Ezekiel 45:13-46:24, 1 Peter 1:13-2:10, Psalms 119:33-48, Proverbs 28:11
Today is the 23rd day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who live here in the United States. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the world. Yes, today is a national holiday in the United States but isn’t every day an opportunity to show gratitude and thanksgiving. So, let’s dive in and take the next step forward through the Scriptures. We’re continuing to read through the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Tomorrow we will complete the book of Ezekiel. And we have begun first Peter in the New Testament, so we will read from that we get there. We’re reading from the New International Version this week. Ezekiel chapter 45 verse 13 through 46 verse 24 today.
Okay. So, what Peter is doing here in his letter is very similar to James. He’s showing a posture to live by, the shape our lives are to take, but it’s not just for the sake of handing down some behavior modification rules. He’s saying life should look a certain way because of what is going on, what God is doing in the world. So, it’s not about these rules, it’s not, like, this is the shape your life should be and because I’m laying down the law. It’s, this is the shape your life should take because this is godly and you are a vital part of what’s going on. So, let’s look at that for a second and, man, it can’t be any more appropriate than this time of year. I mean, here in the United States, this is Thanksgiving Day, so, families have traveled. People are moving about so that families can all be back together. And then this kind of begins the holiday season as we move toward Christmas. And, so, there’s a lot of parties, a lot of interaction, a lot of family, a lot of this kind of stuff that is full of joy but can also be really, really challenging depending on the family dynamic, because you could have been on your own for decades and have your own family your own spouse, and live in a different city, but when you walk into that home that you grew up in, or whatever, and you’re 10 years old again. Right? And everybody all gets together and kind of falls back into that. And then, you know, there’s all these boundaries, and it just, all of the sudden things can get a little weird and tense in those environments. Not always and not for the whole time, but it can get that way. And that underlying tension, kind of, it’s just like a cloud that is part of the mix of the holidays. So, in light of that, let’s just look at what Peter is saying the shape our lives are to take is supposed to be. So, let’s just begin at the beginning of our reading. ‘With minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at His coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance, but just as he who called you is holy, so, you be holy too, because God said, be holy because I am holy’. Now, obviously, Peter’s not talking about any national holidays or anything like that. He’s talking about the shape of life itself, but we’re about to live into this season, this holiday season, and it is the next chapter of our lives. It’s the most immediate thing that’s right in front of us. So, it’s just simply remembering in every situation, whether it’s that you’ve got, like, somebody stole your parking place when you are trying to shop, somebody cut you off in line, somebody was pitching a fit doing this or that at this party, or this person was acting stupid, or family dynamics, or whatever. Just remembering, ‘be holy because I am holy’ can really save us from a lot of conflict that does not have to happen, that can happen, but doesn’t need to. Let’s move onto his next point. ‘Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially’. Right? So, right there, we have to remember, everyone is an individual here and we’re not the judge. God is, and he’s impartial. So, we can be no different. So. Peter says, since you’ve call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. And it’s these kind of verses that make us go like, I’m a stranger here, I don’t belong here, my home is somewhere else, I’m a foreigner just waiting. I’m not going against that metaphor. But I do want to point out, that’s not what Peter is saying here. Peter’s specifically writing to people in the Diaspora. Right? People who have been disbursed from their homeland over a long period of time and either sent into exile by force or have fled for their lives, especially during the Assyrian conquest or the Babylonian conquest, both of which we’ve read earlier in the year and talked about at length. So, we at least have to acknowledge who Peter’s writing to. So, when Peter says, ‘live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear’, he’s speaking to specific people about a specific scenario. And to those people he speaks into the lives, ‘you know that it was not with perishable things such as gold and silver that