Deuteronomy 23:1-25:19, Luke 10:13-37, Psalms 75:1-10, Proverbs 12:12-14
Today is the 3rd day of April. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure to be back with you again today. Hopefully you had a good time with China yesterday. We had been planning an April Fool’s joke where we were gonna switch it up because we usually have something a little strange on April Fool’s Day. And, so we planned it a year ago only to realize as we got closer April 1st is Easter. We can’t do that on Easter. So, we switched it up yesterday and I’m sure you had a good time. And I had a good time jumping over and visiting with our family in the Daily Audio Bible Chronological community. And it’s good to be back here with you today as we continue to take steps forward in the Scriptures this year. So, we’re reading from the English Standard Version this week. And we’ve got a little more ground to cover in the book of Deuteronomy. And, by way of reminder, Deuteronomy is the last three speeches or discussions of Moses. These are the final things that he wants to say. And he’s reminding them who they are and where they’ve come from and where they’re going and who God is and what God expects as they move across the Jordan into the Promise Land. And, so, we’ll dive in. Deuteronomy chapter 23, 24 and 25 today.
Okay. So, Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan today. An obviously very, very famous story. It’s interesting because we were just in this area. While we were in Israel, we went up to this high rise between Jerusalem and Jericho where we could see the heights of Jerusalem in the distance and we could see down into Jericho. And, so, between Jericho and Jerusalem. So, you’re going from the heights all the way down to below sea level. And there’s a winding valley known as the Kidron Valley that’s famous in the Scriptures and runs through Jerusalem. It runs all the way down to Jericho. And this is the path that Jesus was talking about and it was notorious for bandits. It’s pretty deserted out there and there’s nowhere to run. I mean, it’s fairly steep. So, Jesus had been asked, how do I inherit eternal life? And Jesus responded, what are the commandments? How do you read them? And the man essentially answered with what we know as the golden rule. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. We’ve heard this probably thousands of times. I mean, we’ve heard this over and over throughout our lives. Have we ever actually paid attention to that though? Because these two commandments, essentially, love God with all that you are and love each other as you love yourself…if you are living into those things then you are walking on the path that leads to life. I mean, there are plenty of rules and regulations and commandments in the Bible. There are plenty of rules and principles and precepts and laws that we examine as we move through the Bible, plenty of this in the New Testament, but it really does come down to, if we are doing those things - loving God with all that we are and loving one another as we love ourselves – then we are fulfilling the law. And, so, the man asks for clarification - who is my neighbor, right? So, I get the part of loving God with all that I am and yes, that is a vigilant, continual, constant thing. It’s an ongoing collaboration and relationship with God. But how do I love my neighbor as I love myself? That is the entire context for the story of the Good Samaritan. The story of the good Samaritan is an illustration for what it looks like to love your neighbor as yourself. And it’s chalk full of disruption, right? Because on the one hand you have a man whose fallen into the hands of robbers who’ve beaten him half to death, you know, just left him on the side of the road and stolen everything he has. And a priest comes by and walks by him on the other side of the road. And a Levite walks by on the other side of the road. And we can find all kinds of reasons for this. Many have given reasons for this, like they thought he was dead and so they didn’t want to become ceremonial unclean by touching a corpse. And, so, they went by on the other side. Fair enough, but Jesus is using this illustration to say that is not loving your neighbor as yourself, right? Making sure you stay ritually pure, according to Mosaic law, is not justification for not loving your neighbor as you love yourself. And then Jesus chooses a Samaritan as the hero of the story, which would have been completely disruptive for these people. The best thing that I could think of to give a modern context would be like you have fallen into the hands of robbers. You have been beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. Your brothers and sisters in Christ, they drive by you, but a member of ISIS comes and rescues you and cares for you and saves you and pays your medical expenses. That’s how disruptive this story of the good Samaritan is. And it calls us away from stereotypes. It calls us to look at a person in need, no matter who they are or how they are or