Exodus 37:1-38:31, Matthew 28:1-20, Psalms 34:11-22, Proverbs 9:9-10
Today is the 14th day of February. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you. Happy Valentine’s Day for all of you lovers in the world. This also happens to be the first day in the season of Lent, but we’ll talk about that in a little while. What we’ve come here to do is to take the next step forward in the Scriptures. So, from the Contemporary English Version this week, Exodus chapter 37 and 38.
Okay. So, as I mentioned at the beginning, today is obviously Valentines day. So, shout out to all you lovers in the world. It’s definitely a day that we express and commemorate romantic love in the world. It just so happens that also today the season of Lent begins. And I talk about some of the seasons and some of the holidays, holy days, that are found on the Christian calendar because they present a rhythm. So, as we’re experiencing the rhythm of the Scripture in our lives every day, there’s also an ancient calendar that has a rhythm to it that’s intended to focus our heart on God and what God has done for us. So, if you celebrate Christmas, you’re celebrating a holy day that’s on the Christian calendar. If you celebrate Easter or Pentecost or St. Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick`s Day, like, these are commemorative days or holy days on the Christian calendar. There are also seasons. Advent would be a season, the season leading up to Christmas. Lent is the season leading up to Easter. So, we’re forty days out from Easter. So, let me pause here and just say, hey the Christian calendar isn’t in the New Testament. It’s not in the Bible. That’s not the point. And whether you’ve ever heard of Lent or not isn’t the point. Whether you have observed Lent in the past but you no longer do or you don’t even know what I’m talking about, like, that’s okay. At minimum, you’re going to get just a small little history context lesson and at most, you’re going to find something that’s rich and very meaningful and something that you begin to or continue to participate in.
So, Lent, probably you’ve heard of it. Probably it represents to you that, you know, you don’t eat candy bars or you don’t eat candy or you don’t eat sugar or you don’t do something. Whatever. You abstain from something for the season of Lent. And that alone is fine. If you’re used to eating a candy bar for lunch every day and you stop doing that, you break that rhythm, then everyday you’re thinking about that candy bar, thinking about what your normal rhythm is, you’re thinking about being a little hungry and needing a snack and it reminds you of the season that you’re in. But the purpose of Lent is to actually spend the forty days leading up to Easter understanding, like, fully trying to engage with what it cost to bring you spiritual freedom, salvation and eternal life. And we talked about this a couple days ago when we read through the crucifixion narrative in the gospel of Matthew. One of the things that we don’t do very well, that we don’t sit with very well, is lament. We very often skip over lament and move immediately toward grace and mercy, which are needed in endless supply for everyday, certainly. But we don’t consider the awful price of sin. We don’t actually focus our attention on what Jesus had to endure in order to make it easy for us. The kind of life that we experience spiritually came at tremendous sacrifice on our behalf by God. As the Scriptures tell us, while we were still His enemies, Jesus died for us. So, it’s a season to sit with that and begin to invite the Holy Spirit into that. Because sin still kills. Sin still destroys us. Sin is still a cancer that will eat us alive from the inside out. And, so, Lent is a season that comes every year and if giving up your afternoon candy bar is the thing, then that’s the thing. But the point isn’t giving up candy bars or any one thing. That tradition is as a reminder, a reminder that we are giving up everything. And in the season of Lent, we lament. We look back over our lives and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us back into places where we can see how sin has caused tremendous damage in our lives. And we begin to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the places that it still exists in our lives. And we invite the Holy Spirit to do the work in this season of restoring us as we move toward Easter. So, as we move toward resurrection and salvation, we actually apply ourselves and invite God’s Holy Spirit to do work inside of us. We’re saying, I’ll give up everything. I’m inviting you to re-order my life. What are the things that do not belong in my life anymore at all? Help me to rid myself and extricate myself from those things during this season. What are the things that are more important to me than they ought to be? Put them in my life where they belong. What are the things that are interfering with where we’re going together, Jesus? Show me those things. Show me how to get them out of my life or re-order them in my life so that they’re balanced properly in my relationship. My union with you is the primary focus of my life. If we use this season for that, then we will be joining in with a tradition that goes back all the way to the second generation of believers. So, the people that the apostles preached to? These are first generation believers. Their children, who grew up in the faith are the second generation. And there are early Christian writings from this time that talk about this. So, it’s an ancient Christian tradition, but it’s also one that will be being observed by millions of people around the world. And, as I say most every year that we get to this season and I do a little explanation of it, I didn’t grow up doing this. I grew up in the church, I grew up in a pastor’s home, but this isn’t something that we practiced. And you may be the same. And you may not want to do this, and that’s fine. There’s no commandment about it. There’s nothing…it’s not like that. It’s not a command. It’s just an invitation to spend these forty days asking God the things that should be removed from your life, the things that should be re-ordered in your life. And then maybe you do some fasting or maybe you fast something so that every time you would normally turn toward that thing, that food, that activity, you are reminded of where your heart is focusing right now, where you are inviting God to work inside of you right now for these forty days, so that as we approach Easter, we have prepared our hearts and we enter into the Easter celebration fully aware of what it cost for us to even celebrate Easter. And what it means, what a monumental shift that happened in the world and in the human race because of Jesus death, resurrection and ascension.
