Genesis 3:1-4:26, Matthew 2:13-3:6, Psalms 2:1-12, Proverbs 1:7-9
Today is the 2nd day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it’s great to be here with you for the 2nd step of 365 as we make our way into and through the Scriptures this year. So, we set sail yesterday and have just left the harbor, as it were, on our voyage this year, and what an adventure it will be. So, yesterday we began the book of Genesis, and the book of Matthew, and the book of Psalms, and the book of Proverbs, which is the trajectory we will take this year - a bit from the Old Testament, a reading from the New Testament, a bit of Psalms, and a bit of Proverbs, each and every day. So, we talked about Genesis yesterday as we began, and today, when we get to the New Testament, we’ll talk about the book of Matthew. And at the end, I’ll talk a little bit about Daily Audio Bible and the community that we share here and some good things to know as we get out into the open seas on this grand adventure. And by the time we’ve finished a week together we’ll all be on the same page. But the primary thing that we do here is to read from God’s word. And, so, we’re reading from the New International version this week, Genesis chapter 3 and chapter 4.
Okay. So, I mentioned that we began the book of Matthew yesterday, obviously, and we read from it - the genealogies of Jesus and of Jesus birth. So, let’s get our bearings with the book of Matthew. Like the book of Genesis, the book of Matthew is also a part of a grouping of books known as the Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And each of them give us an account of Christ’s life, who is our Savior, but they were written at different times and by different people to different audiences for different reasons. So, understanding the back story a little bit helps us get some facets and nuances that we might completely miss. So, most Scholars would place Matthew as the second of the Gospels written with Mark being the first and Matthew coming maybe a decade or a little more after Mark. Matthew, the person this gospel was attributed to was one of the 12 apostles, or disciples of Jesus, and he was a tax collector in his former life. So, he wasn’t the most liked person socially, but when Jesus called him, he left everything. So, from that perspective, this is a man who gave up a life that he knew and that was definitely providing for his needs and making him wealthy in exchange for a great leap of faith to follow a man that he came to believe was the son of God. And the book of Matthew was written for Jewish people. And that’s kind of an important thing to understand. Jesus was a Jewish person and His ministry was primarily to Jewish people. So, that was the context for His ministry. And after His death and resurrection, the apostle Paul came onto the scene. And we haven’t met the apostle Paul yet, but we will, and you’ve probably heard of the apostle Paul. It was Paul who began to unpack the fact that God was drawing all people back to himself through Jesus and the work of Christ wasn’t just an ethnic thing. The reason that that became so influential is that some of the letters of the apostle Paul are the earliest Christian writings that we have. So, Matthew, the gospel of Matthew, is a bit younger than the gospel of Mark, and the gospel of Mark is a bit younger than some of Paul’s writing, some of Paul’s letters. In other words, the New Testament isn’t laid out in chronological fashion. That was never the point. Which brings us to another point that we have to pay attention to as we move through the New Testament. These writers weren’t trying to compose books of history. Rather, they were trying to impart truths to specific people that they were writing to. And Matthew was writing to Jewish people, especially Jewish believers in Jesus. And we know this because of the Jewish nature of the book. For example, the gospel of Matthew quotes the Old Testament more than any of the other Gospels do. And the intent was to show how Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament Mosaic Law and the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies, which we’ll see constantly. So, we’ll be reading along in Matthew and it’ll be like, ‘Jesus did this to fulfill this particular prophecy’. We’ll see that over and over. And we have to remember, at the time of the writing of the gospel of Matthew there was no New Testament. It hadn’t all been written yet and it wasn’t collected together until much later. So, what the Jewish people did have was the law and the prophets. So, Matthew is using the Scriptures of the time to reveal why Jesus is the Messiah. And of course, we’ll get to know Jesus pretty well in the book of Matthew. We’ll get to understand a bit of His style and personality. There are over 20 parables that we’ll encounter. Jesus uses symbolic picture stories that are rich and have deep meaning and He uses His words to craft a sense of feeling and emotion that’s beyond just words and it’s quite striking and quite beautiful. But Jesus often uses stories and figurative language. And if there’s one thing that comes out of all this as we move through the book of Matthew it is that we begin to hear the first rumblings of the kingdom of heaven that is coming, and that is near, it is now, and Jesus is the King. And, so, with that, we’ll pick up where we left off yesterday, Matthew chapter 2 verse 13 through 3 verse 6.
