Joshua 11:1-12:24, Luke 17:11-37, Psalms 84::1-12, Proverbs 13:5-6
Today is the 15th day of April. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it’s great to be here with you as we cross the threshold into a new shiny, sparkly, week, which happens to be situated in the middle, the dead center of the month of April. If you can imagine, we are in mid-April. So, it’s exciting to be here with you for the beginning of what comes next, which is what every day is. And today, in a few hours, the More Gathering for women will reach its conclusion and everyone will begin to head home. So, we certainly want to continue to pray over all of that. Now, let’s center ourselves in the Scriptures. We’ll read from the Contemporary English Version this week. Joshua chapter 11 and chapter 12.
Okay. So, this is story that we encounter in the 17th chapter of Luke where 10 men who are lepers - so they’re friends, they’re all hanging out together because they have something in common, a disease that is eating away at their flesh, which marginalizes them by default. On the one hand people don’t want to be around them because they don’t want to catch it. On the other hand, they are perpetually unclean. So, people avoid them. And leprosy disfigures. And, so, depending on what stage that they were in, you know, they don’t look like everybody else. So, they’re marginalized and are banding together and they caught Jesus for pity. And Jesus heals them, but He doesn’t like, you know, He doesn’t put His hand on them and boom, they’re healed. Or He doesn’t do something else, like rubbing mud on them or whatever. He simply tells them to go show themselves to the priests. So, in other words, they have to collaborate. He’s inviting them to be healed and he’s asking them to go show themselves to the priests before anything happens. And they obey. I mean, what do they have to lose. And there healed on the way, but one man realizes it, turns around, and goes back to Jesus. Now, he probably doesn’t just slowly fall behind the other guys and keep it a secret. He probably looks and sees that he’s healed tells them he’s healed and that he’s going back to the one who healed him. For some reason the other nine continue on toward the priests, probably because the priests would be able to certify, right, would be able to declare them clean. That seems to be less important to this one man. He needs to get back to the person who healed him. And the one that goes back happens to be a Samaritan, a person who is already an outcast. And it’s a long story about Samaritans. The short version of the story is that as we move forward in the book of Joshua, right, so like, way back. You know, the children of Israel are conquering the Promise Land as we can see very clearly as we’re reading the book of Joshua. I mean, there’s a lot of conquering going on, including this mighty city of Hazor, which still exists today. We were just there, like last month, or like the month before last, it was February. It was a very, very large, very, very powerful city. And Joshua conquered it and all of the entire region. And we’ve been reading about that and Israel is forming now in this land and becoming a country and they will eventually have a king. And then, after a few generations, Israel will not be one kingdom anymore. It will become two, the northern and the southern kingdom. We’ll get to all of that. But the northern kingdom eventually had its capital city in Samaria. And all kinds of interesting and hybrid ways of worship would be invented in the northern kingdom and they would be led away into idolatry. So, over time, you go over a thousand years say, and you have many conquests and many people moving in and many people being exiled, but you have this kind of kernel of the original worship of the place. But it only remotely resembles the way it used to be. That is Samaria. And that is why Samaritans were looked down upon, because they worshiped completely different. And, so, the Samaritans in Jesus time are the remnants of ancient, of the ancient northern kingdom of Israel. Well, the southern kingdom of Judah outlasted the northern kingdom of Israel and Judah contained the city of Jerusalem where the temple was. And, so, those worshiping in the temple looked down upon the northern Samaritans. And that’s making a long story short, but I’m skipping a lot of stuff, but you get the gist of it. So, I mean, even in Jesus story of the good Samaritan, right? A Samaritan is a part of the story. So, this Samaritan realizes he’s healed and he comes back to Jesus and Jesus responds, where the other nine? Where’s the rest of your friends? And then He tells him he can go, your faith has made you well, which is something that Jesus says often. And if it’s your faith that made you well, if Jesus says that to a person, than He’s indicating a collaboration has taken place. The power of God has been present and you’ve open yourself to it. Your faith has made you well. I have honestly been thinking about this story, not because I’ve read it, we just read it, but I’ve been thinking about for several weeks, personally, because I can so easily catch myself being the other nine. I mean, Jesus can do something in my life or invite me into something and I can obey and just keep going, forgetting to come back and be grateful as if it’s just an assumed thing, that I am perpetually grateful. And I think for the most part I am grateful. But when I become aware that God has done something in my life on my behalf, when that comes to mind I don’t always stop what I’m doing and go back and be grateful out loud, like consciously. A lot of times I just become aware and keep moving. And I’m grateful. But that’s about me. Like, if I’m grateful and like, oh, wow, that could’ve been bad. I think God stepped in here and feel grateful, but I don’t go back and say thank you. Right now, I’m thinking you right now. So, I’ve been thinking about this story because this man, the other nine, they went to the priests, they were going to be declared clean. That’s probably what they were doing, going to get declared clean. