Ezekiel 44:1-45:12, 1 Peter 1:1-12, Psalms 119:17-32, Proverbs 28:8-10
Today is the 23rd day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it’s a pleasure and an honor to be here with you today. And, I guess, traditionally this is the beginning of the holiday season, black Friday. And, so I guess we can say it’s the most wonderful time of the year. And thankfully the rhythm of our year takes us right through the most wonderful time of the year and we just continue to take steps forward, which is what we’ll do today, of course, because it’s what we do every day. We’re reading from the Good News Translation this week. Ezekiel chapter 45 verse 13 through 46 verse 24.
Okay. So, even though the postures that the apostle Peter is writing about in his first letter, which we’re reading, even though those things are intended to be lived out every day, we mind find it, what’s being said is particularly relevant to the time of year we’re moving into now. I mean, because this is the time that our schedules start to fill, right, and they fill with joyful festivities but it's…along with all of that comes plenty of challenges, right? The rest of our year kind of gets disrupted. And in that disruption, we may find ourselves like feeling that something’s missing or fighting for our place, right, whether we’re fighting for a parking spot at the mall, which some of you probably are today, or within the family dynamics that arise around the holidays. And Peter gives us counsel in advance out in front of things on how to face trying times like these. So, quoting Peter, “Be obedient to God and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant. Instead be holy in all that you do just as God called you is holy Scripture. The scripture says be holy because I am holy.” So, obviously Peter’s not talking about holidays in the 21st century, he was talking about the shape of our everyday lives but since we’re headed into one of the most uniquely stressful times of the year, the counsel becomes immediately available. I mean…just…we read a lot of words today but if we just remember these, “you must be holy because I am holy”, right? That can be a rescue when we’re absolutely exhausted, when were emotionally spent, when we’re pulled into challenging environments, when we’re rubbing up against all kinds of stuff that just comes at this time year. Because often when we’re stressed out, right, we’re trying to find ways to cope and we’re overwhelmed and. And, so, we move toward trying to be in control…we try to control the environment, or we become incredibly opinionated or we become extremely judgmental. And, ironically this isn’t a new 21st century phenomenon among human beings. On the heels of Peter’s encouragement to live holy lives he had this to say, “You call him Father, when you pray who God judges all people by the same standard according to what each one is done.” So, we have to remember that we are each individually on a journey with God, especially in these stressful times like the holidays. None of us have been appointed that the spiritual judge over our peers or our family. God will handle it and He is impartial because He knows what’s really going on. So, in instead, Peter offered an alternative thought that relieves us of our control and returns us to a place of gratitude. And here’s how he says it, “Now by your obedience to the truth you have purified your selves and have come to have a sincere love for other believers, love one another earnestly with all your heart. For through the living and eternal word of God you have been born again as the children of a parent who is immortal, not mortal.” So, to be able to achieve or to live into this kind of love, even in spite of the stressful times, Peter goes on, “Rid yourselves then of all evil. No more lying or hypocrisy or jealousy or insulting language.” And oddly these are the kinds of behaviors we get pulled toward around the holidays when things are starting to fray, right, when it’s all starting to get to us. So, we can lavish gifts upon people while simultaneously being deceitful, hypocritical, jealous and full of all kinds of unkind things to say. And this is not unlike James observation that God can be worshiped, and His creations can be cursed out of the same mouth. And he had something to say about it and we should remember, “Surely my brothers and sisters, this is not right.” And the same conclusion applies to what Peter is saying. And then from our reading today, lastly, Peter gives us the “why” of all of this in a stunning reminder of who we really are, “you” and this is quoting Peter, “you are the chosen race, the Kings priests, the holy nation, God’s own people chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God who called you out of darkness into His own marvelous light.” And we have to acknowledge that the seasons we are entering is centered around that that absolute truth. Like all around the world we’ll begin to consider the arrival of the Savior who has called us out of darkness. And maybe this is the first time you’re realizing just how close to Christmas we are with all that’s just happening around us this week. Let’s carry into the season with us this reminder, something that we can continually tell ourselves. “You must be holy, for I am holy.” Let’s bring that into a season that celebrates the coming of the Holy Child and just allow that, that reminder of holiness and the invitation that we are being given to be holy and carry that into this season and let it shape our experience and be an influence for our decisions because we always have a choice. We can do good.
