Zechariah 10:1-11:17, Revelation 18:1-24, Psalms 146:1-10, Proverbs 30:33
Today is the 27th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is great to be here with you, kinda in between, right, like this feeling that Christmas has passed, like we’re moving forward and we have this sense of the arrival of the new year and new beginnings coming but we’re kind of in between right now. And, so, this is gonna be…well…it’s a different kind of week, a disruptive week where we get to kind of think about what the next year might look like. And, so, as we do every day, no matter what time of year and no matter what we’re experiencing, we turn to the Scriptures and we allow them to speak into our lives as part of the direction for our lives. So, we’re reading from the Good News Translation this week and we will continue our journey through the book of Zechariah in the Old Testament today, chapters 10 and 11.
Ok. So…so at the beginning today we were just mentioning like here we…like we’re in this in between…between the Christmas holiday and the beginning of a new year. And, so, there’s this week and it's…it’s like a unique week out of any other week of the year just because its book ended by major holidays. I mean Christmas, obviously, perhaps the most major holiday on the planet and then that leaves one week until a new beginning comes and we…we sense that in this week, that…that a new beginning is coming. And, so, because of the fact that we have this new year in front of us and that’s a big thing, like marking a new year is often a line in the sand for a lot of people about a lot of things. It’s just…this is the kind of the week we get serious about thinking about what we might like life to look like in the coming year. And, so, you know, this is…this is when we renew the gym membership, right? This is…this is when we crack open the books about nutrition and we start thinking about how we might like to feel in the coming months, how we might like to look one year from today when we’re between the holidays again. And it’s also time, the world over, and this isn’t a unique thing, I’ve noticed this…this all of the years of doing the Daily Audio Bible. This is…this is the time that we think about our spirituality in ways that we don’t the rest of the year. And, so, this is the time that a lot of people go looking for…for things like the Daily Audio Bible. A lot of you found this community and became a part of this journey that we’re on at this time last year and that’s happening right now in the lives of many brothers and sisters who are here today, like just checking things out…like hi…welcome, glad you’re here. Hopeful… Hopefully your boarding for the journey through the Bible next year. This is what happens this time of year. But one of the things we might notice as we are doing this kind of contemplation, and I do this kind of contemplation every year, “like what’s the next year supposed to look like? What is in my life right now that is not serving any purpose? What needs…like is just wasting my time? What do I need to move out so that I can move other things in? What do I need to move out to make space for nothing but God?” I think about these things too. We all think about these kinds of things but a lot of times, I would say most of the times, what we’re thinking about his exterior things. “How can I balance and get in order my environment, my exterior environment? How can I lose that weight? How can I position myself to get the promotion that I want or to beat out the other candidates for something down the road? How can I clean my closets this year? How can I get rid of the clutter that’s hidden everywhere but I know that…that I just pushed things to the margins in my home, maybe even in my life? How do I get rid of all this clutter?” Obviously, the rhythm of our lives containing the Scriptures in them…obviously, what we’re doing every day, allowing God’s word to speak into the day, absolutely gives us direction for the path ahead in every conceivable way because here we are toward the end of the year, there’s just a few days left, and we can see that on this journey through the Bible this year just about every part of our lives internally and externally has been touched in some way by the word of God. But as we move into the new year there’s one specific portion of the word of God that can be utterly invaluable as we look for practical advice into the actions that we take and that is the book of Proverbs.
What we find by immersing ourselves in the wisdom that has been collected or the advice that is calm as a result of the wisdom of the ages that are collected in the book of Proverbs is that Proverbs councils us that fundamentally, we can move all kinds of furniture around in our exterior lives, like we can move all kinds of things around but if the clutter is inside of us, it’s still not going to bring us that sense of calm and peace and awareness and interaction and integration - the things that were looking for in our lives. Proverbs helps us get to the bottom of why we are motivated to do just about anything, but at this time of year, why we are motivated to make these changes. We want to make these changes because fundamentally, we want our lives to go more smoothly. And yet if our lives are in turmoil within us. No amount of organization outside of us is going to fix that. Proverbs helps us get to the bottom of why we do what we do and what we find in this ancient book is that the heart of people…like people were motivated after the same fashion thousands of years ago because the conflicts that we feel within ourselves, they’re the same. The exterior is simply different clothing. So, like we read one verse from the book of Proverbs today. “If you churn milk you get butter. If you hit someone’s nose it bleeds. If you stir up anger you get into trouble.” Alright, so we can be like, “if you churn milk you get butter. Is that really wisdom? Doesn’t everybody kinda know that? Like, if you hit somebody in the nose then it bleeds. Isn’t that obvious? Like, is that…how is that going to help me in my interior life? Like, how does that help?” What the proverb did here is state three obvious things, two of them very obvious - the beating of cream yields butter, the striking of the nose causes bleeding. Those are external and very obvious things. And then it tells us one more obvious internal truth that is just as true