So, Jesus, as we enter into this time, whether we’re actually going to observe Lent or whether we just focus our attention and affection right now, we open ourselves to You. And Lord, over this next period of time, we invite You, as we move toward resurrection day and our ultimate freedom from sin, we invite You to begin taking us back through our lives and showing us where sin has derailed us and to show us where the weeds of sin are still intertwined, the places that we still find ourselves deceived. The places that we’re continuing to allow this to grow within us. Holy Spirit, come. Show us how to cut that off. Show us how to remove that and burn it up in our lives, get away from it. And, Father, the places that are out of alignment in our lives because life is moving so fast that we just kind of have to patch it together as we go. The things that have fallen out of alignment. Things that are more important to us than maybe they ought to be, even though they’re good things. Or things that need more attention in our lives and should be elevated and paid more attention to. Re-order us, God. We want to move into Easter having truly contemplated what it cost to bring us to Easter. And we want to come into the Easter season in alignment with You so that we can fully embrace and rejoice in what Your victory has won. And as we move deeper, after Easter, into the springtime and new life flourishes around us, we want that to be what’s happening inside of us. So, come Holy Spirit in this season, we pray. In Jesus name. Amen.
Okay, so today begins Lent. This is known as Ash Wednesday. And you may be walking around the grocery store today or the gas station or wherever and see people with black smudges on their foreheads that are crosses. And you might even find that to be a little weird. I always did until I knew what was going on. Those are people who have gone to some sort of Ash Wednesday service and have had palm ash smudged on their forehead in the shape of a cross. It’s a way of representing sackcloth and ashes. It’s a way of representing repentance. It’s a way of representing lament and being public about it. And we see that tradition throughout the Scriptures. When you see someone like that, you’re seeing someone who is willing to humble themselves and look a little bit foolish to outwardly declare to the world, I am in a season of repentance. I repent from my sins. I am contemplating what it costs. What sin costs myself and my family and what sin cost ultimately and the sacrifice of Jesus. And I am declaring this openly even though I may look foolish. So, if you see someone walking around like that today, they are your brother or your sister. Pray for them. And if that sounds meaningful to you, find an Ash Wednesday service somewhere. Step out of your box. Move among brothers and sisters that you have never met. It’s a way of going public with your repentance. I mean, there’s no magic in this. Smear black on your forehead if that’s what you want and go out into the world. Whether they understand or not, you’re declaring your repentance. And you’re also declaring your allegiance. That’s what this is all about. Focusing our heart and our attention on what it cost to bring us our salvation and inviting the Holy Spirit to re-order our lives according to that salvation as we move into the celebration of the resurrection and our freedom.
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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:
Hey. Good morning you all. This is Cherry, Cherry Chase ,Cherry Pie. Just want to send a shout out to Salvation is Mine. I heard your message this morning. I also felt your pain. I do understand days when you feel like you’re trying to go on with your life but you really are actually screaming inside. I’ve been there, but I want to let you know Salvation is Mine, I’ve got your back, I’ve got you covered. I love you. Just keep pushing, because sometimes we have to do that solid scream and just keep going. God has your back. We’ve got your back. So, you’re going to be fine. I know you’re just going through little things. It’s hard when you’re in them yourself. But I’ve got you girl. I’m going try to encourage you. Every time I hear you call just smile. I want to hear that smile when you call in. You’re going to be fine. We all the through rough time. I love you and I’m asking God to pray for me as well. I am drifting off into my own things and it’s a big deal for me and it will put my finances where I needed. So, if you can guys, I’m asking you guys all pray for my new victory that I’m drifting out on life on my own business and just trying to sum up a little more money so that I can…everything will be taken care of. So, I’m asking you guys to over me with that. I love each and every one you guys. Keep continuing to pray for me and I’m going to keep continuing to pray for you guys. Love you guys. Have a great and wonderful and marvelous day.
