Daniel 5:1-31, 2 Peter 2:1-22, Psalms 119:113-128, Proverbs 28:19-20
Today is the 28th day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. 28th day of November, friends. That only gives us a couple of days to finish this month strong and move into the 12th month of the year. And, so, that’s what we’ve come here to do. We’re reading from the Contemporary English Version this week. We have begun the book of Daniel, which we will continue to read and then we began second Peter yesterday and we will continue with that letter we get to the New Testament, but first Daniel 5:1-31.
Alright. So, in our reading from 2 Peter today, we experience a bit of a tirade from the apostle Peter against false teachers. And these were people who had come to faith and even to prominence, right? So, like even to standing, maybe even teachers, but they were falling away from the core essentials of the gospel and then were leading other people to do the same. And it wasn’t just matters of doctrine. These people were using their gifting to exploit the week. So, quoting Peter, “They have done evil and they will be rewarded with evil. They think it’s fun to have wild parties during the day. They are immoral and the meals they eat with you are spoiled by the shameful and selfish way they carry on. All they think about is having sex with someone else’s husband or wife. There is no end to their wicked deeds. They trick people who are easily fooled, and their minds are filled with greedy thoughts, but they are headed for trouble.” So, I mean, we can see why Peter is less than fond of these people. And if that wasn’t clear enough, all we have to do is hear what he has to say. “These people are no better than senseless animals that live by their feelings and are born to be caught and killed. They speak evil of things they don’t know anything about but their own corrupt deeds will destroy them.” So, he’s being blunt. He’s being like James I mean, we’re not…were not confused about what he’s trying to say; however, it should be noted that the kind of false teacher Peter described, this is not…this is not the same as this modern custom that we see of mislabeling as a false teacher anybody who asks important and difficult questions of our faith. That is not the same thin. Wrestling with our faith in pursuit of revelation and understanding and insight, this has always been a part of the Christian tradition. But when dogma turns into cement then we’ve got a problem. And, you know, if you’re a little more on the legalistic persuasion you could even think that what I’m saying is wishy-washy, but the reality is just in the Bible. The church was struggling from the very, very beginning and it’s all throughout the letters. And what were some of their earliest struggles? Some of the earliest struggles were whether or not Gentile people could even be Christians. That was a big struggle and they had to wrestle, and they disagreed, and it was a mess in the early church. And so much of the writings from the apostle Paul and like even what we’re reading in second Peter, so much of the persecution that had broken out was because of this decision. So, wresting and asking questions, pursuing understanding is a part of our tradition. Peter’s distinction was that false teachers were intentionally, right, like, they weren’t pursuing understanding or seeking God, they were intentionally and maliciously deceiving God’s people for their own personal gain. He describes them like this, “These people are like dried-up waterholes and clouds blown by a windstorm. The darkest part of hell is waiting for them. They brag out loud about their stupid nonsense and by being vulgar and crude they trap people who have barely escaped from living the wrong kind of life. They promise freedom to everyone, but they are merely slaves of filthy living because people are slaves of whatever controls them.” So that last thing Peter had to say should catch us for second. If there’s is one thing that we could recite before we engage in any conversation or before we make any decision today, anything that we could put in front of ourselves that could change the course of the day for good it would be, “I am a slave to whatever controls me.” So, let’s put that into practice today. Every conversation, right, every decision - I am a slave to whatever controls me - and see what that does for the day. But Peter wasn’t discussing mantras, like things we can say to help us get through the day. He was discussing the characteristics of false teachers and we finally found out why he was so upset as we came to the conclusion of our reading today. So, Peter says, “When they learned about our Lord Jesus, when they learned about the Savior, they escaped from the filthy things of this world, but they are again caught up and controlled by these filthy things and Now they are in worse shape than they were at first. They would’ve been better off if they had never known about the right way. Even after they knew what was right, they turned their backs on the holy commandments that they were given. What happened to them is just like the true saying, a dog will come back to lick up its own vomit.” Alight. So, even though Peter is speaking pretty directly and forcefully against false teachers who were leading people into sin, it was the people who fell into sin that Peter was concerned about. And, so, in that context we’re left with some pretty poignant imagery - a dog returning to its vomit. So, we’ve probably all seen it right? Like, Rover is out in the yard or in the kitchen and barfs. And if they’re left alone they’ll walk in a circle a couple times, right, and then come back with their nose - nice full nostril inhale. And maybe a couple more circles and then they’ll come back and eat it. That’s disgusting, right? So, here’s the kicker. When we return to our sinful past. It’s like puking in a bowl and eating it like soup. It should sound disgusting, because according to Peter it is disgusting. So, let’s consider the starkness of what is known to be the final writings of the apostle Peter’s life and let’s apply that starkness to the context of our own lives. Exactly what sewage are we continually returning to because we have been deceived into believing that it’s somehow desirous. What influences do we have over those around us that we might invite them to do the same thing? Because this is what Peter was talking about in our reading today. These are tough but they’re important questions. Why would we choose eating out of a toilet over the banquet God has prepared for us? Let’s invite the Holy Spirit into these questions because we are a slave to whatever controls us.
