Today is the 29th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today, squarely in the middle of the week here in the waning days of the month of November. And today we will finish second Peter. But before we do that, we need to read from the book of Daniel, chapter 6 verses 1 through 28. And we’re reading from the Contemporary English Version this week.
Okay. So, as we conclude second Peter, its conclusion brings up sentiments that we have seen before, many, many, times and the ways in which the early believers were trying to work out how to make sense of what was going on versus what they were expecting to be going on. And if we’ll notice this, then we’ll notice that this wrestling has profoundly impacted the last 2000 years. So, first century Hebrew culture in the Roman province of Syria, which encompassed the territory of ancient Israel, was heavily influenced by an apocalyptic worldview. And that basically means that they had a sense that the destiny of the world was ultimately changing. And that, ultimately, decisive things were going to happen that were going to change the shape of the world as we know it. And although difficult and destructive times would come that would be really disastrous, in the midst of that there would be rescue, and something new would be born. And this is the culture that Jesus came into and he spoke this kind of language, as did the writers of the New Testament. And in the decades that followed Jesus earthly life, this idea spread and merged into Gentile culture in one form or another as the gospel began to spread all over the known world. And we can see that this is been passed down all the way until today. As believers, we generally think the same thing. But as we read the New Testament we don’t see this idea being something that’s going to happen somewhere in the far distant future. We see it as being something imminent. They thought the revelation of Jesus and his return was imminent. And this has actually fueled revival down through the ages. So, take, for example, the Jesus movement that happened in the late 60s in through the 70s. I’ve studied that movement a lot because from it came the Christian music industry as we know it and I come from that as the second-generation after it. So, I spent a lot of time with a lot of those early artists, talking to them about what was it, what was it that fueled that time where the spirit flowed the way that it did. And almost to a person, the thought was that the return of Christ was imminent. There was so much going on in the world, so much cultural shift with the backdrop of the Vietnam War, and the assassination of Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy. Times were changing. A new era was spilling out and the younger generation, which would’ve been my parent’s generation, we’re looking for a better world. And, so, they turned to sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. And the idea that love would conquer all and bring unity, and the age of Aquarius, and all of this stuff. And, in the midst of this, people began to find Jesus. And the way and teachings of Jesus made sense. And the idea that Jesus return was imminent and would usher in a new era was deeply compelling. I talked to artists from that time and felt like they didn’t even have time to go into the recording studio to make a record. They just needed to be out on the beach, on a park bench, playing songs that would draw crowds so that the story, the message of Jesus, could be shared because the arrival of Christ was imminent. And, so, we can see how this worldview leads just about every generation to believe that they are the last. Because we can all look at the struggles of the world at the time that we live and say, this is pretty bad, the end is near, something new is about to happen.
Okay, so what does that have to do with the New Testament and what does that have to do with second Peter? Well, in the decades that followed Jesus life, this was the message. Christ was about to return and reveal himself. The kingdom of God would come and there will be a whole new world. But decades had passed. What was supposed to happen imminently, didn’t, which left them with a bit of a problem. What they thought they knew, they apparently didn’t. So, they had to seek revelation and clarity. And that is what we see in the final chapter of second Peter. And why it’s important for us is that we’re basically still in the same boat, largely thinking the same thing. So, now that we have some context and we have located ourselves in the story, allow me to reread from second Peter, chapter 3, as we watch this explode into vivid color. ‘You must realize that in the last days some people won’t think about anything except their own selfish desires, they will make fun of you and say, didn’t your Lord promise to come back. Yet, the first leaders have already died and the world hasn’t changed a bit. They will say this because they want to forget that long ago the heavens and the earth were made at God’s command. The earth came out of the water and was made from water. Later it was destroyed by the waters of the mighty flood. But God has commanded the present heavens and earth to remain until the day of judgment, then they will be set on fire, and ungodly people will be destroyed. Dear friends, don’t forget that, for the Lord, one day is the same as a thousand years and a thousand years is the same as one day. The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost’. And there is the revelation or explanation. All of this is eminently going to happen according to God and not according to our sense of time. So, according to that explanation, a thousand years is like one day to the Lord, and vice a versa. And, so, here we are 2000 years later, but it’s only been like two days for the Lord, is what’s being said here. And Peter is saying, this has nothing to do with God not fulfilling his promises, and that Christ is not going to be revealed. What we are experiencing is, in fact, God’s patience because our Father doesn’t want to lose anyone. Or, to quote Peter, ‘God is patient because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost’. So, for starters we can see that all of our attempts to create a formula that will identify the exact moment when Jesus will return to this earth and then predict it, well, that’s been going on for a long time and is a bit futile. He will come and when he does it will be at the moment of his choosing and it will be the right moment. If there’s anything we can learn from the arc of the narrative of the Bible is that God is patient. And if there’s anything we can learn in our own life experience it is that God is patient. So, what is it that we are supposed to be doing in the meantime? We are supposed to be patient too. And we’re supposed to be sharing the good news of light and life as people who have been commissioned by God to announce the good news because we don’t want anyone to be lost either. Or, as Peter tells it, ‘my friends, while you are waiting you should make certain that the Lord finds the you pure, spotless, and living at peace. Don’t forget that the Lord is patient because he wants people to be saved. This is also what our dear friend Paul said when he wrote you with the wisdom that God had given him’. And then he goes on to talk about how people are twisting what Paul said. And then he concludes. ‘My dear friends, you have been warned ahead of time. So, don’t let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance. Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, help you to keep on growing.