Good morning family. I just wanted to say, bless you all, and we are listening and we are praying and we just wanted to say thank you so much for everything you share and this is Lara and Tom from Minnesota and just happy spring, want to stay positive. I just want to say that we are new to this series and we’ve been enjoying it immensely, but I just want to encourage each and every single one of you right now who are going through some pretty difficult times, I just want to lift you up. In Jesus’ name, I commit you to God, I commit your issues to God and just love them up in Jesus’ name. And I ask Father God, that Your will would be done and I pray a hedge of protection around these people Lord Jesus. And I pray Lord that Your guidance and Your wisdom and Your will would be done in their lives and I just plea the Lord Jesus on everyone Lord and a hedge of protection around them. Just bless them Lord and thank You so much for everything and thank You for what You’re doing in our lives. And we are touched with Your word God and how it shows us that every step of our lives has been directed, each day. And You know what we need before we even ask. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hi family it’s his little Sharie again and I wanted to thank you Mark S. and the lady in Canada, I think your name might be B, if not, forgive me. You both pray for my book and I really appreciate that. And I also wanted to say that I’m praying for all of our prodigal’s. So many people have called in about their sons, daughters, family members, friends who are far from God. I am joining my faith with yours praying for God to arrest them and reveal Himself to them. I also wanted to read something that I wrote called, Now that You’re an Adult. And I pray that it will be an encouragement to everyone out there praying for a prodigal, especially moms and dads. My child, now that you are an adult, I reach down with the roots of my faith into the mountain of God’s faithfulness and I drink deeply of trust. I need it now more than ever. This is the gift your independence has given me, dependence on the God who promises to be faithful to each generation. I don’t know what your future holds, but I know that wherever you go and whatever you do God will pursue you. You will never be able to escape the invitation of His Spirit. You will never be beyond the reach of His grace. The battle rages for your heart and yet I know that all the schemes of the evil one are no match to God’s genius for redemption. I wish I could protect you from all the lies of darkness. I wish I could spare you the mistakes you will make and the resulting pain, but I can’t. I can only do one thing. Now that you are beyond my reach, I can surrender you to his.
Hi DAB family this is Joyful Noise from Southern California. I am sharing something and confessing to you all that this was laid upon my heart early in January, January 3rd I think, to be exact, no maybe a little bit later. So, this is from a reading January 7th. This is from a reading way earlier this year and it so inspired me. It spoke to me in a way that it hasn’t in the previous six years of been going to the Bible with this community and with Brian. And here is the story. And I want you guys to think about this and think about how we have a tendency to hide from God and we how have a tendency to deny his presence during times of trouble or we have a tendency to, you know, look around for him. But listen to what Abraham did. So, this is from Genesis 18. The Lord appeared to Abraham at the Oaks at Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of the stent during the heat of the day. He looked up and he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, bowed to the ground and said, my Lord, if I have found favor with you please do a no go on past your servant. Let a little water be brought that you may wash your feet and rest yourself under the tree. I will bring a bit of bread so that you will strengthen yourself. This is why you have passed your servants way. Later you can continue on. Yes, there will be times you will be upset. And, so, what struck me in this reading on January 7th was that, you know, God doesn’t just want us to kind of look around for Him, test the waters, think about maybe is He there, is He not there, where is His presence, but to run toward Him. And I was reminded of that again when I was rereading the prodigal son story. The father sees the son coming up the hill and runs towards him. So, that is how we are to respond to God when we feel His presence. So…
Hi. This is John and I’m calling from Cleveland Ohio. And I’m calling because of the faith that Blind Tony and Victoria and everybody else has shown me on the line…on the phone. And I have found myself praying along with you. I have a problem though, as a grandfather. I have a granddaughter who had been born with a herniated diaphragm. And what this does is it controls the area around the heart and lungs. There’s a hole in this area and it allowed the lower abdomen to let the liver and other parts of the body enter where her lungs are, crushing that area. And it wasn’t caught during pregnancy. So, this was a very complicated surgery and they had given her less than 10% chance to live. But we know as brothers and sisters in the Lord, that means nothing. And she lived and now she is 15 years old. The problem is, she’s now developing into a woman and the tissue is not growing along with her and again the diaphragm is torn open and these organs are again crushing her lungs. I need to ask the DABbers to pray along with me and to keep her in your prayers. Her name is Anessa Joy, known as AJ. And she may be flown by helicopter to the Cleveland clinic soon. They’re trying to stabilize her. And I just ask that everybody will keep her in your prayers. Thank you very much. Bye.
Hi this is Sharon The Victorious from Northern California. I pray for all of you. I really need your prayers. My husband’s back is so bad that he can barely walk and he still has to work. I pray for him to get better. I pray for my daughter who is bipolar and I think she’s using prescription drugs again. Things aren’t good. and I pray for her to get well. And I need a prayer for myself. I’m so depressed right now. I have found out that have glaucoma and cataracts in my eyes and I’m just going to turn 62. So, I go through a procedure on the 16th of this month to have laser surgery for the glaucoma. I’m scared. I don’t want to go blind and I need your prayers. I’m so down right now. Please help me. Please pray for me. Please God, come into my heart and help me through all this. My husband and I are in a fight right down too and after 41 years of marriage…and we just had our anniversary. I pray for you and please pray for me and my family. Thank you. God bless you all. Thank you.