Ezekiel 42:1-43:27, James 5:1-20, Psalms 119:1-16, Proverbs 28:6-7
Today is the 21st day of November. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is wonderful it is a joy to be here with you as we take our next step forward, something we’ve gotten in the habit of doing, taking the next step forward each day. So, today we’ll go back into the book of Ezekiel before concluding the letter of James. And we are reading from the New Living Translation this week. Ezekiel chapters 42 and 43.
Okay. So, we concluded the letter of James today and yeah…I mean that…that book…that letter…that…that letter will kick your butt. And, so, if you’re like me, then you’ve been challenged once again by the Scriptures. And as we concluded this letter, the final words of encouragement, as is…is customary with many of the letters in the Bible offers some practical postures that we need to live into or we’re supposed to live into. But as we look at the ending of James, we need to remember that James is writing to Jewish brothers and sisters, so Hebrews. And these Hebrews had been forced to relocate and move around because persecution had begun. So, James says, “dear brothers and sisters”, and man, that’s the context for who he’s writing to, but this is for every single one of us, “dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You too must be patient. Take courage for the coming of the Lord is near.” So, what James is describing here is what we’ve started to talk about a lot because the Bible’s bringing up it…bringing it up a lot and that is endurance. Be patient as you wait for the Lord. How often do we do that? I cannot tell you the probably, thousands of conversations that I have been a part of over the years where a person is very frustrated at God because they are not willing to be patient. And yet what James says is true. “Look at the farmers, they have to wait for the rains to come. That’s how it works, and so they eagerly wait for the rains and then they eagerly look for the harvest to ripen.” That’s the example the Bible is using. That’s what James is using to illustrate this point. We must be patient in the same way understanding that the harvest comes throughout seasons. And as we wait patiently, we are being ripened. So, that is very encouraging for us but for those who had been, you know, displaced because of persecution and facing that kind of marginalization that kind of hardship, then those…those words give a person a reason to continue another day because we’re reminded that a process is underway. So, we’re impatient because we haven’t reached the conclusion, but we are not at a standstill. No matter what it feels like a process is underway and in that process we must be patient and practice endurance, which can be more difficult than we can imagine sometimes, largely because our culture and everything we watch on television and listen to on the radio promises us that it’s gonna…that we can have it now. Buy now pay later is the way of things, instant gratification. But this process that’s happening inside of us, the process of sanctification, it doesn’t work like that. It’s like a farmer. So, a farmer can’t plant a seed and then wake up the next day and go out and get the harvest. If a farmer plants a seed, he’s going to go out the next day and it’s gonna look like nothing has happened and nothing will happen. Sometimes the long wait, right, as we ripen, the long wait through the seasons discourages us and then we find ourselves behaving just like the children of Israel in the Scriptures, grumbling, right, grumbling through our wilderness experiences. James actually spoke to that though. Brothers and sisters don’t grumble about each other or you will be judged for look the Judge is standing at the door. So, we only spent a few days working through this fairly short letter from James, but we’re left with plenty to think about. James wrote a forthright, direct, clear letter so that nothing can be misunderstood in what he was saying and so we should be forthright in receiving what was said, and in bringing that to God, especially in terms of things we may need to repent of, things that may need to change so that where not just hearers but doers of God’s word.
Father, we invite You into that, the point at which what we believe animates our lives so that what we do and think and say is centered around our relationship with You. And we…all…all of us confess that there have been plenty of times that it’s been lip service, that we’ve talked a good game about a life that we are not living. And, so, we are inviting Your Holy Spirit to come and unify those things, reveal those things so that in heart, mind, and will we are in alignment with You even as we continue to explore the necessary aspect of life known as endurance. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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Of course, if you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app most of the things that we’re talking about at the website, they are also available in the app. So, you can just click the Drawer icon in the upper left-hand corner. But it’s a portal, it’s a way to stay connected.
And one of the one of the beautiful distinctives of this community that has kind of evolved over the years is the fact that we love one another well and we pray for each other continually. And the Prayer Wall is a place to go that really represents that because it’s just always on and there are people praying all the time. So, it’s a wonderful place to go if you’re shouldering something you need to offload and you need not carry by yourself but it’s also place to go when you’re feeling strong and you remember what it feels like to be weak and you just go and offer some love, some heart, some encouragement, some prayer. And that’s kind of…that’s the glue here. And, so, the Prayer Wall is a wonderful resource. So, check that out.
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And, as always, if you have a prayer request or comment 877-942-4253 is a number that you can dial, or you can press the Hotline button in the app, the little red button that lives at the top and…and off you go.
And that is it for today. I am Brian I love you and I will be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
I want to say hello to this beautiful community of believers that I have the privilege of being a part of. This is Mary from Georgia and I want to pray for Summer from Ohio and Running Desperately to Jesus. I just heard their prayer requests this morning and I just want to ask for God’s help for them. Father thank You so much for the beautiful gift of this community that You have given to all of us and I ask Your continued blessing on it and on Brian and his family and I ask that You would just grow this community even more so than You already have. I especially want to lift up Summer, my sweet sister in Ohio and my other sweet sister who called herself Running Desperately to Jesus. That is the most beautiful way to describe Yourself. That’s who we all should be. And I just ask that You would please, give them Your…more of Your grace and more of Your peace Father into their minds and their hearts. I pray that You would help them to fill their ears and their thoughts and their eyes with You with Your truth that is found in the Bible Lord. I ask that You would point them to people in their community, maybe their church or their neighbor heard or at work who could just speak more of Your truth into their lives. I ask that You would please, allow Your…Your people to lift them up wherever they are and just give them peace and rest from their mental anxieties from what weights so heavily on their hearts. I ask that You would use this time of struggle so that they can help bless others in the same way that I know You will greatly bless them and heal them Lord in Jesus’ name.