as these obvious external ones - stirring up anger causes quarrels. So, if we just think about the new year what do we want? Usually we want peace, right, more serenity of some sort in some area of our lives. That’s why we would make changes. If we are feeling an imbalance in our body, like we’re just carrying around too much weight or whatever, we just don’t feel good, that would motivate us to perhaps stick to it in the coming year and get our…get our physical bodies to feel the way that we would like to feel or…or any of the other things that we would change. So, do you want more quarreling and divisiveness in your life in 2020? Like, is that what you want? Because the Proverbs is telling you how to get there. Stir up more anger. If you stir up more anger it will give you more quarrels just like beating cream will give you butter and hitting someone in the nose will cause it to bleed. If you want less quarreling, less trouble, less divisiveness in your life, then the answer isn’t to turn more butter or to punch other people in the nose. The answer is to stir up less anger. And as we move out of the Christmas holiday and toward the new year, I mean, we still may have friends and family around from out of town, or we may be still out-of-town or whatever but we’ve been disrupted enough to…to see that stirring up anger causes quarrels. I mean, we can see that when we’re fighting for a parking place at the mall because of the 75% off sales that are going on. We can we can find the materials to stir up anger out of just about anything, but if we would recognize what wisdom is telling us - stir up less anger, have less conflict. That’s as obvious as stirring cream into butter. And yet so often we still are confused about how anger got stirred up and why we are in this conflict. So, we can see that we have to pay attention. We have to pay attention to what’s going on inside of us to where we can feel and become aware that anger is being stirred up inside of me. And if I don’t see this now and find out why and go into the situation and correct the situation, whether it’s with another person, or whether it’s just with ourselves, if not, this is going to whip up into some kind of conflict in my life and I’m trying to avoid that. So, I’m stopping here, I’m stopping the churning, and I’m looking at what’s really going on before it gets out of hand. This is amazing advice for our lives out of one verse of the Proverbs. And, so, we obviously read a portion of Proverbs every day.
There’s also the Daily Audio Proverb going through one chapter of the book of Proverbs every day. So, going through the entire book of Proverbs every month. Proverbs are meant to be heard over and over and to be contemplated. So, we spent a bunch a time right now, right, like 10 minutes or more like we were just talking about one verse of Proverbs. We were considering, we were contemplating, we were focusing in on, we were asking of the Scriptures, “what you saying for our lives?” And if we could do this with any of the Proverbs, just one proverb a day, one verse of Proverbs a day, one little section, whatever that you can focus in on and apply to your life can change and will change a lot of things in the coming year. So, while we’re making our New Year’s resolutions about getting in shape, and decluttering, and getting better promotions, and getting rid of the old this and getting rid of the old that, let’s think about how we might want to get very friendly with the voice of wisdom in our lives in the coming year. That might be the greatest New Year’s resolution we could possibly make for ourselves and for everyone around us.
Holy Spirit, we invite You into that. This really is that time where we are thinking about these kinds of things. It’s actually a gift that we have this disrupted week to think about these kinds of things because it allows us to consider how we might finish this year strong and how we might begin the new one strong. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit to bring wisdom to us. Come Jesus we pray. In Your mighty name, we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, and it is home base, and it is where you find out what’s going on around here.
I guess we’re like…we’re like in the in between where we are getting ready to like, disembark this particular voyage and then start a new voyage into the new year. And we talked about some…some of the things that…that we’re focused on that and we feel like the Lord is bringing into our lives, we talked about that for the new year on the Christmas program that we always do. So, there’s a couple of words as we move into the new year. One, that’s maybe more like the decade and one that’s for the new year, “Vision” being for 2020 and moving into this new decade. And we just talked about…not…that…that’s a word that a lot of people are using, “Vision 2020”, you know, seeing clearly. But I have spent a lot of time thinking about, “what does clearly seeing even mean spiritually, what does that look like?” And I just realize everything that we need to see, we…we can if we have eyes to see. Everything we need to hear, we can if we have ears to hear, which is what Jesus continually told us. And, so, I’m like OK, the kingdom is everywhere, the kingdom is now, the kingdom is happening. We know it hasn’t reached its fullness, but Jesus told us it is now, and it is in and among us. So, what if we have vision for that? What if that’s what we’re looking for instead of everything that’s wrong? Because we get very, very obsessive about things that are wrong in the world or in our lives. What if we spent this new year looking for the things that were right? What would that do to us, if we spent a whole year looking for the things that are right, the things that God is doing, the opportunities that we have to participate in good in this world? And, so, that’s Vision and then Jill really felt strongly, the word “Settle” - settle into the new year and beyond. And so, we’re just praying into that. Settle for her means settle, like settle down, like calm down. But settle also means to plant roots, to become rooted and stable and unmovable and unshakable. And, so, yeah, we’re living into that and you can do the same. As we prepare to move into the new year, we can pray into that. What does that look like for you? What words is God giving you over your new year. That’s what’s going on around here.
