2 Kings 8:1-9:13, Acts 16:16-40, Psalms 143:1-12, Proverbs 17:26
Today is the 25th day of June. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian, it’s wonderful to be here with you today, take the next step forward into our week and the next step forward through the Scriptures as we move our way through this week and month and year. We are currently in the book of second Kings as we read through the Old Testament portion of our reading and we are learning of the prophet Elisha. So, we’ll continue with that story. Second Kings chapter 8 verse 1 through 9:13 today.
Alright. So, in the book of Acts, we’ve now departed on Paul’s second missionary journey and we read of the falling out that he had with Barnabas over John Mark. And as we’re traveling on the second missionary journey we can see that like the first missionary journey its light and darkness colliding and Paul’s in the middle of everywhere he goes. But in spite of all this…just chaos that swirls around them sometimes and the struggles that they have to go through, we also have to notice that fascinating opportunities are happening. Like, Paul’s not thrown into jail and thinking, “God, get me out of jail so that I can continue this missionary journey.” Paul is on mission no matter where he ends up landing. So, in today’s reading Paul and Silas are in Philippi and they’re spending time in a common area and praying by the water and sharing the good news. But each day this slave girl who predicts the future, she would call them out, “these are men of God, they are servants of the most high God, they’ve come to tell you how to be saved.” And, so, eventually Paul’s exasperated with this and he looks at her and throws the demon out in the name of Jesus, which infuriates the girls owners because they’ve basically lost their way of making money. The girl was an attraction for this. So, the next thing you know, you’ve got a mob kind of rising up against Paul and Silas and then they’re severely beaten and thrown into prison. So, they’re sitting in prison around midnight, bruised from this beating, in chains and they’re singing hymns of worship to God, and the entire prison is silent as the other prisoners are listening to the gospel being shared with them in song. And then this earthquake happens, and the doors fly open and everybody can run but nobody does. And the jailer’s there about to kill himself because he just let everybody escape, even though he had nothing to do with it. And Paul’s like, “don’t kill yourself, we’re here, we’re all here, don’t worry, don't…don’t do anything to yourself”, which resulted in Paul and Silas being cared for by the jailer, their wounds being dressed, the gospel being shared, people coming to faith in Jesus. And if we back up in the story, if we just kind of look at how this story unfolds, had this girl who could foretell the future, had she not continued to call Paul and Silas out day after day, had Paul not thrown this evil spirit out of her, they would have never been thrown into jail. And we can look at it and go, “yeah, they would’ve never been thrown into jail.” But the thing is, had they not been thrown into prison, then this jailer and his entire household…Paul and Silas would’ve never laid eyes on this guy, like, they would’ve never crossed paths. And as we watch Paul’s ministry and later as we get into the writings of Paul we’ll see that this is the approach that he takes to life. Wherever he is at he is on mission. Yes. Sometimes they’re going on actual formal missionary journeys, but it doesn’t matter whether he’s in prison, whether he’s before Kings, whether he’s in sickness or whether he’s in health, he’s on mission and that is what’s deeply compelling about the apostle Paul. No matter where he lands he lands sharing the gospel of Jesus. And the opportunities that we have the spread light in the darkness, to bring good news in a sea of bad, those opportunities are limitless if we’re just simply paying attention. And it’s usually when we’re feeling opposition or hardship, like, when the darkness is pressing in on us that we usually isolate ourselves, but these are the times when we have the greatest opportunity
we take this example. We look at what’s happening here in the early church when
we look into the life of the apostle Paul and Silas who was accompanying him
and into this story today and realize, had they just been angry because they
were Roman citizens and had been beaten and they were just lamenting in the
prison, just waiting for daybreak so that they could lower the boom none of
this would’ve happened, and yet You used all of these things and worked them
together for good, and the souls of an entire household were saved. So, help us
to realize that what we do today matters and how we do it matters. It’s important
that we stay paying attention. It’s so easy for us to find ourselves totally
self-absorbed and what’s going on with us and whatever discomfort we may be
trying to overcome while ignoring opportunities everywhere. Show us how to be
awake, show us how to be aware and show us how to see Your kingdom at work in
and among us, all around us. Come Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And as I mentioned yesterday, just a little less than two weeks will be the 7th of July and the 7th of July is kind of a little Daily Audio Bible holiday that we have of our own. It’s the day that we do the Daily Audio Bible long walk. And the long walk is self-explanatory, honestly. It’s a day that we set aside on the calendar, happens to be on a Sunday this year, but it’s a day that we set aside on the calendar and give ourselves permission to go and waste the day with God, to go and just be with God like we’re in love with God as he is in love with us. Like, we know that when we fall in love with people we will waste incredible amounts of time just being together because it’s not a waste. It’s the bond of relationship that is forming. What if we took a day and did that with God in the middle of the year? That’s what the Daily Audio Bible long walk is about. As we cross through the middle of the year it’s a fantastic time to go out into nature and beauty and just realize in the silence that the silence is full of life happening everywhere and to just spend the day with God talking, saying everything that we need to say, and listening for everything that He wants to speak to us. It’s just a regroup and reset for the second half of the year. So, you just go somewhere beautiful, whether that’s five minutes away whether that’s five hours away. It’s up to you…just somewhere beautiful that you find compelling and go for a long walk. Spend the day just with God. And as in years gone by, this will be happening all over the world and it’s a very individual experience, but it is a community experience to know, “I’m not the only one doing this. Like, I am indeed on a long walk with God and I am pouring my heart out and I am being as honest and vulnerable as possible. I am with God, but I’m the only one doing this. This is happening all over the world.” And it’s a beautiful thing. Take a picture, take a little video, something that you’ll want to hold onto to commemorate your day, but you can share that at the Daily Audio Bible Facebook page facebook.com/dailyaudiobible and then we post those up and they become little windows into each other’s lives, just little windows into the beauty of the earth all around the earth. And it’s wonderful, a wonderful annual experience that we have here as a community. Like I said, as we move through the middle of the year, why not take a few hours. Why not take that day and regroup with God? I mean, He has poured into us through His word thus far. Imagine what the second half of the year can look like we’re focused and in lockstep with His will and His ways for us? But how will we know that if we spend no time? So, July 7th, Daily Audio Bible long walk. Put that on your calendar.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.