Genesis 16:1-18:19, Matthew 6:1-24, Psalms 7:1-17, Proverbs 2:1-5
Today is 8th January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you today. It was one week ago today that we set sail and started this journey that’s going to take us through the entire Bible this year. So, well done, we have completed our first week and are now going into our second week together. And, as you can see, a lot happens in the Bible inside of a week. So, let’s take the next step forward. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Genesis chapter 18 verse 16 through 19 verse 38 today.
Alright. So, in the book of Matthew, we’re working our way through the Sermon on the Mount, and we should be able to see pretty clearly that what Jesus is laying out is very rooted in the human experience and it’s very connected to how we how we behave toward one another and it’s all centered around our devotion and allegiance to God. So, what Jesus is describing is almost backwards from the way that we live most of the time. So, for example we were talking about forgiveness yesterday. So, like, how can you forgive in the moment? How can you actually let go of things that have been poisoned? How does that happen? Well, it can’t, unless you are first and centrally connected in relationship with God. So, when our identity is rooted and centered, first and foremost, above all other things, in God, then our identity is in Him and we can release offenses to Him in the same way that we ask Him to forgive us of our trespasses. So often it’s the other way around. We are wronged, we are carrying a grudge, we are offended, we want to be the judge. And, so were carrying all of that around inside of ourselves and because of the exterior circumstances it’s shaping how we see God, as opposed to, first and foremost we are in relationship with God and that relationship with God informs the way we look and feel about everything. So, anxiety is something Jesus was talking about today, basically, and, you know, this is a very, very anxious world and we battle with anxiety in all kinds of ways. And that anxiety pulls us into isolation and it shapes how we view God. Where did He go? Why isn’t He coming through? These kinds of things that breed doubt into our lives, which only makes us more anxious. Jesus kind of flips that backwards and says, look, don’t worry about your life, what you’re going to can eat, what you’re going to drink, about your body, what you’re going to wear. You don’t have to do this. All you have to do is slow down enough to look around. Look at the natural world. Look at the birds. Look at the flowers. Your Father takes care of them. He can take care of you. This is a byproduct of our most important connection and relationship in life, being that with God, as opposed to being self-centered, where we’re carrying all the stress and load of life inside of ourselves, trying to order it in a way that will work. And it doesn’t work. And, so, it affects how we view the relationship with God. Jesus is showing us that if God really, truly is our source of life, and that’s not just, like, lip service. That’s actually true. God is our source of life and that relationship is the one relationship that we are vigilant about, then it will all together change the way that we look at everything. We’ll be living from the inside out, and so are exterior circumstances and the challenges, the things that won’t let us sleep at night, the things that are giving us panic attacks, those will be seen completely differently. So, we can watch ourselves this week. We can observe ourselves. We can see when it is we’re moving into stress mode. We can see when the anxiety is rising up. And when we catch ourselves moving in that direction, we can stop for a second. We can say, what’s going on here? And what we’ll find is that we’ve lost connection. And we can stop right then and there and breathe and re-center ourselves in Christ, which is not to say that things don’t get challenging. I mean, life has its challenges. But when those challenges have a direct line to our heart and identity, well, we’re going to get tossed to and fro, we’re going to be all over the map, and we’re going to be shaking our fist at the sky saying, where did you go, when it’s really the Lord saying, I’m right here, where did you go? You don’t have to carry this alone. If I can take care of the birds and flowers, I can take care you. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. These teachings that Jesus is laying out would later become known as ‘The Way’. Early followers of Jesus, they weren’t becoming Christians. That was a term coined much later. They were originally following ‘The Way’. And ‘The Way’ grew up to become the faith as we know it. But, in a lot of ways, we’ve over complicated things. Jesus invitation is ultimately to treat one another as we would want to be treated and to keep our central relationship rooted in God, which changes the way that we look at everything, it changes the way we work and live in the world. It’s ‘The Way’ we’re invited to live. It’s ‘The Way’ things were always supposed to be for us.
Jesus, we invite You into that. We want to live the way that You are showing that we can, where our hearts are irreversibly given to You and we are centered in You in everything that we think, do, and say. And if this is true, then we can forgive and we don’t have to judge each other because we’re not trying to get our identity from each other. We understand that we’re all on a journey with You and we don’t have to live frantic lives full of worry and anxiety. But we acknowledge, it takes a lot of vigilance, and it is a lot of work. But You told us that. You told us to enter through the narrow gate. And You told us it’s narrow and difficult, but it’s the road that leads to life, and few find it, and we want to be one of the ones who find it. So, come Holy Spirit and help us to see when we start moving in all of these different directions, help us to observe ourselves, and slow down, and re-center ourselves in You. You said, ask and it will be given, You said, seek and we’ll find, knock and the door will be open. So, we’re asking, and that’s going to require that we seek. And that’s going require that we be vigilant about this and do the work of turning to You first and foremost in all things, everything. Come, Holy Spirit, we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, its where you find out what’s going on around here. Couple things.