what they are, it invites us that when we encounter a fellow human being and when we have the power to do something about it, that we should. That we really, actually, should do to others, any others, what we would want to be done to us in the same situation. And I think we understand that conceptually, but Jesus isn’t just showing an illustration of a person who loves his neighbor as he loves himself. He’s pricking at stereotype. He’s making a commentary on our biases. And we’re simply revealing that we are, as human beings, we who occupy this planet and breathe air right now, we are all in this together. We are all here on planet Earth together. And we have devised all kinds of ways to segregate ourselves and divide ourselves, which is the story of humanity. It’s in us, it’s in our faith, it’s everywhere. But in this story, these commandments go together. Like, how do you love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength if you don’t love your neighbor as yourself? And if you can’t love your neighbor as yourself, how can you be loving God with all that you are? Because He loves that way. So, we’re being invited to stop looking down on anyone. We’re invited to stop feeling superior. And that is tough stuff. The story that Jesus is telling is loaded. So, let’s just try an exercise today. As we move through our day, let’s catch ourselves, right? Let’s catch ourselves when we are looking down on someone. Let’s catch ourselves when we are not loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. Because it is incredibly revealing just how much of it is in us. And obviously, we’re going to have to invite the Holy Spirit and move beyond all of that which is completely attached to our fears, completely attached to our pride, and completely attached to the things devised that divide us. So, here we are. This is what the narrow path that leads to life looks like. And Jesus said few ever find it. But if we ever wonder what it looks like or if we ever wonder whether we’re on it or not, we have these commandments. Love the Lord your God with all that you are and love your neighbor as you love yourself. And if you’re one of the people that say, yeah, well I don’t really love myself. I’ve done a lot of things I regret. It’s time to love yourself. If for no other reason, so that you can love your neighbor.
Father, we confess, we confess openly and clearly we’re not powerful or capable enough to do this on our own. We’re not. We can be vigilant for a few days, we can pay attention to this for a while, but so many things pull us in so many directions. We’re being manipulated in so many ways that we don’t even recognize it. We live with our biases and they’ve always been there. We don’t know it any other way. And You are coming in and blowing all that up and inviting us to see and be in the world a different way. You’re inviting us to be like Christ, Christ-like in this world, like Jesus. So, Jesus, we confess that there are many ways that we are not that way and invite You, we invite Your Holy Spirit, because there’s some bedrock stuff here. And we’re inviting Your Holy Spirit to help us see, to catch ourselves when we are not being like You in any way. And we are inviting Your Holy Spirit to help us repent. We repent. We change our minds about this. We change our mind and move in another direction. This is repentance. So, come Holy Spirit and help us repent on a continual basis as we face these things inside of us so that Your glory may shine through us into the world so that it is no longer we and our biases and stereotypes and fears and pride that live, but rather it is You who lives within us. Come, Holy Spirit, we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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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 everybody. This is Pelham from Birmingham, the leader and head of the Morris clan. It has been brought to my attention that, in the spiritual realm, I am the head of my family. I am to be Jesus as He is to the church. And that is not…I knew that…I’ve read those words and heard them but I didn’t understand what that meant. Wow. Through international prayer and the way He does is stuff, because He’s cool like that, He’s lifted the veil off of my mind in several areas that I did not realize what I was doing. And it’s amazing that He loves me that much. Instead let me go down the dark hallway and not sending in the rescue crew, not coming in there getting me like He’s done five times in my life. He did it again. He came in and He saved me when I didn’t deserve it. Brian, you read my mail, as usual. And that’s it man. Brian, come on, I’ve got to meet you dude, face-to-face. Some It’s time to put Birmingham Alabama somewhere in the long list of tiny little towns that you visit to see people face-to-face. Ahhh…I would love to meet you and Jill and your family. And I would like you all to meet Molly and Anderson and I feel like the times coming. But I needed to call today to say, Blind Tony, man, I mean there’s so many people that I want to pray for. There’s such a long list of people that have reached out to me and been there for me and even blessed me when I just couldn’t expect it. But Blind Tony your prayer from today, everything you said, I thought you were talking to me like it was like right out of my life. I’m the Jewish nation. I forget who comes down and who makes Himself obvious and I forget to fall and then get up again. This time we’re paying attention. We ain’t gonna fall. I love you guys. Have a great day. Bye.