit with it so hard, especially when I lay down to go to sleep at night. So, I just…I…I definitely need clarity, direction, clarity…I just…really… and the peace of God. Psalm 46:10 has been my life Scripture - Be still and know that I and God. And I just…but I need the prayers of this wonderful community. And I want to say thank you to Tony the painter and to Duane from Wisconsin. Thank you both for saying for mentioning my name on the prayer line, for your prayers, and your words of encouragement. And I am also praying for you both and this whole community. I love you all so much. I just need you. I need my family. I love you guys. Sorry, sorry to call up upset, but thank you so much. Like I said, I love you. Okay. Bye-bye.
Hello. I’m Alaska Mom and today is November 18th. I’ve been listening to the Daily Audio Bible on and off for several years but this year I’ve been pretty much keeping up every day or catching up if I miss a day or two. I also have been really listening to the prayers each day and I have been praying. But I felt God nudging me to call for a bit but I hate the telephone. So, this is my first call. I’ll probably start posting some prayers on the prayer wall though for those of you who check that. I’m asking for prayers for my family. My husband goes to church on most Sunday’s and says he believes but he doesn’t seem acknowledge God anywhere except maybe an occasional grace at dinner. He used to go to a men’s group and bible study but then got sick for a while. I also have three adult sons who have drifted away from God and although I am very proud of them in what they are doing they doing and that they are not into illegal drugs or activities as far as I know, I long to have them in ___ the presence of the Lord. I also have an elderly mother and older sister who don’t believe and I ask prayer for them. And last, I ask prayer for myself and for a young woman who is struggling with life right now. She’s pretty devout Catholic and I sometimes encourage her and help her as she doesn’t seem to have a very good personal relationship with Jesus. She seems to have difficulty with spontaneous prayers, especially those for confession and forgiveness. She seems to feel like she has ___ or even just to pray for anything. And even little things seem to weigh her down and it’s affecting her health. So, anyway, if any of you listeners could please pray for me and my family and friends, I would really appreciate it. Thank you all for making this podcast and God bless.
Hi everyone. It’s Kristi from Kentucky. I’m looking forward to the day that I can call you with joy again. But today, it’s a hard day, and I’m asking for prayers again. My best friend Gracie is in Orlando and she is, at this moment, sitting next to her brother who is actively dying. And, so I’m just asking, if you would, to please pray for Gracie for strength and that the Lord will keep her well because her health is been reflecting so much of the stress that’s been in her life. So, please, if you would please pray for Gracie and her family, that God will surround them with His peace and comfort them and strengthen them and keep them well. She just lost her daddy, lost him 2 months ago. And, so, she’s really having a hard time. So, please, just pray for my sweet best friend. And also, I’m going to ask you to pray, and this seems so insignificant right now, but I need prayer for my knee. I injured it about 3 months ago but because daddy was so sick I really didn’t do what I needed to get done. But yesterday I went and had an MRI done and last night I was doing some stretching exercises that a physical therapist showed me that help to strengthen my hamstrings and my tendons and when I did my knee popped really loud and I almost fell. And, so, now I don’t know what I’ve done to it more than what was already done to it. So, anyway, I just need prayer for this knee and that I don’t have to have surgery. Alright everybody. I love you all so very much and I thank you for praying. You are so amazingly faithful friends and I love so much. I pray that each of you have a most blessed and lovely day.