Isaiah 8:1-9:21, 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, Psalms 55:1-23 , Proverbs 23:4-5
Today is the 11th day of September. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s a pleasure, it’s an honor and it’s a joy to be here with you today as we take the next step forward in our journey through the Scriptures this year. And we have, you know, long ago crossed the halfway point. So, our steps are definitely taking us through the back half of the Scriptures. And this week we’re reading from the New International Version. We’ll pick up where we left off yesterday in the book of Isaiah. Today Isaiah chapter 8 and 9.
Okay. So, Paul says something that’s often quoted and very famous. Something that we would recognize immediately. When I am weak, then I am strong. We hear it all the time. We probably even say it often. When we’re going through a difficult patch, when hardship has descended upon us for some reason. When we are weak, we are strong. What’s interesting is that sometimes we begin to apply this to any weakness at all. We could have eaten ourselves into diabetes and be walking down the grocery store aisle putting a box of twinkies into our cart saying, when I am weak, He is strong. But sometimes the truth is when we are weak, we are weak and we are blocking His strength from making us strong because we will not surrender whatever it is that’s making us weak. That’s not the posture that Paul is talking about or exhibiting. And so for the last couple of days, Paul’s been boasting, if you want to call it that. He felt like he had to defend himself because of the things that were being said by other people about him that weren’t true. And so it was like a game of playing credentials and he didn’t like it. But at the end of all the boasting, he said, because of the things that I’ve been through and the things that I’ve seen and the things that I’ve heard, I’ve had to deal with personal issues and I’ve asked God to take them away. He described it as a thorn in the flesh. I’ve asked God three times to take some of this away and God said, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Okay, what Paul had just boasted and has been boasting about things that we wouldn’t normally wanna brag about. It’s like who has had the worst time of things? Who has endured the most? And yet, Paul finds this is a glorious thing to surrender to come what may. And put his hope only in God alone for survival at all. This is the boasting and this is the weakness that is being boasted in. And this is the weakness that is made perfect in God’s strength. Very different than not being able to resist the twinkies. And very different than enduring things that we have created ourselves. When we are weak, we are strong only happens when we embrace our weakness and realize at the end of our greatest strength, we are still weak. And when we know this, we can embrace a strength that is way beyond us, allowing us to endure anything as the heroes of the faith have all demonstrated for us, including the Apostle Paul. God’s strength becomes apparent when we realize that our strength is weakness by comparison and we surrender our own strength, we come to the end of ourselves.
And so, Father, we invite You into that cause it’s a constant struggle on one front or another. Because there’s all kinds of issues going on all of the time. And so often we’re trying to figure out how to get Your strength to be an additive to our strength so that we can then navigate and overcome when we’re invited to surrender, understanding that our strength will only ever be weakness compared to Your strength. And Your strength can give us the power to endure anything. Come Holy Spirit, we pray. In Jesus name we ask. Amen.
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Community Prayer and Praise:
Hey everybody. Oh…welcome home. It was so great to see everybody this last weekend. Hey, when I came back, my new partner, I’ll just say JS, JS is my…is my new partner and he is a former military man. He had been terribly, terribly injured when he was across the pond in a Humvee accident that flipped many, many times from an IED and he has extensive injuries but he’s making it, right? So,, he’s not given up and I really admire him but he has confided in me in the last couple of days. He’s like, I’m under attack, I’m under spiritual attack. I believe in God and I study but there are some demons in my past I just can’t get around. And I think that it has a lot to do with that situation, in fact. But, would you guys pray for my friend? He’s having a really hard time because, you know, I just fell like I’m sinking and I’m drowning. So,, I said, look brother, you’re…you’re okay, you’re fighting and as long as you’re still flailing and you’re still breathing your still in the fight, right? So,, pay for my friend JS, alright? I love you guys and pray for me that I can have the right words to help and point him in the right direction. and Lanna Jones, Lanna Jones, my lovely sister, I gave him your book and he’s really, really loving it. So,, you’re not helping me, you’re helping others as well. I love you guys. Have a great day. Bye-bye.
Hi Daily Audio Bible, this is Russ from central Iowa. I just listened to the September 5th prayer line and wanted to lift up Stanley in Maryland dealing with addiction. I offer from Isaiah 42:3 as a encouragement. It says that a bruised reed shall not break and a smoldering wick you will not quench. Brother, again, with addiction, I just offer that in prayer for you, that when you feel bruised or broken or as a smoldering wick you’re not gonna be broken or snuffed out. God is with you. And today, September 6th, we heard in the Psalm that, call me in the day of trouble and I will answer you, Psalm 50. So,, I just offer that prayer as well, that in those moments of addiction that you can call on the Lord and that you’re not alone. My prayers are with you, family, and those dealing with addiction and we’re not bearing each other’s burdens alone but in community here. And, so, I offer that prayer for you and for all those dealing with addiction. And I just lift you up and pray for strength in the Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hey family this is Dave from Colorado. Today is September 6th,which is a special day for me. Five years ago today is when I gave my life to God and also five years ago today is when my chains of addiction to alcohol and drugs were broken. Before that I pretty much just had a dreary existence, quite honestly and it’s pretty much everything except for my wife, which I was kind of hoping I would lose that to. I just really didn’t have the nerve to take it myself but ever since that day life has just…it gets better every day. It’s almost like every day is Thanksgiving. I praise God every day. And, you know, I still hear calls with people struggling. My suggestion would be…well in my case…my prayers actually weren’t working for me. I wasn’t able to get clean and sober until I got on my knees and gave myself to God, heart, mind, and soul, everything. So,, as soon as I gave everything to God that Holy Spirit came on me and I just knew it was going to work this time. But another…another reason I wanted to call is, for my mother-in-law Rita, she’s been having a lot of medical issues lately. It seems like she’s in the emergency room about once a week. She just really, it’s just like she’s just quit eating and drinking. She’s down to like 70 pounds. I don’t know what’s gonna happen. It’s almost as if she’s lost the will to live…to go on…
Hi Daily Audio Bible Family. This is Nathan from London England. It’s my first time calling. I’ve been listening to Daily Audio Bible for a few years now. So,, first off I just wanted to encourage, I believe the first name was Prosperous from the San Francisco Bay area. I didn’t catch the full name, but just listened to what you said about thinking ahead and I can really identify with that. And something that helps me and might really help you is just find time in your schedule even if it has to be right at the start of your day just be quiet and still. But do it actively. So,, pray in tongues to begin with if you have that gift. And also just invite the Holy Spirit just to kind of fill the room, fill your heart and just make time to be still like it says in Psalm 46, be still and know that I am God. Just, it will really help you stay in the room and raise your hand and obviously the Holy Spirit just wants to affirm you and love on you. I have a prayer request myself. I have a very important appointment next Wednesday the 12th at the US Embassy in London. I’m applying for a US visitor visa. Now there’s a bit of a story behind this but I currently do not have permission to travel to the US. It’s down to some travel I did over 10 years ago where, unfortunately, I was denied entry. They found out that I’ve been doing some cash work when I was on a visa waiver, which is not committed. I was foolish and naïve but unfortunately they may be permanently inadmissible. Fast forward 11 years, I really want to be able to travel to the US. My family lived there. My dad’s going to be 70. So,, just pray for me for favor. Thank you guys.