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they needed. But the Samaritan guy, that was a secondary thing, like he could go to the priests at any point. He needs to go back to Jesus and thank Him while he could still find Him. So, I’ve been thinking about this story and catching myself in those moments and stopping and going back because I’m not too busy to thank the source of all life. Or if I am then I’m just too distracted. And, at least for me, as I have been catching myself and being in the moment grateful, I’ve become more and more aware of just how much God is doing for all of us, all of the time. If every time we become aware that God has protected us or God is provided for us or God has cared for us or that He’s watched out for our heart in a situation or that He’s been in a conversation or that we woke up this morning with the breath of life still in us, I mean, we begin to realize that this touches everything. And we find we have no reason to not be grateful almost all of the time. And begin to realize that so much of the stuff that we are grumbling and complaining about all of the time, it doesn’t really matter. There’s way more to be grateful for. So, I invite you to try it today. Try it today. Every time you become aware of something that you could of stepped into that could’ve gone a different way, every time that you become aware of God’s goodness in your life, stopping in the moment, going back and being grateful rather than going wow I just dodged a bullet, I better just keep moving and wait for the other shoe to drop, which is kind of how we live a lot of time, but rather stopping and being grateful, we’ll find that we’re grateful a lot. Try it today and you will have a very grateful day. And remember this story because I don’t want to be one of the other nine. Right? I want to be the one. And if this story contains any statistics in it, which I don’t think is the point but it’s still there to see. There were 10 people. 90% of the people didn’t come back and at least say thank you, which is what this one man was doing, right? Verse 16 of Luke 17, he bowed down at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him. He didn’t come back to get something else. He came back to thank him. I want to be one of the 10% and I’m pretty sure you do too. And all it’s gonna take is that we start paying attention. And when we become grateful and we start paying attention to all that God is actually doing for us on any given day, we become far more aware of His presence and it becomes far less about how, you know, what kind of an emotional frenzy we can whip ourselves into on, you know, like a Sunday morning so that we can have some emotional kind of response to God’s presence, which is fine, which is great. But God’s presence, I am finding, is never absent. We don’t have to whip ourselves into anything. We just have to pay attention. And, so, may we do just that.
Jesus, we are grateful. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Your goodness and that’s a fact. Without You sustaining our lives we wouldn’t be here. We may be alive, but it would be a mess, far more than it ever has been. You have led and guided and directed and protected us in so many ways that we have never acknowledged because we haven’t been paying attention or we’ve been just too distracted and kept moving. And yet You are inviting us to see Your presence in action in our lives. So, we respond that by paying attention and we start that by simply saying, thank You. Thank you for all that You have done and all that You have yet to do within us. And Holy Spirit, we ask that we become aware of this and we stop what we’re doing and come back and are grateful. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And today is the ending of the More Gathering for women. So, around lunchtime today that’ll wrap up. Women will grab their suitcases and throw them on buses and head back to airports and get in cars and begin migrating back to home, wherever home is in home is. And home is all over the place. And, so, we, as a community continue to pray over that. It’s not done yet. And, so, we pray over the conclusion and all that the needs to be said and considered as we all begin to move toward home. And then we certainly want to pray over the hearts of all of the women, all of the team, everybody involved as, you know, it’s been…the way the More Gathering works is there’s a lot of deep digging and a lot of hard work and it’s beautiful and new life begins to spring forth, but that’s gotta be incorporated into a new way of looking at the world and being in the world and living. And, so, that’s a process. Just like the process we’re talking about being grateful. Like, it’s a process. We want to pray over everyone so that they can begin the process, continue that process, and allow complete change to take place. And we also want to pray over health and travel and everything involved in kind of, you know, shutting it down and packing it up and moving forward. So, thank you for your continued prayers as a community, raising the canopy of prayer over the conclusion of the More Gathering for this year. It’s important that we finish well.
