Today is the 9th day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is a joy to be here with you today and taking the next step forward. And I think we’re far enough into our new year to kind of begin to understand that there’s a rhythm and to begin to understand that the Bible isn’t this static old-fashioned book that is irrelevant, that there’s a bunch…a bunch of things that it is willing to speak directly and truthfully into our lives. And if we will and heed it that it will change the way that we live our lives. And, so, welcome back for the next day forward. And that will lead us back into the New International Version, which is what we’re reading from this week and back into the book of Genesis chapter 20, 21, and 22 today.
Okay. So, you know, we encountered a pretty harrowing story yesterday with the destruction of Sodom and Gomora and we talked about that and the way that we subtly move toward judgment, even judgment of God and how that that can estrange us in our journey that we’re taking through the Scriptures yesterday. And, so, today, we kind of encounter another one of those types of stories where God tells Abraham to take is a promised son Isaac to Mount Moriah and sacrifice him. And we’re not gonna get into all of that because that story will unfold very, very clearly over some time, other than to just point out God and Abraham had entered into a covenant with each other and covenantal language is something that we will, you know, we will encounter quite a bit. So, we understand that the two of them joined together in covenant, which meant that nothing was off-limits from the other. So, when God tells Abraham to go and take his only son, and He’s very specific about this with Isaac, Abraham is in covenant he cannot withhold anything. And, so, he does. Of course, his trust and faith is in God and Isaac is the son of promise, so Abraham can simply say, “I must follow God even though I don’t know how this is gonna work out, but I do know that my son is a son of promise and through my son many generations will come. This is what God told me. In fact, he marched me outside and had me look up the night sky and try to count the stars. So, there’s this promise and I need understand what’s going on, but I do trust the one I’m in covenant with.” We know how that story worked out but what we may not have paid attention to is the thread of redemption that begins to show itself at all kinds of points in the Bible and this is one of them because Abraham did not withhold his son from God and God didn’t take the sacrifice of a human being, instead He sent his own son, His own only son. Now if you’ve been a believer for a long time, then you know, you can connect those dots pretty easy. If this your first trip through the Bible and encountering the stories of the Bible, this one is one that kind of touches a lot of things and will become more and more apparent as we move forward because Isaac is going to have a son of his own, a couple of sons of his own, and they’re gonna change the whole story, but let's…let’s go back into the book of Matthew.
Jesus is saying some very important and very forthright, like, non-ambiguous things that we should pay attention to, “judge not, lest you be judged.” That was yesterday. And again, like if you’ve been a believer for a long time you’ve probably encountered the stories of Jesus before. And, so, it’s really easy to just encapsulate them into their story form and not really listen to the words Jesus is teaching. What Jesus is saying is revolutionary and when he said it in the first century it was fundamentally revolutionary. We’re used to hearing the words of Jesus now, so it’s not quite like…has that kind of impact unless we slow down and listen to what He’s saying. So, let’s just examine what He said today. “Many will say to me on that day”, Jesus says, and He’s talking about Judgment Day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons, and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly. I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers.” Okay. So, this is another big deal on our faith journey because we can spend our whole lives trying to get our beliefs correct and our theology airtight and waterproof. We can think that every day that we learn more about God or learn something else about Jesus, then we are drawing closer and closer to Him when Jesus is saying, “there’s going to be people who call on the Lord and prophesied in His name and have even cast out demons in His name, and even performed miracles in His name, and He will still say, I didn’t know you.” So, what have to realize is that all of our flurry of activity that keeps us busy, that keeps us thinking that we’re drawing closer to God, all the stuff that we might do around our faith that’s great, it’s just not the point. What Jesus says He will say to those people is, “I never knew you”, which must mean that the point is that we can know Him and not only know about Him and that is a pretty big distinction because if you zoom out and apply these principles to any relationship in your life you would have to say that knowing about somebody is not the same as knowing them. And that should prick us a little bit because when we think of our spirituality and our faith journey, you know, then it’s centered around acquiring knowledge most of the time, trying to dial it in, know what to believe, know the spells and incantations, know the potions. Like, I know that’s not literal, I’m just saying, like, that’s what we boil it down to. If I can say the right mantras, If I can pray the right prayer in the right order doing the right things with the right attitude then God will do something for me, like, just give me the recipe, show me how the recipe works, what I can add and what I cannot add and how to make this whole thing work, just somebody tell me how to do this. Relationships do not work that way. You can read every marriage book that has ever been published…well…you probably couldn’t because there’s too many that have been published to read in a lifetime, but you could read, I don’t know, the 20 most popular books ever written on marriage and still not know how to be married because it is a relationship and that happens in the spoken and in the unspoken and that does not happen based on the rules. Like, if you’re living a rules-based