Obviously, if you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible here in these final days of the year, the gratefulness is real and in the humility is real and the awe that…that we get to do this together every day, that’s real. Thank you for your partnership. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t do this together. So, there is a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. 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, you can dial 877-942-4253 or you can just press the Hotline button in the app, the little red button at top and start…start sharing your story from there.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you hear tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
This is a message for Scott in Utah who is suffering from ringing it in the years. Today is December 19th and I heard your message. Today I want you to know Scott that I am praying for you. I’m very sorry to hear your sadness and your, almost, despair and I hope that you reach joy soon.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family, I’m gonna take a page out of one of our sister’s books and just to stay anonymous but I just need some prayer. I don’t really know where else to go. I’m driving home from a worship rehearsal and, you know, it just occurred to me, if I drove in front of a semi-truck that I could probably be with the Lord tomorrow but then of course, you know, the…the Bibles really clear about you know, not…not approving of suicide. I feel really far from God. I don’t know why I would want to be in this relationship with Him, where he’s always right and I’m always wrong, He’s always good and I’m always bad. You know…please just pray for me. I’m kind of at the end of my rope. I can’t really talk to a family and I don’t have any friends that I can go to about this because I’m not very close with any of the people at my church. Thank you.
Good morning DABbers this is Jeanette from Canada and I am in desperate need of your prayers. My mom is in a care institution with terminal breast cancer in Maryland and I’m going to be joining my sister who lives there along with my brother from Boston to spend the Christmas and the new year with her because this may be the last time we will have a Christmas with her. But I also am experiencing extreme generalized peripheral neuropathy, which I do believe comes from post chemotherapy or one of the drugs that I have been taking for it or radiation…I don’t know. But this is just something that is almost unbearable. It is so difficult, and it has no rhyme or reason. It’s like electrical current running all over your body at various times and frequency strengths and I’m at my wits end and I have to fly. So, I truly, truly need some prayers to anchor me and I’m expecting that this will be healed because I have asked the Lord and many people are asking. Yet in the meantime, I have to be patient and wait. So, I’m asking you to join me in prayer and help me for…as I as I fly because if this is so troublesome, I don’t know…flying will be very difficult. So, I’m depending on you my family. And I just love you all. Thank you so much for praying. Amen.
Good morning family it’s Daniel and Arizona it is December 20th. I just wanted to put in prayer request, kind of an interesting prayer request, but I wanted to pray for drivers and commuters. I do a lot of driving to work. I’ve been driving about an hour to work in about an hour back and in the afternoons, I’ve got a pickup my kids and I just…I want to pray. There’s just so many angry people out there and it totally manifests in the way that they drive and I mean I…I don’t know any of their stories or what’s going on in our lives but I just I can just see people who are…are hurting or whatever. And I just want to pray for all the people. Again, I’m just seeing it manifest in the way that they drive, and I just felt like that was on my heart, to pray for people who have commutes and long drives. And this would be…driving would be a time for peace. And I don’t know, for me, it’s a time of listening to the Bible and reflection and being quiet. So, thank you. Have a good day family.
Father God thank you that you are Sovereign, thank you so much for this world and this universe you have created for us. Lord, we lift up the nation of Australia to you. Lord, we pray for rain. Lord we pray that you would be restoring the nutrients in the soil, restoring the moisture in the soil, restoring what needs to be there for a good harvest in the next season or even in this season Lord. Father God we do lift up those in Australia who rely on the land, the farmers, and also all the __ effects of all the people who are affected by this drought Lord. We pray Lord that you’d be providing their needs. Father God we thank you so much for the firefighters who are fighting those bushfires and trying to protect people and protect land. Lord we ask for you to be at work and Lord we pray for an end to this drought that Australia can have the right kind of rain to recharge the rivers, to recharge the reservoirs, to recharge the groundwater. We ask your blessing on Australia and we trust in you for the future, the next season and the season after that Lord. We pray that you’d be healing any damage done by this prolonged drought. In Jesus holy and precious name. Amen. All right guys, Michaela from Gloucester I hope you have a blessed day were of you are. Bye.
Hi all you, lonely ones this is Rachel from Pennsylvania and I was thinking of you and I just wanted to say hello, happy holidays, happy new year. I know this is not the holiday party greeting but, you know, I was just thinking about you, so I wanted to say hello and let you know that I will also be thinking about you throughout the time between Christmas and New Year’s. I want to pray that you guys have comfort and joy and you find something to occupy your time with that brings you happiness and that God will be with you and help you to get through the holidays if they’re tough for you, with…with a happy heart. And, yeah, I guess…I don’t know…I don’t know names, but I know Prodigal, you came to my mind, so happy new year. All right. Bye.