redeemed you’. Right? You were not ransomed by cash or valuables from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors. You were ransomed by the precious blood of Christ. So, Peter is referring to their history and how they got to where they are and of the great hope for redemption, eternal redemption, that comes through Jesus. And, so, his pay off thought is, ‘through Jesus you believe in God, who raised Jesus from the dead and glorified Him. And, so, your faith and hope are in God’. Right? So, your faith and hope are in God and not in your money or your valuables or any other hope for redemption, which gives us another pivotal thing to remember as we move through this season. So, so far we have two points from our reading in first Peter today that we could summarize and carry with us. I will choose holiness because my Father is holy and my faith and hope are in Him no matter what is swirling around me. And then Peter’s third point is a massive one. ‘Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart, for you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God’. So, Peter’s saying, be holy in all that you do. Your faith and hope are in God alone. So, open your heart to each other. Truly love deeply from your heart because you’re not who you were. You have been born again and you are a new person. Okay, so what does that practically look like? How would we describe what Peter is saying? Thankfully, he does that for us. ‘Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind’. And these are the kinds of things that kind of bubble up to the surface when we get put into those tense situations that the holiday season can bring. Right? You can lavish gifts upon people while at the same time being full of malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander of every kind. Kind of like the way that James said, you know, you can praise the Lord and curse your brothers and sisters out of the same mouth. And James counsel was, this shouldn’t be happening. And Peter’s saying essentially the same thing. So, as an alternative to malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander of every kind, Peter suggests a different posture. ‘Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation now that you have tasted that the Lord is good’. Peter is describing an innocence and a trust and a hope, like a newborn for their parents, a much better way to live in the hope that God gives us. And according to Peter, what makes us grow up in our salvation. Definitely something to carry forward with us into the busy season. And then, lastly, Peter gives us a picture of who we really are, why we should shift our posture of heart and be holy as our Father is holy and put all of our faith and hope in Him and rid ourselves of malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander of every kind. And rather, trust our Father as a newborn would. And crave what He is feeding us so that we might grow up in our salvation. And the picture is this - ‘You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy’ - which is huge. Huge! But it’s the ‘why’ of it all for Peter. ‘You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. That’s why you be holy because your father is holy. That’s why you put all your faith and hope in God alone. That’s why you are impartial and fair. That’s why you open your hearts to each other and love deeply. That’s why you get rid of malice and deceit n your heart. That’s why you don’t live as a hypocrite. That’s why you don’t walk around with envy toward everything and everyone that you don’t have. And that’s why you don’t slander people. Rather, that’s why you live with the pure trust of the newborn baby craving spiritual milk, so that you can grow up. You’ve had a taste and you can see that the Lord is good. And these are the postures. This is the shape of life that a person who is chosen should have. And, of course, this should permeate everything about us every single day. But these are definitely the things that we can carry with us into the busy season of the year because that’s going to encompass every single day of our lives during this season.
Father, with great encouragement we read these words, these pictures of who we really are, these reminders of what it is we’re doing here and we heed the counsel found in this letter from Peter, to first consider whether or not what were about to do or say or think is holy and to shape our lives accordingly. And, of course, we acknowledge that this is not possible in our own strength. So, we invite your Holy Spirit to indwell us, to fill us, and to inform all of our thoughts, words, and deeds, all of our interactions, all of the beautiful moments, and all of the tense ones. Come Holy Spirit and let our lives be radiant with the light of the good news of the coming of the Savior in this season. 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.
