Genesis 13:5-15:21, Matthew 5:27-48, Psalms 6:1-10, Proverbs 1:29-33
Today is the 6th day of January, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you today. This is the first Monday we are experiencing in this new decade and I’m glad to be here to share it with you. This will be our first full week together as we journey into this new year and into the Scriptures. So, kind of a set sail and we’re kind of getting our bearings, moving in and by the time…by the time we complete this week we should have established a rhythm that will carry us through this year and I’m excited about that. I’m excited about the journey that we’re on. I’m excited about all we’re gonna see and the way the Bible is going to show up and give us what we need each day. So, let’s get to that, let’s get into this first full work week of the new year. We’ll read from the New International Version, which is what we began yesterday. And today, Genesis chapter 13 verse five through 15 verse 21.
Alright. So, in the Gospel of Matthew we’re working our way through what is known as Jesus Sermon on the Mount, which really is the…a foundational piece of the teachings of Jesus. And, so, we kind of talked about the Beatitudes a little bit yesterday because we were moving through them and we…we noticed that it’s almost like Jesus is describing up an opposite way of living in the world that we live in, right? So, we were saying like, “how can…how is it that blessed are the poor in spirit? How are the poor in spirit blessed?” Like, it’s almost like the opposite of what we would think. And we talked about the disruption of…of pure wisdom kind of flowing into our lives in the way that often happens in disruptive ways that we have to stop and think through, like meditate upon, consider, contemplate, deeply allow things to move past only our minds comprehension and allow our heart to be a part of that conversation. And we will notice this in pretty much all of the teachings of Jesus. And, so, we’re continuing the Sermon on the Mount today and it’s like, “okay. Jesus is saying some pretty interesting difficult things to read about adultery and divorce and oaths an eye for an eye and the posture that we should have about that and the way that we should…the way that we should love our enemies.” So, like there is plenty of disruption to go around, but a lot of that tension arises in our, like, five physical sense-based experience of life. So, it’s like, “okay. Wow! I thought Jesus was coming to bring me freedom, but now I’m reading what He’s saying and it’s just like more rules. Who can live up to this standard?” We must realize that Jesus is also waking up our hearts. I mean here’s an interesting truth for us to consider. I mean we know we have a body. We can look in the mirror and see that we have a body. And we know that that body moves around and has a being some way. Like, if we want to move our finger, we move our finger. And…like…like just move your finger for a second. Like, that just kinda happens, right? Like you’re not thinking, “okay, I need to engage my mind and I need to fire off certain synapses that will…will travel toward my finger and it will move.” Like, it just happens. So, somewhere within you is the will for your finger to move and then…and then your mind and body collaborate in this seamlessly and you never really think about the distinction between your mind and your body. And we know that we are made up of a body and we know that we have a mind and we also know that we have sort of the deep core truth of who we are called our heart, our identity and yet functionally, we…we sort of live as if those components are all…like they don’t necessarily work together, they’re just compartments. Like, we can be in the compartment of our mind thinking or we can be in the compartment of our body eating or working out or whatever, we can be in the compartment of our…our heart and feel. But what if all of those – body, soul, and spirit - what if they are all made to be in harmony with one another making a complete and comprehensive whole person? And what if we began to realize as a whole person, we become aware that we are irreversibly interconnected with every other person because this is what Jesus prayed for. This is what Jesus prayed for, “make them one as we are one” is what Jesus said. So, you can be like, “this is kind of interesting. I’m just not sure what it has to do with the Sermon on the Mount.” It’s really interesting that the Sermon on the Mount reads quite differently if you’re looking through that perspective, a perspective of union and unity and wholeness. Let’s understand that when we…when we observe Jesus in the Gospels and when we hear his words flowing out of the Gospels, we are certainly seeing God made flesh and dwelling among us, but we are also seeing humanity in a perfect state, right? Remember that little glimpse that we got when we began this journey in the very first pages of Genesis? That kind of wholeness and perfection contained within one human being hadn’t existed upon the earth until Jesus arrived. And, so, a lot of what we see in Jesus, even things that we might find confusing or that we’re not quite understanding, we’re seeing depicted for us what wholeness in a broken world even might look like. And I think…I think we would all agree that Jesus operated in a way that was misunderstood by many but was also out of sync with the world he was in in the same way that it’s out of sync with the world we are in. If your heart and your mind and your body are submitted to Christ and, as Paul said, “it’s no longer you live, it’s Christ’s in you” the hope of glory and the hope of us living whole and complete then we can understand that adultery shatters everybody that it touches, right? You can participate in adultery with your body and be seeking bodily pleasure or excitement or…or to ease your mind from of the difficulties of working through a very difficult relationship, like, but you can’t do it whole any more than you can love your neighbor and hate your enemy whole. So, we can be frustrated about, you know, new categories of rules and behaviors that we have to modify to try live up to the standard of Jesus or we could understand Jesus is showing as what our lives could look like if we would embrace wholeness in Him. And we will not be able to do that by just attempting to try get our mind and bodies to cooperate or try to integrate our hearts and allow us to kind of feel and process and be where we are, wherever we are, whenever we are. We will not be able to do this without the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the voice of wisdom’s counsel. And the further that we get into the Gospels and the more that we look at Jesus, and when I say look at Jesus, I mean, like, really. Like, we can go through the Bible stories again, like we go through the Sunday school stories again. We can smile and go, “I haven’t heard that story in a long time. I really love that story” or we can really look at this Jesus. We can really, really look at what He’s saying and what He’s doing and…and how He’s behaving and how He’s navigating life on earth. And if He is our Savior, the Son of the living God most-high, which I believe He is, and if we are to be imitators of Christ then we need to look really closely at what He’s doing and…and understand that we will not be able to understand without our hearts and our minds and our bodies in collaboration with each other, with the goal of being Christlike and whole. And we will need voice of wisdom to do that.
And, so, like even in our reading from Proverbs today, the voice…like the voice of wisdom actually sums up everything we were just talking about. The voice of wisdom today in the book of Proverbs said, “since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice”, “my” being wisdom, “since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. Sounds ominous, but all that’s said…that’s being said here is, “okay you want to go that way. That’s fine. You will reap what you sow. But you…but you could sow other things that would actually lead you to life.” Wisdom goes on to say, “the waywardness of the sinful will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm.”
Father, once again we’re inviting Holy Spirit, that we might hear the voice of wisdom and see wisdom in action all around us, see You moving in and among us, transforming us, making us whole. And we pray Father that we will recognize this and that we will open our hearts, that we will open ourselves to Your work within us, as difficult as it may be. Come Holy Spirit we pray. We have been told there is a narrow path that leads to life and we ask that You lead us on that path. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, and its where you find out what’s going on around here. And we’ve been spending the last few…few days getting into this New Year’s talking about different things that are going on and how to get connected, how to stay connected, how to just move through the year in this rhythm that we have, that we’re in together.
So, I’ve talked about the website and maybe you’ve kind of glanced around there and see what’s going on. I’ll mention the Daily Audio Bible Shop is at dailyaudiobible.com and in the Daily Audio Bible Shop are a number of resources that are specific to the journey that we’re on together. These have all been created to either directly affect the journey that were on or just to create a sense of community and that…that we’re in this together because that becomes important. A lot of things happen in a year. We can look back over year and go like, “wow, that flew by”, but a lot of things happen in a year and we face highs and lows that can be extreme and unexpected and it’s so good to know that we are rooted in the Scriptures and that we aren’t alone. And, so, there are a number of resources that are aimed at in the Daily Audio Bible Shop. So, check that out.
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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.