marriage, then you’re probably not very happy in it. When you are in a life-giving relationship the rules become apparent and you obey them. Like, I’m not going to commit adultery because I will not break the heart of the one that I love. I’m not going there because of what it would do to the person that I have given my heart to. And you obey the rules because you are in love. Jesus speaking in the first century is speaking to a people that have taken the law, and I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself…ahead of ourselves…because we haven’t gotten to the law yet, but these people had taken the law and made their relationship with God all about obeying the rules, which bypasses the idea of a relationship other than just a relationship by proxy because you are behaving a certain way. Jesus is saying to that mindset, you can do all of the right things in it and still not know me. And, so, once again, and I mean, we’re not quite, you know, only just a little over a week into this journey so you can still jump off this boat and swim back to shore probably but it won’t be long before we’re so far in the deep that these things that come along and you have to sit with them and really begin to examine your faith and understand what it’s made of and where it’s headed because my story and the story of thousands and thousands of people that I have spoken to over these last 13 years doing this is one of confusion about faith. Like, how do I know when I’m doing…like how do I know that I’m doing the right thing and believing the right thing? And, so, we’ll redouble our efforts to get the knowledge. And man, that’s my story, that is even how I’m wired, to acquire knowledge to truly understand what it is that I’m talking about, but I have found that even if we could know everything there is to know about God that is still not the same thing as being in a relationship with God because I can know everything there is to know about my wife and not be in a relationship with her. And we human beings are wired to be relational people. So, it’s like already baked into our DNA, we know when we’re in a relationship and we know when that relationship is life-giving and we also are aware when we are in a bad relationship and it is life taking. So, we know this intuitively, we’re made for relationship. It’s just the ways we try to relate to God are by acquiring knowledge about Him and that’s only part of the story. Actually being together in a relationship is what we’re invited into. So, there’s some things to think about and examine. Like, what is the status of your relationship, because maybe the state of your life mimics the state of your relationship with God.
And, so, Holy Spirit come, we invite you into that question and we’re again thankful. I mean, yes, yes, with your word you are pressing into us, you are you are pushing us back. Like, we came into this boldly thinking we may have had much more figured out than we do and you’re using your word to kind of push us back and humble us and we’re now beginning to feel the truth flow into us and ask the right questions of us and of our faith. And this is the beginning place, this is the place where wisdom begins to be planted and flourish and the fruit of the spirit begins to be cultivated within. So, we invite you Holy Spirit to show us. What’s our relationship like? Are we unhealthy with you? What needs to change? What needs to go? What needs to stay? What needs to be moved around? You can answer these questions because you have promise to lead us into all truth, you have promised us that there is a narrow path that leads to life. And, yes, few find it but we want to be one of those people. So, we’re humbling ourselves before you and saying there is no question that is off-limits, you can press in on us in any way that you want to. We are hungering and thirsting for your righteousness, we are hungering and thirsting to live in this world as we were intended, and we don’t want this confusion and this stress and this anxiety that you’re telling us that we don’t have to have. You told us yesterday, we don’t have to worry about anything, we don’t have to worry about tomorrow, it’ll take care of itself. And, so, we want to live in that place, but we won’t be able to live in that place with a bunch of knowledge, we’ll only be able to live in a place walking with you in deep intertwined relationship. So, come Holy Spirit. We pray into these questions and may their answers be honest, and may they be life changing. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, and of course, its where you find out what’s going on around here.
One thing that I’ll mention today that’s been mentioned in the past is the Daily Audio Bible shop. There are resources in the Daily Audio Bible shop that we’ve assembled specifically for this journey, the journey through the year and through the Bible. And, so, you can check those out and there are also other resources, other writings and stuff. What we were just talking about in terms of a relationship with God, there’s a longer conversation about that contained in a book that I’ve written called “Reframe” and you can get that anywhere, but you can also get it in the Daily Audio Bible Shop and that really is an exploration of what we are talking about when we say we’re in a relationship with God. What does that even mean? One of the things any relationship means is that you know the other person, which is what Jesus is saying. I’ll tell them plainly, I never knew you. Like, you did all this stuff in my name, but I didn’t know you. So, relationships are knowing and being known. And, so, we go into a conversation that’s much more lengthy then we can do just in one sitting here. And, so, if that peeks your interest you can check out that resource, it’s called “Reframe, from the God we’ve made to God with us.” And that’s in the Daily Audio Bible Shop as well as bunch of other resources. So, check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com. There is a link on the homepage and I thank you profoundly and deeply, humbly for your partnership. What we’ve done we’ve done together as I’ve said so many times. And so, as long as we do this together we’ll continue marching forward. And, so, thank you for your partnership. There’s a link on the homepage. 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.