Isaiah 48:12-50:11, Ephesians 4:17-32, Psalms 69:1-18 , Proverbs 24:5-6
Today is the 26th day of September. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s, of course, a pleasure and a joy and an honor to be here with you today as we come around the global campfire, come in out of whatever’s going on. Set that aside. It’ll still be there, we may look at it different after we spend some time in the word. But we have permission to set aside a little time, step into a new space, calm ourselves, allow God’s word to wash over us. And that’s what we’ve come to do and so that’s exactly what we will do. We’re still working our way through the book of Isaiah in our Old Testament reading. Today we’ll read 48:12 - 50:11. And we’re reading from the New Living Translation this week.
Okay. So, in our reading from Ephesians today, Paul discussed what we might look like if we were at our very best and how to move in that direction. So, we should all be paying attention because I have never met a person who… I’ve met lots of people who are taking their lives, who are moving in the wrong direction and spiraling out of control. But I haven’t met any person who said, This is exactly what I want. What I really, really want is to spin down the toilet bowl of my life and go down the drain. We all want to move toward our best, especially in terms of our relationship with God. So, Paul talks about this today. But first he talks about what our best is not. Here’s what he said. Their minds are full of darkness, they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. So, according to Paul, a closed mind and a hard heart is not the way forward. And obviously this will be true. Paul’s entire premise throughout his ministry is that faith is the activator for renewal. And that faith is the only path that will lead us to God. And so true faith is not something that we can do half-heartedly. And it’s not something that we can do with a divided heart. True faith requires that we believe with our whole heart. And a closed mind and a hard heart won’t get us there. This is not who we were created to be. It’s not our best. So, how do we move toward a best, full-grown, mature, whole person? Paul offers specific counsel. He says, Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. And let me pause here for a second. Because we hear the word lust and we immediately go to sexuality almost a hundred percent of the time. But lust is a bigger thing than just a sexual thing. Lust is anything that is controlling you rather than the other way around. And it certainly goes hand in hand with deception. So, Paul says throw off that. Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. And I’m not paraphrasing. I’m reading this. Put on your new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. Let that simmer in your pot today. Because the implications are astounding. Paul told us to put on a new nature, created to be like God. And if we literally break this down, it would say to put on our new nature or our new self-created after the likeness of God. That would be a literal translation. So, the idea that this is even theoretically possible should blow our minds. Paul’s saying through faith we can put on a new nature and not just any nature. Not like we just change our personality or something. A new nature created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. So, what we’re talking about here is a fully restored humanity created in God’s image. And although we have no power whatsoever to give ourselves a new nature, we can receive one from God through faith. This is what being made new through faith is. And though we can’t make this happen on our own, we certainly have to collaborate. And Paul told us how. He said, Stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we’re all part of the same body. In other words, we’re all in this together. And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you’re still angry. For anger gives a foothold to the devil. So, why would you want to do that? That’s counterproductive. If you’re a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Don’t hurt each other on purpose with your words. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. So, get rid of the bitterness, the rage, the anger, the harsh words, the slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. If we’ll look back over what’s being said here and we’ll catch ourselves when we fall into these counterproductive behaviors, we then can do exactly what Paul said. Let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. In other words, we catch ourselves, we stop ourselves, we confess it, give it to God, we ask him to renew us. And we keep repeating that cycle as many times as it takes until we begin to find that we are being transformed and growing up and becoming mature. We can allow the Holy Spirit to trigger or remind us that wherever it is that we’re heading into, this is not who we were created to be. And it’s not where we’re going. It’s not choosing our best. And it’s working against this new nature that is created to be like God, righteous and holy. So, working against that, what we’re doing is trying some kind of strange attempt to resurrect an old and dead nature that’s not part of our story anymore, that is not like God in any way. So, we have to ask ourselves, because Paul has contrasted this very well. Which direction do we want to go in? Do we want to move in the direction that is going to make us fully mature and Christ-like in this world, bearing the nature of God, which is sinless and holy in this world? Or we can go in the other direction. And we should all be pretty well aware of where that road leads.