We will be out on the road this coming Sunday in the Louisville Kentucky area. So, if you are in that area, love to see you. We’ll be at New Song Christian Fellowship Louisville. And you can get all the details at dailyaudiobible.com. Just go to the Events section and everything that you need to know is there. Looking forward to it.
Also, want to remind you of the Prayer Wall that can be found at the website. Just go into the Community section and you’ll find it. If you’re using the new Daily Audio Bible app, you can find it in there by just pushing the Drawer menu in the upper left-hand corner. It’s a good place to post prayer requests and get responses from different people who are praying for you. So, be sure to check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that dailyaudiobible.com. There’s a link there on the homepage. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible 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.
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:
Hello. This is Shannon. I’m calling for Christie from Washington state. Every time that you call in, I am so moved to call in as well. I just want to take a minute and pray for you. I know when you’re so sick and you’re in so much pain that it’s hard to have faith. So, I’m glad you called in. And you can lean on our faith and our prayers to help carry you through. And I know that Yahweh is going to heal you and meet you in the deep. You are in a storm of illness that is baffling specialists. And I…I hear you and I pray for you. So, I just want to pray quick for you. Father God I pray for Christie. And I pray that You would touch her heart. And I pray that You would touch her heart and her stomach and all of these organs that are not working properly and functioning properly. I pray that You would quiet the pain of her heart and her gut and I pray that You would give her peace and wholeness and health. And I pray that You would quiet her fear and panic because of all of this pain and because of all of these illnesses. Father, we cry out to You because you are a God that hears, and You are a God that heals, and You are a God that restores the wholeness. And Father, I pray for Christie. I pray that You would heal her and restore her. And I pray that You would meet her in the midst of this storm of illness and that You would quiet her soul and quiet her sickness and that she would declare your work. I pray that she would be whole. I thank you, Father God, for hearing us. I thank you for your healing. Christie, I’m praying for you so call in and let us know how you’re doing…
High Daily Audio Bible family. This is Terry from Chicago. You may remember, I called months ago because I fell into sin and ruined my family in my infidelities. The repercussions have rippled out and have hurt everyone. I’m asking that you pray for my family. My son is, right now, losing his shop. He had a warehouse where he’d work on cars. My wife, of course, we’re going through…is…of course…suffering from my sin. My daughter is, so far, unaffected. But, thank goodness, because God is protecting us. I do have a praise report. I called in and it was played at the community prayer on December 30th that I needed a job. I did get a job making half what I make. I just want to ask, Lord, and brothers and sisters, that you pray for me, because I only make half what I make and I do need to get back to where I am. I still praise though. [singing] How great is our God? Sing with me. How great is our God? And all will see how great, how great is our God. Name above all names. Worthy of all praise. My heart will sing how great is our God. [singing ends] Thank you DAB family because it could always be worse. I still have my health. Thank you, Brian and Jill. Thank you, Hardin family. Thank you for all you do. You give me a place to turn to and I love you all.
Hello everyone. As I’m sitting around this global campfire, I have a praise report. My name is Elizabeth. I’m calling from BC Canada and this is January 3rd. So, my praise report is this, I found this amazing family. About a year ago, I tuned in, and I listened all the way through to the end and just about two weeks from the end of the year God reminded me that I had a prayer request that I was feeling this deep heartfelt need to read the Bible but feeling frustrated because I didn’t really understand it. And I found a few other podcasts and then, lo and behold, God led me to this podcast. And, boy, it’s exactly what I wanted. I was asking for somebody to walk me through the Bible. Brian and his family, you guys are that somebody. And I want to thank you. So, that’s praise report number one. And praise report number two is that, I’m actually calling you family. I mean, I have a belong to a church for quite a number of years. I have a lot of reasons why you don’t belong to one now. And again, I was feeling lost. And it’s really a need for fellowship, because nobody in my family believes, almost nobody anyhow. And then you guys came along. And now I’m calling you family. I don’t know you, but I’ve grown to know you and people like Blind Tony, Salvation is Mine, Victoria Soldier, Prayer Warrior Princess, Lisa the Encourager, The Lord is Our Banner, Pastor Gene, Slave of Jesus, Beloved by the Beach, Joe the Protector, Pastor Gene, Candice from Oregon, Sherry from BC, and Little Sharee. I’ve come to think if you guys his family…
High Daily Audio Bible. My name is Michael. I’m calling from Parkville Maryland. I’m a first time caller. I’ve been listening for about a year. My prayer request is, God You give me the gifts and talents. I’ve lost my job and am asking God what he wants me to be, not where I want to be, but where exactly the gifts and talents He has me for the future. So, my prayer would be that you would look me up in prayer. That I need to get my GED date. I need to step out of the boat. So, Father, I just ask you for the guidance and wisdom for my life. I surrender to You. And I lift this prayer request up to Daily Audio Bible. Thank you.