Hi DAB family this call is for Vivik’s mom who is blind. We haven’t heard from you for a very long time. You used to call in all the time to give us some updates on Vivik. I know he was going through a difficult time a while ago. Hope things are much better for him now, hope he’s thriving and getting stronger in the Lord. Hope your daughter is doing well. You’ve been on my mind a lot and I just wanted to let you know that I love you and I’m praying for your family and please call in soon and give us an update on how you, Vivik and your daughter are doing. God bless you. Take care. And thanks to Brian and the Hardin family for everything you do for us. Bye.
Good morning. Hey this is Annette Allison from Oklahoma City. This message is for Running Desperately to Jesus. Sister, I think I know exactly how you feel. You know, I’ve had some pretty bad relationships in my past and taken advantage of many times by supervisors and bosses and coworkers because I tried to be nice. And I understand that sometimes being nice, it’s kind of hard to say no and…but then people kind of take advantage of you and then you like resent them when you did what you set out to do, which is kind of funny. But, you know, I understand and my life at one time I was angry and bitter, and I had no happiness whatsoever, nothing brought me happiness. And I understand. And the Lord was convicting my heart and I had been in the Daily Audio Bible for about a year and a half and I just asked Him to bring joy in my life. But I think the thing that I have learned over the years is that happiness and joy is a choice. Okay? And maybe that is something that you need to hear, that it is a choice and it’s not something that just magically happens in your heart. You have to work at it, you have to find the joy in work and the joy in anything. And I think Ecclesiastes may help you out. Read that. And just ask for the Lord to…to bring joy into your life and to practice it. Practice smiling. Practice being nice. Practice being polite. And do it with a smile even if you don’t feel like it because those are muscles that we need to work out and if we don’t work about it ain’t gonna work.
Hey Daily Audio Bible Family, this is Fashionably Late Vinnie calling you from the flatlands of Ohio in the USA. I first want to say thanks to Brian for putting this button in the app where we can just tap in and share our prayer requests. It’s just so much easier to hear you guys now if you have access to that button. It’s like you guys are in my living room and we’re sharing prayer requests. I can just hear you all so much better and I feel so much closer to all. So, thank you Brian for developing that and putting that in there for us. Thing two as per my nickname, Fashionably Late. I am very fashionably late with the podcast. I just finished September 27th and it is actually November 17th today. So, a couple weeks for me, a couple months ago for all of you we went through the song of Solomon and that can be a bittersweet read if you are single like me. And I had a hard time at first but I appreciate Brian’s perspective that it can be a poem between two lovers. It can also be a poem between God and us, Him calling out to us, searching for us to be in relationship with us. So, if you are single and this season of life, I just want to encourage you. God is calling out to you. God has something for you in this season of your life. So, spend time with him like you would spend time with the people you love. Go on a walk with him this week and take a moment to listen to share your heart and just let him call out to you, let him call you into whatever he has for you in the season because there’s a purpose for it. All right. God bless you all. Ciao.
Hello Daily Audio Bible family this is Melissa and I am also from Ohio and I wanted to pray right now for Summer from Ohio who called in the other day. It was…today is November 16th, I think. And summer, I just…I just love you. I do. I love that you said you were spent because it sounds like it. It does. And that tugged at my heart so much because I know. I don’t know but I know being spent. And I am also a mom and I am also walking a rocky path. So, I just want to pray for you right now Summer from Ohio. I am here in Ohio with you and I’m just can lift you up to God. Lord God I just lift Summer up to You and so much of what her is on her heart and I just pray Lord I just pray that You would give her strong shoes, strong shoes Lord to walk this path that she would be an example. And Lord God just bring into her life people that would pour into her their love and support and encouragement. In Jesus’ strong and holy name. Amen.
Good morning it is November 18th, and this is Denise who is originally from California, now lives in Charlotte North Carolina but travels a lot for her job so has already made it on a Monday morning to Orlando for a business trip. So, the sound that you hear in the background is the Orlando airport, but I had to stop and find a quiet a place as possible to lift up the people whose prayers were played on November 17th. Isabel in Australia for the fires in Australia, I just want to lift up your country and bring the healing rain from the Lord. And Asia from Chicago your tears for JJ the homeless man and all homeless in Chicago, you had me crying in seat 13C. So, sister I prayed with you and I pray with you now for healing and the protection and all of the complex things that go into homelessness, let those just be parted like the waters to get to the other side. Summer from Ohio, I heard your tears and I heard your pain and I heard everything that you had to say, and I lift those up. And for Jason who was suicidal who you say that doesn’t hear you. Lord I just ask that You open Jason’s ears up right now, You open his ears up so that You open his heart up and You send the right person the right messenger that there is another way and that he is made in God’s image and that he is destined to help other people when he gets on the other side of his own pain. And then Desperately Running for Jesus, I don’t have a response. Suffice to say that I know it is never too late because Moses’ ministry started very late in his life and Sarah had a baby very late in her life and there’s a whole list of people in the Bible who did things late. And, so, whatever God is working on you I know it is for good because He works for good and His blessings can’t be reversed. Amen.