Father, we invite You into that. There’s just a lot there. There’s just a ton there. We do find ourselves making big circles and little circles in our lives and we end up where we started on some things and it’s like returning to our vomit when we are…when we are returning to things of old or like resurrecting something that’s dead and trying to carry it around like it’s alive, and it weighs us down, it beats us up, and then we blame You. And there’s just a lot here. And, so, we invite You into it. We don’t want to live this way. We don’t have to live this way. We can walk one step forward every day toward sanctification and holiness, it’s our prerogative. You offered the path. You’ve paved the way. And most the time we’re just not choosing to walk it. So, thank You for the starkness today of seeing what we’re doing as returning to our own sewage and eating it. Help us to remember that imagery Lord as we continue to walk forward with You so that we can see things as they are, not as we have been deceived to believe they are. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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However, we have another announcement to make today and there’s no one better to make this announcement then the most beautiful redhead in all of the world, my wife, Jill
Jill: Thanks babe, flattery…flattery gets you everywhere. So, it’s true. We have a very special announcement. Every year when I get ready to announce More gathering, I say that I’m more excited this year than any other year and I say that because it’s true you. You would think it gets old but the anticipation, the excitement, the palpable energy, it’s true. I get more excited every year about what God is gonna do. With that being said, this year, More Gathering 2019, I have the bittersweet pleasure of announcing that this is our final year at Sharp Top camp in Jasper Georgia. This has been what Brian and I have been sensing the last couple of years and we just…we waited…we waited to make sure that our sense was right, that it was from the Lord, that it wasn’t just us feeling tired or, you know, just emotional, or just feeling the distance of travel. It was something that we were sensing and did not even no it until we came together and had a conversation. And both of our senses were the same. And, so, after much prayer, much consideration, this will be the last year that more gathering will be in Jasper George. Now, with that being said, I cannot at this time announce what More Gathering 2020 will look like, because I don’t know at this point. I am not worried. I am not anxious. I am not concerned with where were going. I believe God knows. I fully believe and trust that when I’m supposed to know, He’ll make that inevitably clear and I’m actually quite excited, quite tickled about that because that’s the journey with God. We walk blindly by faith. We trust Him to provide. We trust Him that He knows, that He’s already taken care of it. And, so, we’re just gonna walk, and we’re gonna obey, and we are going to celebrate this last year together at Sharp Top in Jasper George 2019. Now, if you’ve been on the fence and said, I need this mountaintop experience, which you hear other women talk about, this is the year for you to come. This is it. This is the last chance. And I can tell you that if you’re wondering about any of it - the lodging everything - it is the most spectacular food experience. Sit down hot meals. The grounds are phenomenal. It’s just…the whole thing…I cannot say enough how impeccable the camp has served us, the staff, the team at Sharp top. I am eternally grateful for all that they have done. They have exceeded every single expectation in the weekends that they have provided for us. That part I will absolutely miss, the excellence that we are served with, the excellence that a just operate every day in. Like, well done. Well done young life and Sharp Top. So, here’s the deal. We usually offer some sort of discount up to a certain time. If you take part in that, you’ll save money. We have done away with that this year. We have we are offering the absolute lowest price possible to make it affordable for you to come. So, if you’re waiting for, you know, a promotion our discount, that’s not happening this year. This is the rock-bottom flat rate price that we can offer to you. Now if this is your first time and you have never been and you need a private room, I’m gonna tell you right now, those private rooms are gonna be to first to go. They will go fast and we never have enough to sell because everyone wants a private room. Don’t let that stop you. There’s something beautiful happens in the rooms. The friendships that are forged, they last a lifetime. I mean, it’s truly amazing and spectacular to see those friendships and how they blossoming and the reunions that women continue to have year after year because they went through something deep and beautiful together and together is how it’s supposed to be done. So, this is it. This is your last chance to come to the end of an era and we’re gonna celebrate together. That’s what we’re gonna do, celebrate the end of an era together and we are going to celebrate going forward. Sign up dailyaudiobible.com or moregathering.com. Now, the last thing that I want to say ism we always, always have women that cannot afford to go that want to be able to be there. And maybe you know that you absolutely cannot go but you can afford to send somebody. I wish I could tell you the gift that it is that you would be giving to a woman in need. I wish I could tell you the transformation that I see on women’s physical faces and the posture that takes place over the course of the weekend of women who just walk in bearing the burdens of life and literally carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders and leave free because they know who they are because God has met them there and spoken specifically to the spirit of who He calls them to be, who he says they. And seeing freedom take place…well…I can tell you…there’s no greater gift. It takes all of us. It takes all of us doing our part and doing what we can. If that’s you and you know that you can help give and you would like to be a part of that and that way you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for those of you that can. I just want to say thank you in advance. Thank you for the gift of freedom that you have already given to some women. A lot of times assistance comes in at the end and there’s not enough time for women to get all of the pieces in order that they need to come because where women. You know, we’ve gotta take care of the food and the kids and all of the things that we take care of. So, we’re mentioning it now while there’s time for women to get all of the things done. So, that’s it. This is the big announcement. It’s the last year at Sharp Top. We hope that you will join us for the end of an era, the final the final frontier in Georgia, in Jasper Georgette. We are gonna finish well and strong and then we are going to wait with anticipation to see what God does next.
Brian: Amen to that. And yes, to everything you’ve said, everything that Jill has said is right. So registration for the More Gathering 2019 that will take place in the mountains of Georgia for the final time is open now at dailyaudiobible.com in the Initiatives section. And if this has been something that you’ve desired to come to for years then this is the time. And we always…you know…like…we could weight to the beginning of the new year to start talking about the More Gathering, but it is such a unique and fantastic Christmas gift that we talk about it now because it’s like…give the gift of freedom…the gift of more in life. We think that is that is the gift we are all looking for. So check it out. You can you can register for More Gathering 2019 now.
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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.