So, Father, we have to confess it’s overwhelming to think that You have invited us this near, this close, that You are giving us a new nature, re-creating us in Your image, restoring us to who we were made to be as people. And we confess that this is the aim of our life and what our hearts truly long for. And we confess that we’ve settled for far less. Any blinking light that can get our attention. We’ve settled for far less and we’re sorry. You’ve invited us to rise above all of the noise and deception of this world and to see things as they truly are. And yet so often we find ourselves confused and settling for blinking lights. So come Holy Spirit. We wanna grow up. We wanna be mature. We’ve got to obey You. You have showed us the narrow path that leads to life and invited us to walk it. The only thing that’s gonna stop that is ourselves. So come Holy Spirit and lead us into all truth 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:
Hi family, it’s Laura from Fort Myers and I have a prayer request today for a situation in our environment down here. We have what’s called Red Tide, which is a lot of microscopic organisms coming together in the Gulf of Mexico and creating…they cause fish kills and lots of…kill a lot of marine life and also when they break up they cause a respiratory irritation in people as well at the shore. And then we have another thing going on in one of our freshwater canals called blue green algae. And both of these things are killing lots and lots of marine life. And that’s something that…that God has…has…that’s my mission from God, is to help the environment, help His creation, what He has created in this world for us, you know, to enjoy and just the diversity of life around us. So, please pray that we get some relief from this, from both of these situations going on. And if that doesn’t appeal to you, pray because businesses are losing billions of dollars in people not visiting the hotels, resorts, and restaurants near the waterfront too. So…and…just rentals and just all kinds of loss is going on. So, please pray that we get relief from these situations and we can find a solution for this very soon. Thanks and have a great day.
Good morning this is Elizabeth from Louisiana. I’m calling with a request for my husband and, his name is Jason. He is dealing with a lot of anger…a temper. And he has prayed many times to ask God to remove it, many times, you know, the way that Paul of course did…for the Lord to remove the thorn in his flesh. My husband struggles with things at work, with things in his life that he feels has not lined up with what God has in mind for him and gets more of what he has in mind for himself. I just…I request your prayers for my husband to let go, to…for the Lord to be able to break down the walls in his heart in order to do a mighty work in him so that he may be the true head of our home, what God intended them to be in a such a way that is completely Christlike. I know that God can do this. I have every faith in Him. I just request that you would please lift them up in prayer. And any Scriptures that someone could send along the way that would be much and most helpful. Thank you Brian for all that you do. I am glued to the Daily Audio Bible and I have loved it for the two solid weeks that I’ve been doing it. Thank you so much for following the Lords design. I appreciate everything that you do. Have a wonderful and blessed day. I love all of you very much.
Hi this is Melody Faith calling from Canada. I am just reaching out to my Daily Audio Bible family today to pray for my son. He is…has chosen to live on the streets because drugs are more important than a warm comfortable home and food in his tummy. His body is showing terrible signs of the effects of the lifestyle he’s living. We’ve had him home for three weeks and he was getting quite healthy and…and the cravings got so strong that he couldn’t resist anymore and he left. And now it’s snowing and he has nowhere to live. We’re just asking you to pray that our prodigal son will come home and that he’ll see treatment and that he’ll ask Jesus back into his life. And we’re so thankful for the Daily Audio Bible for Brian and Jill and all of you who call in regularly and those who don’t but I know are praying anyways. And we want to thank you. We want you to know we are trusting God to come through for him but we believe that prayer is key. Thank you very much and have a great day.
Hi this is Stephen __ calling from Southern California. I was calling because I was up early in the morning and I was listening and I just heard Daniel Johnson Junior call in from Cincinnati Ohio. And I know…I know that struggle brother where, you know, the heart waxes and wanes. And it does that, I think, in a lot of ways in our lives in the way that we eat, in the way that we exercise, in our relationships, in our relationships with the Lord. And I just wanted to share with you some things that have helped me. I think that, first and foremost, I think the text and talk about putting on the full armor of God every day I think are so necessary are to pray over ourselves and our family because we’re under attack. We do need that full armor of God on a daily basis and maybe multiple times a day. The other thing that helps me man is to think about…CS Lewis was writing and he was talking about us humans, we can’t always make ourselves feel a certain way. Like, you can’t always make yourself feel hungry or full. It just depends on when you eat, right? Same thing happens with love, you can’t make yourself feel that feeling all the time with our spouses or with the Lord. But he said something that always stuck with me in his writing. Ask yourself this question, ask yourself if you did love that person or if you did love the Lord. What would you do in that moment? And then when you find the answer to that then you do it. And I think, more importantly than anything else, in these moments when that happens to me, I pray to the Holy Spirit and I tell the Holy Spirit to take my heart and my mind and my action because my feelings aren’t there. And I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me. Because at the end of the day man we don’t want lose those spaces in time during the day when we can’t be a part of the body of Christ and we can affect our family or our friends or ourselves in a way that brings glory to the Lord. So, listen brother, you’re not alone in a struggle like that. Those are just things that I’ve…I’ve learned over the years. This…