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible family. This is Nathan Bloomington Illinois. I hope your week’s going well. I was listening to the commentary and today I listened to it twice two different days and let it soak in. And I think it was the commentary from the 28th. The words of Moses to the people, how, you know, you don’t deserve this, you haven’t earned this, this is a gift. And I was reminded that, you know, Brian was right, you know, we don’t deserve even a nanosecond of God’s time, but we have it. We have His attention. He is ours. We are His. But I was also think about, you know, sometimes we try so hard. We try to find that relationship, we try to get closer and on a scale of one to hundred some of us are 20 and some of us are 80 and it really doesn’t matter because it’s about a personal relationship with God but we constantly strive to be closer to Him and we try and try and try and the harder we try the closer we get to that hundred percent, though we’ll never obtain it. Well then when a setback comes then we’re disappointed. Well, we’ve kind of disappointed ourselves because God doesn’t say, you need to try hard to get closer to me. You need to surrender more. What was funny what our pastor said one time, ‘try harder less and surrender more’ because when we surrender then God fills in that gap to a 100%. No matter where we are at in our relationship He’s bridging that gap. So, just something to think about. So, don’t try harder surrender more. Have a great day. Make it a great day.
Hello DAB family. this is joyful noise from Southern California. Oh my goodness. Can you feel it? Can you feel the stirring in your soul? It’s Thursday the day before Good Friday and I will share, I will confess to you my family that there has been many Easter’s where I was on autopilot doing…you know…checking off the checklist - reading the Bible, listening to the DAB, __ praying, you know next. Read the Bible, listening to the DAB, __, praying. And this year, for some reason, God has been so stirring my soul that when I drive to work and listening to the DAB, I’m crying listening to all the prayer request and just even the stories that or the Scripture that Brian is reading to us. And I will share with you a thought. For some reason this year God’s really brought by attention to the Old Testament. And just hearing Deuteronomy and the of the law and knowing the passion that Moses has first people that they get this. I mean he has to retell it over and over again. It just makes me mindful that even at the end of his life of a life lived well compared to what I’ve got going. You know, I look at him, and I’m like, wow, if only. Well, nobody’s perfect and everyone falls short of the glory of God and we’re never able to compare ourselves. We should look to mentors. And Moses is definitely an amazing leader in my book. To be that passionate at the end of a very long and mostly well lived life, you know, just reminds me that every single day, every single moment is an opportunity to just be so passionate about our mission and be mindful of reminding ourselves as well as others around us. And, so, I just wanted to share with you that, you know, let God stir your soul this season and let him __.
Hi. I am registered to come to the Moore conference in a few weeks. And I guess Jill wasn’t kidding when she said things would come against us when we try to go there. I signed up at the end of November and it’s pretty much been one thing after another since then. But right now it’s coming off at a level of insane. So, it’s a perfect storm of chaos. So, I’m just asking for prayer for my family and all these different things that are going on - work, people going out unexpectedly on medically leave, insurance issues with my mother-in-law, and all these emergencies. So, it’s a little much. So, I’d love your prayers and I’m looking forward to seeing all the wonderful women at the conference.
God bless you all. This is Sophie from Oregon. Would you please pray for me just for the strength to go on? I am in a powerfully hard season that just refuses to die. I have people depending on me and I’ve been serving from an empty cup for so long the thought of another day makes me weep. My sleep is broken, so is my spirit. My health is in the toilet. I’m not even asking anyone to pray for things to get better but would you pray for me to be able to go on? That my life or what passes for a life would somehow give glory to God? Thank you.