11/26/2018 DAB Transcript

Daniel 2:24-3:30, 1 Peter 4:7-5:14, Psalms 119:81-96, Proverbs 28:15-16

Today is the 26th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you today. I’m buckled in here in the Daily Audio Bible chair with the Daily Audio Bible mic in front of me and a nice steamy cup of Windfarm coffee just sitting here to my left, being kept warm by Daily Audio Bible Clean Canteen. It’s all things Daily Audio Bible. And off we go into a new day and a new work week. We’re reading from the Contemporary English Version this week. And we started the week, which was yesterday, we started the book of Daniel. And, so we will continue Daniel chapter 2 verse 24 through 3 verse 30 today.


Okay. So, in our reading today from the New Testament we concluded the apostle Peter’s first letter. And it will be hard to not notice that the theme of endurance was like running throughout the whole letter. And we’ve spent plenty of time discussing the fact that a lot of the letters in the New Testament were written to marginalize believers who were trying to avoid persecution, right? Unrest. So, it’s interesting when we’re talking about a topic like this, it just kind of goes by us. Like, we think back on how those people were under pressure and then we may even take it a step further and think about the persecuted believers who are in the world today, but we don’t really have a grid to understand what we’re talking about, not really, because the truth is, I mean, the majority, the vast majority of us haven’t faced any kind of persecution. We may have phrased marginalization for some reason or another and so we know, kind of, what that’s like, but like out and out full-blown persecution we don’t really understand the grid. So, let’s just take a minute because this theme of endurance, as I’ve said, like, a lot of times, it’s not gonna let go. This is going to follow us all the way to the end of the year. And there’s a reason for it. I mean, the message of endurance and staying true was the message that was given to people who were being persecuted. So, it was a message of encouragement to tell them to hold on. And that’s a message we still need to hear. So, during the earliest years of the church it was not illegal to be a Christian in the Roman Empire, but Roman society and the culture in the Empire were polytheistic. In other words, they believe that there was a plethora of many god’s. So, for them, god’s were everywhere and they were involved in all kinds of human activity, right, for good or for mischief. And people could worship whatever gods or goddesses that they wanted. It was expected that the gods of the Empire, right, the ones that made Rome great, these were to be worshiped by all in the Empire. And Christians wouldn’t do this, so, it immediately made them stand out. Now, Jewish people, they wouldn’t do is either, they would not worship the gods of the Empire, but they were tolerated because they were following a very ancient religion. And, so, for a time, since Christianity, since The Way, right, following Jesus, came out of a Jewish context, for a while Christianity was perceived basically as just a sect of the Jewish faith, right, like the adherence to a specific rabbi. But as we will recall through the letters of the apostle Paul in the book of Acts, there was a rift in the early church about Gentiles. And when that got settled in favor of the Gentiles, right, like an inclusive gospel that welcomed anyone who believed, then this didn’t work with Judaism, which was very exclusive. So, plenty of Jewish people were believing in Jesus, but they wanted anyone coming in from the outside to convert to Judaism and then follow Jesus. So, when that’s not how things shook out then the Jewish community denounced the message of Jesus and then Christians no longer had sort of this protection of Judaism, right? Like, they were no longer considered part of the Jewish faith. So, they didn’t have the cover of this ancient religion in the Roman Empire anymore. And, so, they were expected to begin to worship the gods of the Empire, which they wouldn’t do. And, so, they came under a lot of pressure to conform and a lot of marginalization and thus we see why in the early church writings the message of endurance. So, our earliest brothers and sisters in the early years of the formation of the church were in a real, true struggle with stereotyping and the harsh realities of bigotry and slander. Like, they were in a constant struggle and they didn’t have any way to fight back. So, the only option was to rise above the noise and let their lives speak louder than the accusations no matter what happened to them. And some pretty terrible things were being said about them and, you know, some of that stuff is still contained in ancient writings. For example, we call each other brothers and sisters, right? Part of the family of God, the body of Christ. We take these things for granted and it’s just the language of the church, it binds us together. But if you’re outside looking in it looks very weird. So, like, they call each other brothers and sisters. And this has been written about. Like, this was in incestuous religion were people love each other when they meet each other and they immediately call each other brother and sister. And then, you know, what happened in a church service was under speculation. And the rumor was that, you know, they would come into like a church service in this already incestuous situation because everybody thinks are brothers and sisters and then they go away and they close the door and that they…basically things turn into a meal that turns into a terrible orgy and they worship the penis of their priest. And it’s like…a lot of pretty horrible things were being said and these people, like, they’re being hit from all sides, they’re being hit from marginalization in the Empire, just in society itself and they’re also being…all kinds of stories are being told about them from the Jews. So, like, there’s nowhere from them to go. So, when we see things in like some of Paul’s letters about the Eucharist, like communion service and how it had turned into like a drunken meal. And Paul is like, eat at home. Like we can see now, all of the stuff that’s swirling around about these early believers. So, we just have to think like, what would that be like? What would that be like for us? And I mean, you know, it’s very easy go, well, it’s getting that way. You know, I’ve been hearing that my whole life. We are not facing what they were facing. But what if we were? What if culture shifted and the persuasion of the culture in the country that we live in toward our faith began to marginalize us in the ways that I’ve just described? Ike, if you were a nonbeliever, how quickly would you be running to sign up for this religion? And if you had put your faith in Jesus and you were walking with God and like the transformation that comes from following Christ was happening inside of you and you knew that the distortions of your culture were completely false, like, how do you respond? Endurance. What else is there? So, having a better understanding of these challenges helps us understand why this encouragement is so prevalent in the New Testament, which makes, you know, some of Peter’s closing thoughts like come into crystal clarity for us. So, you know, in light of what we’ve just talked about in terms of the circumstances that our early brothers and sisters were facing, understanding Peter’s words have to make perfect sense. So, I’m quoting Peter, “it is no shame to suffer from being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name for the time had come for judgment and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s good news? And Peter’s encouragement, which is one of the most famous quotations in the Scriptures, “be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. You must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith. You know that all over the world the Lord’s followers are suffering just as you are.” So, you know, gotta talk a lot about endurance in the final days of the year because the Bible talks a lot about endurance. And now we know why. Like we understand the context of what our brothers and sisters were facing and why these letters were written the way that they were. And like I said earlier, like not very many of us have ever needed to endure like the early believers did, but if they did not stay true, it’s pretty unlikely that we would be here. Our faith was handed down by the few who chose to stay true and it is our calling to do the same thing. It’s easy enough for us to get self-absorbed and focused on all the things that we’re having to endure in our lives and lose sight of the fact that we are enduring for a reason and that is to carry the gospel forward to its conclusion and that conclusion is that our Lord Jesus will rule and reign forever. You are as much a part of that story as they were. So, the question just becomes whether or not we’re going to endure and stay true because future generations are depending on it. Our brothers and sisters that we’re reading about from the early church, they didn’t know. They didn’t know the impact of staying true. They didn’t know what it was gonna do to affect future generations. They had no idea that this was gonna spread all over the world. We have no idea what our staying true is going to bring but staying true is more than us just reaching the end of our journey and finding union with God. Everything we do is going to reverberate in our family line and affect the branches on our family tree. So, we need to do our part and we do our part by overcoming. And how do you overcome something if you have not endured?