Father, we invite you into this, this what we’re talking about. We must be holy because you are holy and we certainly invite you into that because we can’t be holy on our own. We need to interact and collaborate to be intertwined with you. So, come, Holy Spirit. But we also pray over this coming season, out in front of us now, of joy and celebration that brings tremendous challenges to certain lives in all kinds of ways. We need you. Come, Holy Spirit we pray into the days ahead we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And today is Black Friday and…well…I talked about it a couple of days ago but that means that the Daily Audio Bible Family Christmas Box for 2018 is now available and it is packed full of things that you’ll want to keep for yourself and things that you’ll want to give away. And this year’s Christmas Box is a good one. We have the Promise Land double DVD set that is always popular around here because…well…frankly it allows us to go in with a window and look around basically at the places that we have visited so often in the Scriptures. And double DVD set has over four hours of content to just really, really immerse yourself in the land of the Bible. So, that is in the Christmas Box. We’ve also included the last two books that I’ve written, the first one called Reframe in the second one called Sneezing Jesus. And these are both books of spiritual transformation. They are…I mean…literally when I sit down to write, I’m writing because I feel like I don’t have a choice…like I’ve reached a point of wrestling that I need to begin to put things on paper, that’s where things start. But in my heart and in my mind, I’m always writing toward someone and that someone is our community. So, if you have been taking the journey through the Bible and haven’t taken the journey through Reframe or Sneezing Jesus, they’re in the Christmas Box this year. And man I wrote it, so, it’s hard for me to say you really should read this, but I wrote it to be read by our community, people who are hungry for the Scriptures and are truly pressing in to the relationship with God that is offered through Jesus and actually trying to live this faith and actually allowing this faith to transform us. I’ve written these things that journey. So, both of those are included in the Christmas Box. And one additional book called “Going Solo”, written by my friend Robert. And it is about the solo parenting journey. There are plenty of single parents in this community, but there’s probably none of us that don’t have a single parent in our lives. And Robert went through a season of being a single dad under some pretty dire circumstances. And he shares this story. So, but it’s not just like a book of commiseration or a book of tips and tricks. Like, it’s not…it’s exactly what a single parent who is overwhelmed needs to hear with no one expecting anything in return. It’s just pouring life into a tattered soul. So, if you are on the solo parent journey then, yeah, this for you. But if you’re not, you know someone and this is for them. We also have our Daily Audio Bible Christmas cards for this year and they’re very beautiful and they have the word for the year imprinted on the front, “Hope”. So, there’s 20 cards and 20 envelopes in the Christmas Box. You can order the cards…like if you send out more than 20, you can order your Christmas cards from Daily Audio Bible. They’re not big advertisements for the Daily Audio Bible. They say Daily Audio Bible on the back, like where Hallmark is…would usually be. That’s it. But they are a fantastic way to invite your friends and family along for the journey with you in the coming year. So, yes there’s a pack of 20 of those in the Christmas Box but you can order as many of them as you want separately at the Daily Audio Bible Shop. And we’ll talk about that in the second. Also included is the Daily Audio Bible Christmas bulb for 2018. And I think this is the seventh year we’ve done this. Of course, the word “Hope” is on Christmas bulb. And I have a one of these for every year that we’ve been doing it and it goes up on the tree every year and I look at that little place on the tree, and it reminds me of all the journeys, all the miles, all the words, all the life that goes into a year of the Bible. So, that reminds me of all the journeys we’ve taken and just brings you into our home. And I know that that’s become a tradition for many of you and that’s true for you as well. So, the Christmas ball is in the Christmas Box. Also, we’re lovers of the Black Wing pencils and we have those in the Daily Audio Bible shop with all of our writing paraphernalia, which by the way, those writing kits are awesome Christmas gifts. So, you can check that out. But this year we were able to work along with our friends at Black Wing and get the Daily Audio Bible imprinted on some pencils. We’re not allowed to sell them like in boxes of 12 or as individuals but we’re allowed to put them in the Christmas Box. And, so, there’s is a Black Wing Daily Audio Bible, one-of-a-kind, in the Christmas Box this year. And then, of course, your choice of our Windfarm coffee or our Windfarm boutique tea. And lastly, a surprise, a mystery. And everybody will get the mystery, but everybody won’t get the same mystery, but one additional resource of some sort will be in the Box this year. So that’s the Daily Audio Bible Family Christmas 2018. It’s a good one and it’s available now