Okay. So, let’s go back to the book of Genesis, just for a second because, really, we encountered one of the saddest stories in all of history in the book of Genesis chapter 3 today. And this story is known as the fall of man. We had the briefest glimpses into a world that was perfect and then we saw what happened. God had given His children made in His image the earth to flourish upon and had given everything in it to them. He simply asked them to abstain from one thing, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were not to eat from that. But they were deceived. And we’ll find, as we read through the Bible and get ourselves all the way to the last books of the Bible, that deception is the primary tool that the evil one, and the forces of evil use in this world. Deception is what gave dominion to the evil one, but we also learn some remarkable things about God and His heart toward those He has made in His likeness. Adam and Eve were allowed to make a choice and their choice was allowed to matter. And we might wonder about that tree in the middle of the garden. What’s the point of that? Why even have that? Why give them the choice? But love and relationship are funny things, because they cannot be forced. No one can force you to love someone else. They may have some power and control over you and maybe even severe enough to make you pretend, or fake act that you love them, but no one can make you give your heart to someone else. Love isn’t love if there’s no way out. If there’s no way out you are enslaved. Adam and Eve made a choice. The choice mattered. And we’re going to meet a lot of people as we travel through the Bible and they will be making choices and those choices will matter. And God will be there in the midst of it all, simply calling out to his people, come back to me, return to me. And we’ll see this over and over because He’s still doing it today.
And then we get into the book of Matthew and we’ve already talked about that, but after we talked about it we could clearly see, Jesus is, like, fulfilling some kind of prophecy, practically every time he turns around, which makes Matthew a great beginning to the New Testament because it bridges the gap. We end the Old Testament and start with the book of Matthew and all these references back to the Old Testament are building a bridge, telling a story of how Jesus is the next chapter in the story of God and man. And this will continue to unfold as we continue in the book of Matthew.
Father, we thank You for another day, day 2. We thank You for Your kindness. We thank You for Your patience with us, Your long-suffering towards us. And we pray that you see our hearts turning toward You, that we are running toward You with arms open wide, knowing that Your arms are open wide to us. And we invite Holy Spirit to continue to speak to us through Your word. Come, Jesus. We pray in Your name. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, its where you find out what’s going on around here. So, a couple of things to talk about.
Let’s just talk about the website. The website is a portal. It is where you find out what’s going on around here. I mention it quite a bit because the events calendar is there. Resources are there. The Prayer Wall is there and there are people praying upon that wall all of the time. So, if you’re carrying some burdens, you can post them there, and people are praying all of the time. So, just checking out the Daily Audio Bible website and spending some time there will familiarize you with what it is that we do as a community here.
While you’re at the website you’ll see that there is a web player that plays the Daily Audio Bible every day and allows you to read along and Journal along if you like. And you’ll also see the links to the Daily Audio Bible app, which does the same thing, just in app form. So, just getting familiar with the tools will help you get the most out of the journey that we’re on together this year. So, check that out.