Father, that’s it, that’s what we want, to keep on growing and to see our longing and anticipation through patient eyes, understanding that we’re a part of this whole story. You have invited us to participate by being Your hands and feet in this world so that none will be lost. And may we see the world through those eyes, we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And, obviously, we find ourselves in the thick of it in the holiday season now. So, I remind you that the Daily Audio Bible Christmas Box is available. And it’s chock-full of things for yourself and things for you to give away. And you can check all of that out dailyaudiobible.com in the shop. And one important thing about that. Today is the international shipping cut off day. So, if you are outside the United States, we think today is the last safe day that we can ship internationally for these Boxes to arrive in time for Christmas. So, heads up on that. Obviously, you can order after this, but we think, you know, after this… it's…we don’t know…we know it’ll arrive…but if you’re wanting it to arrive for Christmas then, jump on it right away. If you’re inside the United States then we still have plenty of time but we do always sell out of these.
And another thing from the shop that I like to point out, because we think it’s a great gift idea, is all of the writing and journaling things that we have in the shop. We have the new Daily Audio Bible journals that we custom-made and paired along with Black Wing pencils, which are widely praised as the best pencils in the world. And, in this day of high technology, the act of sharpening cedarwood and graphite to a fine tip and then using your own hand to write your story in your own words offers an opportunity and a practice to slow things down and write your story as it happens. And we have some new items related to that in the shop, a brand-new pencil pouch to go along with the pencil role that we’ve had for a while. And point guards to protect your sharpened tip so that’s ready to go whenever you’re ready to go. And we’ve incorporated some of those things together in bundles that are just everything that you need, everything that you need to get going. I’ve been doing this all year. I’ve been journaling all year like this. I journaled all of the days…all of my mom’s final days…and all of the emotions and feelings of grief afterward, as well as the rest of the year. And we’ve always encouraged journaling around here, since, basically, the beginning of the Daily Audio Bible because it’s so easy to forget what stands out to us in the Scriptures or what is going on in our lives that God is working in, it all becomes a blur after a while. But when you can go back a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, ten years ago today, your story begins to have context. And having context for our own life story is just as important as having context for what’s going on in the Bible. So, this is a great time to get set up for next year. It’s also great gift idea for anyone in your life that loves words, that likes to write, or even that needs to slow down a little bit to a life that flows like water under a bridge. So, all of that is available in the shop as well. Check it out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here at the end of the year, then, obviously, humble thanks for your partnership. There is a link on the homepage of dailyaudiobible.com. If you prefer, 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 Prayer Requests and Praise Reports:
Hello. This is Claire. My love to you and from Jesus. I have tinnitus. It is screaming tinnitus. I found that there is no answer for it but the Lord knows what that answer is. I just pray…I ask for your prayers please. And I have a poem that I just wrote. It’s for you.
pulled us from the deepest pit
Jesus’ blood washed away the grit
He gave His love and at the root
We’re His masterpiece and He’s our pursuit
God be with all of you, in your thoughts, in your prayers, and your entire life. He’s in your heart and you’re in His hands. Praise the Lord. This is Claire from Wyoming.