on the Daily Audio Bible Shop. So that’s at dailyaudiobible.com and then you click Shop and you’ll see the Christmas section and you’ll find all the stuff. Of course, you can access the shop from the Daily Audio Bible app as well. So, we always sell out of these. I recommend if you want one that you get one sooner than later. Those of you who are outside of the domestic United States, including our neighboring nations of Canada and Mexico, the cutoff date for us and kinda feeling confident that everything would arrive for Christmas, is the 28th of November, which is less than a week. So, if you’re international and you’d like this to arrive for Christmas, then I wouldn’t delay. We will send them, of course, after the 28th internationally, but not sure the gonna arrive in time for Christmas. So, don’t delay on that. If you’re inside the United States then, you know, there’s a little more time but wouldn’t wait, they sell out every year. So, check all of that out in the Daily Audio Bible shop. It’s Christmas time. Here we go.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here as we approach the end of the year, then obviously, I can’t thank you enough. My humble gratitude is beyond my words because every day that we sit down to come together like this is another day that we’ve done something in collaboration with God and His word, but also in community together. We just wouldn’t be here if we didn’t do it together. So, thank you. There’s a link on the homepage of dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or, if you prefer, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment, 877-942-4253 is the number to dial.
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, my name is Gwen Kavune and this is my first time calling the Daily Audio Bible. Today is November 19, 2018. I am so glad to be a part of the daily audio Bible. I really love hearing Brian and his commentary on the Bible each day. I’ve been listening for…since late in October and I really, really enjoy listening to the commentary, like I said. This is such a great venue for hearing the word and it’s great for me to because I am blind. So, this is a great way for me to hear the word of God. And hearing the prayer…being able to have a place to leave a prayer request is great. And to have other people agreeing with you and prayer is a great thing. I love having that available to me and having other believers out there supporting and encouraging me. That is so great. And I enjoy hearing from others and I enjoy…I’m sorry…I enjoy the poetry from Blind Tony. You do a wonderful job. Your gifted…
This is Judy and Steve in Salt Lake and this call is for Christine with the bumpy dog. Christine, we heard your call, not the first one, but the last one __ and we just want you to know that we are praying for you and we’re sending you a virtual hug. And I would’ve called sooner but I couldn’t talk. Just know we love you and we’re praying for the peace that passes all understanding for you, for healing according to God’s will. Whatever comes next, we pray that you are strong and that you know His love for you is never-ending. And we pray this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
Hi everyone, it’s Karen in St. Louis. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers for my 60th. Got a couple of texts from Marlene that were so encouraging and Shannon from Salem, your song your prayers and Josh from Indiana, your prayers were just like from God for my heart and I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for this community and am so grateful for Brian, Jill, and the family that’s answered the call. And I’m most grateful to Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. And He’s our ultimate hope. And, so, Brian, I loved your commentary today on James and talking about the faith and works and then also going into our tongues. All these things that we’re going through in most of the fall, I think about Paula and the devastation that you’ve incurred and Christine with the bumpy dog, my heart goes out to you sister. And, so many others, you know. But this kind of encouraged me because we are on a journey. And in Hebrews 12:1 it says, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. And I just think about how it is constantly just looking to Jesus. And I thought about what you said Brian, at the family reunion, and about how you said that you never felt so close to the Lord is when you are suffering. So, brothers and sisters, take heart in this Thanksgiving where we give thanks to Jesus. I love you all. Bye-bye.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family, this is Becky from Orlando. I am calling in right now for Paula the child advocate. I just heard that you lost her home. I am so, so, so sorry that that happened in the wildfires. I hadn’t heard your original call and, of course, my eyes started tearing up when I heard that. I’m so sorry for your Paula. I’m gonna keep you in my prayers for you to find a house and some temporary housing in the meantime and just for some comfort. So, I’ve got you in my prayers and I’ve also got Christine with the bumpy dog in my prayers also. I’m praying for God’s healing touch on you for the chemotherapy to do its thing and to heal you and for you to find relief and for you to be able to get back home. So, I’ll keep you both in my prayers and I love you all very much. All right. Have a good day. Bye-bye.