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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:
Good morning listeners. My name is Kristin. I was calling in for Robert and his wife Shiloh. I know that she’s not a believer. I want to let you know that I’m in the same situation that you are. My husband, he used to believe and he curses God all the time. And it is a struggle and it is hard, but I want to know that you need to stay strong in your faith and look to the Bible for your answers. God promises. God promises so much for you and for your wife. And if you keep being the example to her then she will come. Whenever me and my husband first got together I was not a follower of Christ but he was. And he brought me to Christ. And for some reason he fell away. And I don’t know why. He hasn’t opened up to me about why, but he brought me to Christ. And I love God so much. And, so, I’m there with you Robert. And I’ll be praying for you. And I’ll be praying for Shiloh. Thanks.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family. This is Rachel from Georgia it’s been a little while since I called. This is my second call. I think it was back maybe in January or February that I called requesting prayer for my struggle with depression. And I will tell you that I have really, I have seen a big growth in that area of my life. So, thank you so much to anyone and everyone who said a prayer for me and that area. I still am dealing with it occasionally, but it’s definitely decreased over the last three months. And, so, I’m so thankful for that and I just thank you for that. But I did want to ask for prayer. Basically as I move forward in my career, I am finishing out teaching at my school, my current school, a middle school. I’m teaching chorus and I’m hoping to transition to an elementary school, but I just continue to have…I guess…a lot of insecurity in my ability and in, you know, in the fact that God would even want to use me in this way. And I just want to pray that God will give me confidence in doing what He’s asked me to do. And that if this is not what He wants me to do, if He has something different for me, career wise, I want to find that and I want to live in that and do that. So, if you could just pray that God would just open up the door that He has for me and that I will believe that He’s taking me where He wants me to go and that I will believe in my ability and believe that He has gifted me. So, that’s what I just want to pray, and I want to see grow in my life, is confidence in God’s gift that He’s given me. So, thank you for your prayers. I pray for you all as I listen and I hope you guys have a great day. Bye.
Hi this is Megan calling from Central British Columbia. Robert, I heard your call yesterday and I was prompted to let you know that I’m praying for you and for Shiloh. I don’t know you but I know that God loves you. I know that God loves Shiloh and that His heart is to call her home. Within hearing in the Scripture how our God is one who can make a way with there was no way before. And, so, I know that He is working and Shiloh’s life. He is willing her to himself. I know that His heart is that you should love her and honor her and not to argue with her. You’re never going to argue her into the kingdom. So, I just wanted to encourage you and to let you know that I’m praying for you both.
Hi family. This is Sophie from Oregon calling with much gratitude, much gratitude for the many, many prayers going up on my behalf. I am so…I am humbled, I am blessed and I am grateful. And I fully intend to call back with a complete list of thanks thus far, but that’s not why I’m calling today, not why am calling at this moment. I’m calling for Seeking in Dallas. I just finished listening to the April 11th podcast and I heard your request and your call and that your first time caller. Seeking, my heart here’s your heart, see’s your heart. And just know that I am carrying a burden for you and I will be praying for you. So much of what you’re going through mimics or is so similar to my own struggle and I may have something to offer, but I definitely have my prayers. Feel free to reach out to me – email@example.com. And sister I hope that you’re going to More. I hope you chose to because you say you’ve never known God’s love. If you go to More I believe you will begin to. It may only just be a beginning, but I believe you’ll begin to. I’m praying for you.