Father…I mean…this is not the first time that we come into your presence on this topic and it’s none of our favorite. We have subtly been told over time that, you know, that us coming into a relationship with you should mean that we don’t have to endure anything…things just progressively get better and better and better, rather than the fact that we’re being transformed from the inside out and the way that we look at things is completely different. And, so, we continue to look through the world’s eyes at what you are supposed to provide for us as if you are the magic product that will make our lives complete. And, so, when we encounter seasons where we have to endure and we’re facing suffering or hardship we feel as if you have left us, and that we’re all alone because we think that we’re not supposed to have to endure anything, that you’re just gonna fix everything. And yet the Scriptures are so clear, and we are encountering it every day now as we move into the end of the year and the final books of the Bible. Our brothers and sisters who were there when this all started, they had to endure. We look at your life Jesus and you had to endure. We look at people like the apostle Paul, the apostle Peter, and they had to endure. But somehow, we think it’ gonna be different for us and we don’t. And yet endurance is a part of our human experience and it is not purposeless. This is how we become strong. And, so, we have to confess, yeah, we want to be strong, we just don’t want to go to the gym. We want to be healthy, but we just don’t want to eat right. And this is the story of our lives. And, so, it spills over into our spirituality. We want union with you. We want intimacy with you. We’d like to walk around 6 inches above the earth, but we don’t want to endure anything. Forgive us Lord for choosing to stay week. Come, Holy Spirit, help us to become strong even if this means we must endure. Come, Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.


To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice – Keith Green

To obey is better than sacrifice

I don’t need your money

I want your life

And I hear you say that I’m coming back soon

But you act like I’ll never return

Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet

How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat

And I can’t help weeping of how it will be

If you keep on ignoring My words

Well you pray to prosper and succeed

But your flesh is something I just can’t feed

To obey is better than sacrifice

I want more than Sundays and Wednesday nights

Cause if you can’t come to Me every day

Then don’t bother coming at all

La, la, la

To obey is better than sacrifice

I want hearts of fire

Not your prayers of ice

And I’m coming quickly

To give back to you

According to what you have done

According to what you have done

According to what you have done