While you’re at dailyaudiobible.com you’ll see at the top, a Community tab, and in there you’ll see the Prayer Wall, that’s where the Prayer Wall is, but you also see Social Media and that will give you all of the connections to where we are on social media. And that is a great thing to follow because then you’ll kind of find out what’s going on as it’s going on. And you’ll find groups there where discussion is continually happening in and among the Daily Audio Bible communities. So, check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com as well. We’re a community, and what we’ve done over the…well…this is into year 13 now…what we’ve done for all of these years we’ve done together. In fact, this couldn’t be happening if we didn’t do this together. So, thank you for your partnership in this new year. As I said, there’s a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or, 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. But that’s not the only number you can dial. We have a couple of lines in different places in the world. If you are in the UK or Europe you can call 44-20-3608-8078 and if you are in Australia or the lands down under, you can dial 61-3-8820-5459.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Good morning family. This is Cherry Chase Cherry Pie. I hope everybody’s holiday is going well. Today is Friday, I think it’s the 29th. So, I’m calling…I just heard a caller today. I didn’t get her name but she’s a new caller but she has three sons, she’s praying for two, they are prodigal sons. One just really touched me, I believe Grant, she said, now he’s atheist. I called to tell you, rest assure honey, he will turn back around. My daughter kind of did the same thing. She didn’t say she was atheist but she did say she was worshiping the stars and the moon. As long as you know you know Jesus and continue to show your light, he will come around. I think when they get to a certain age they go through this change we’re they are trying to figure out life their self. But I want to tell you that I am praying for Grant. And I’m telling you to hold on. Just be still and hold on and let God do the work and both of your kids will come back around. I love you sister and just knowing that not only I’m praying for you but you’ve got thousands of other people praying for you as well. You guys have a great wonderful and a marvelous day and have a happy New Year. And Brian and Jill, thank you so much for all that you do for us. You guys have a great day and have a Happy New Year. Love you guys.
Hi DAB family. This is Marilyn in Houston. I would really appreciate your prayers. I have four vertebrae or four ribs __ that come out on a regular basis – two up on my rib cage and two on the lower part of my rib cage. I also have a constant headache. And right now I’m having problems with the vertebrae between my cervical and my thoracic. Right now I know that they are out. So, that’s adding to my headache and then I have a hip that needs replacement. And its very arthritic. I’m seeing a physiotherapist to help me with my __ muscle and right now it’s just very mad. I’m having that discomfort in my right __. I’m leery about getting a hip replacement because I need upper body strength. So, I’m trying to go to the gym to strengthen my upper body and I see my orthopedic surgeon the first Friday of the year. So, I would really appreciate your prayers. Thank you ever so much. Oh, I love you dearly. Thank you.
Hi. This is Suzanne calling from Albuquerque. And today I’m calling…so…I don’t know why I don’t call in more. I pray a lot with you and I think of things that I want to call in and say to support somebody and then….I think I’m just a very…kind of quiet. So, I’m going to try to be a little more involved and just take the risk of letting all of you know me more in the next year. Anyway, today I’m calling because I do…I am asking for prayer…I am the only Christian in my family and as you could imagine that’s very difficult. I want to lift up my brother and especially my nephew and my sister-in-law, but especially my nephew. He is…I think he’s just very depressed. He’s very lost. And he has a beautiful heart. And they both are very insistent that Christians are just crazy people and…you know…and…that I…you know am of the attitude that…just…you know…don’t listen to her. So, I work very hard at just loving them. Anyway, I’m just going to try to make this as short as possible. I’m asking that you lift up my nephew. His heart is very depressed. He’s very lost and he still lives at home. He’s 29. And he doesn’t have any self-confidence or self-esteem. And I just love him so much and I really want all of them to come to know Jesus. So, that’s what I’m praying for, that you all lift them up. His name is Ben. Thank you.
Hi family this is Alberta from the UK. I haven’t called in a while but I’ve been listening and I’ve heard all the prayer requests. But I called today because I wanted to remind everyone that no matter what’s taking place in our lives, we are still children of God. And as evil and wickedness around us we must keep holding onto the word of God, seeing His light through our faith. So, please join me in this prayer. Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, we call Your name seeking Your grace. Father, You’ve given us the weapons with which we can destroy the work of the enemy. By the power and authority in the name of Jesus every principality and authority exulting itself above You, oh Lord, we cancel by fire. Every __ of cancer of blood and boil affliction, we arrest you in the name of Jesus. __ of depression or any kind of oppression, we stand up against you and subdue you. We command you to be destroyed, never to rise again in the name of Jesus. Any yokes and limitations, we cancel you in the name of Jesus. Father, we open our hearts to you and commit all that we have into Your hands, asking You to pour over us holy anointing. Father, we ask that as we enter into the new year that which is not of You will remain. Father Lord, we put on our garments of praise and glorify Your name for upholding us with your rightful right arm throughout the year and __ us to know Your purpose and will for the year ahead. We ask this as a family and community in the name of Jesus. Amen. God bless you all and happy New Year. Bye for now.