We’re moving into this holiday season. Tomorrow is one of the bigger shopping days of the year and now we always bring out the Daily Audio Bible Christmas box. And, so, that’s available you check that out at the Daily Audio Bible shop, where you can see all of that. The Daily Audio Bible Christmas cards are available as well. So, you can check it out at dailyaudiobible.com.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link on the homepage. I thank you profoundly for your partnership. 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
Without You Lord I
have no win
I struggle daily deep within
It’s hard for me, my mind and heart both stray
To places where they shouldn’t be, places far away
The tempter comes and my thoughts go to places not in You
The tempt is always there dear God no matter what I do
Sometimes I win sometimes I lose
I’ve struggled now for years
Never stopped to recognize the sum of all my fears
Holiness with happiness, that’s what I wish I could enjoy
But I’ve been drawn to the flashy things since I was just a boy
I also walked in faith with power
All demons had to flee
I prayed in tongues and healed the sick
You walked each day with me
I’m looking back with longing now Lord
Please fill me once again
I need your power to overcome these fleshly thoughts of sin
The things I lost were precious Lord
They might not get restored
But nothing in the material world can compare with Spirit poured
Bind, cast uncleanness out, I’ll follow as you lead
I want to be approved by You in word and thought and deed
Anoint me God and fill me too
Purify me once again
I’d rather be your slave dear God than a free man lost in sin
Cause only You can deliver
Only You can save
Even though I walk and believe I’ve got one foot in the grave
Freedom isn’t free at all when one is lost in sin
Cause once you start you cannot stop
You’re doomed to sin again
I’m ready Lord with all my heart to let this madness end
I need to Lord it and freely confess that without you I can’t win
My love for You is greater Lord then my love of fleshly fun
Let it be a done deal Lord
I need this battle won
Make my heart complete dear God
Cast all uncleanness out
Victories mine I know dear God
Of this I have no doubt
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is ___ calling from Delaware. I hope that each one of you is blessed. I have a small encouragement for each one of you. Call it what you wish, a talent, a skill set, a gift, the talents are different but the truth is the same. Paul says in First Corinthians 12:7, the Spirit has given each us a special way of serving others. You aren’t the only person with your skill, but you are the only person with your version of your skill. You enter the world uniquely equipped. Psalms 139:13-15 describes it as, mixed together, woven together in the depth of the womb, intricately and curiously evolved. Yes, each of us, not some of us, are the ___ of the elite among us. Each of us has a beauty that longs to be ___ and released. It is you at your best when you stand at the intersection of your skill and Gods call. You are standing at the corner of Promised Land Avenue and the glory days will ___. I love you family. Make it a great day. ___ from Delaware.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family. This is Monica in Kentucky. I’ve been listening to the community prayers for November 18th. I’m not done yet, but I wanted to call in and thank everybody who called in about spiritual warfare and spiritual attack over the past week because I really needed it. I lead the largest prayer life ___ center ministry in Kentucky and we just moved into a newly renovated facility and just rebranded this month and the enemy has just been discouraging me personally, but seems to be enjoying just a nagging attack across our ministry. In the last several weeks, 2 of my staff members spouses’ have lost their jobs, our board chairs’ pancreatic cancer remains inoperable after 4 months of chemo, and we had a seriously scary carbon monoxide infiltration this past week due to the boiler being improperly vented. So, praise is that the board chairs’ tumor has stopped growing. And that we did not have any children on site during that carbon monoxide scare. I don’t want to downplay those praises, but I’m just really leery. There’s a lot of punch list items and lose ends to wrap up before we’re complete. But we do have a ribbon cutting and grand opening event this Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the 21st. The governor is going to be there, more than 100 guests and I would just ask that you pray that it goes well and that we are encouraged and can come out of Thanksgiving holiday just renewed and refreshed. Thank you and I will probably call back and pray for some other people, later, after I’m done with the prayer line. Bye.
Hello from beautiful, well, this is actually the greater Houston area, Houston Texas area. This is Daniel J. Junior. And I’m actually here in Webster, Texas. I’m getting ready to take my mom home to beautiful Cincinnati, Ohio. It is currently November the 19th 2017 and God has done some amazing things. The last time that I saw my mom, before coming back to here, she was unconscious, and now my mom is very much awake and alive and alert. She still needs a lot of rehab. And, so, your continued prayers along those lines would really be helpful. And then, I got a call from my wife this afternoon. We learned that her sister, her oldest sister, was found dead in her apartment in her home this morning or this day recently. And, so, this prayer is for my wife Jenny and her family, especially my mother-in-law, who is in her 80s, this is so hard, obviously, for our family. God is doing something, the enemy is really doing something, but God is much bigger. Jesus wins. Satan loses. To God be the glory. Looking forward to hearing your prayers and comments. Daniel J. Junior from Cincinnati Ohio. God bless and make it a great day.