Hey Daily Audio Bible Family. It’s Sheila in Massachusetts. It’s been a long time since I called but I’m listening every day, praying for you all. I was prompted to call today by Cheryl from Arizona who called. She was praying…asking for praters…about the anxiety…and saying how much she hates anxiety…and I am just so frustrated and tired and fed up with this mental illness that’s bugging so many of us and our families. Cheryl, I am praying for you. I don’t know if I’ve every shared with you all, but I’m also a psychologist, and I work with adolescents and you all know my daughter Annie suffers from bi-polar and I have generalized anxiety myself. It runs in the family. Just…today I’m going to pray. I pray to our Lord, pray in Jesus’ name, that all the mental illness…just ___ us with worry and despair and doubt…all of these things that come into our mind and take hold of us…that I just…so many of us are suffering…I pray in Jesus’ name to remove the mental illness from us, to show us that we can be sad…we can be down… we can have things that go wrong, but Lord let us always know that there’s hope in You. There’s a light, there’s a light in all of us, the light of the Holy Spirit. I was just saying the other day that the Holy Spirit has never been referred to in the Bible as and ‘it’. The Holy Spirit isn’t an ‘it’. It’s alive, it’s indwelling within us. It’s a gift that we have from Jesus. Let us all find that light and praise it. Let the light shine and just root out all evil, this awful mental illness in us. Lord, I’m just going to continue to pray for our wellbeing and our health. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. Cheryl, you are in my prayers.
Hi this call is…the first part is for Cheryl in Arizona. I just heard your call about having like mad anxiety, especially at night. I just want you to know sister that I am there with you. That same thing happened to me. I would look at your caffeine intake and your sugar intake. That really, really affected me, especially at night when I laid down…and…you know…settling down…may brain would just go haywire. Once I cut that out…for a while I cut that out altogether and it was great. And it helped…it helps a ton and especially being able to like…lay down…and go to bed…and not like…hang out awake…and…you know…it really helps. So, I would look at that. If you’re not a big caffeine drinker, maybe look at your sugar intake. And just maybe look at the food and the nutrients and everything that you are putting in your body. That has a whole lot to do with anxiety…at least it did for me…it really helps…when I figured out what I was putting into my body. The second one is…the second part is for a coworker of mine. She has been fighting cancer and she’s having a really rough time financially. She’s having to work multiple jobs and can’t pay her bills and is really sick. She just needs prayer. Lord, I just want to pray for my sister Cheryl with anxiety and my other sister with the cancer and I pray that…I pray healing and release and just wisdom to take the right steps and know where You lead Lord, and I pray for all of us, and I pray for all of the sick people, especially kids. Please help them and be with them. I pray for a cure Lord for cancer and for everything else. If anyone can do it You can Lord. I pray…
Hello Daily Audio Bible family, this is Rob from Chatham, Ontario. Today I’m calling to ask your help to lift my son Max in prayer. He is living in North Dakota. He’s living in a…he’s in a situation…in a relationship outside of God’s will and there’s a child involved. He has a daughter and he’s about to be separated from his daughter. And it’s going to rip him…it’s going to his heart right out and I’m just asking for you to lift him up in prayer so that God can intervene and prevent that from happening. And I don’t know how it could happen but only God can make it happen. And I’m asking you to ask that maybe that relationship be salvaged or just…I don’t know…I don’t know…I’m just. Yeah, this is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, well that’s where I’m from, that’s where he is right now, and I can’t imagine what his Holiday is like right now, but he’s soon to experience a severe amount of pain and I hope that that doesn’t happen. Please pray for him family. Thank you.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. It is the 23rd of November, Thursday, Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. And a great day to give thanks no matter where we are. And any day is a good day to give thanks. And I wanted to call in to specifically say thank you to Cheryl in Arizona. Cheryl, you called in and left a prayer request. And at the time you’d mentioned that it was the 17th at 10:04 in the evening, your time, in Arizona. And I wanted to call to encourage you to stay strong, to keep your faith, and to continue to be still, and trust God. Heavenly Father, You know Cheryl. You created her. You wove her in her mother’s womb and stitched together perfectly, uniquely, and blessed her with amazing gifts and talents, that she is using here now and needs to sharpen to continue to continue to use to be the light for other people in the world. You created her with purpose. She is part of Your royal bloodline. You know her heart Lord. You created her before you created the universe and You didn’t waste time on her. You don’t waste time on any of us. Heavenly Father, we ask You to be able to dwell deep within Cheryl, to relieve her from all off her anxiety and all of her fear. Let her know that with Your son Jesus, who walks with her in every step of the way and by the power of Your Holy Spirit, that she’s free from all of that. Help her to breathe deeply, Heavenly Father, and we ask this in Your mighty and precious name. Amen. God bless you.