Genesis 30:1-31:16, Matthew 10:1-23, Psalms 12:1-8, Proverbs 3:13-15
Today is the 14th day of January, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you today as we take our…as we take our places around the Global Campfire and just exhale. Has it been…how’s it been, the beginning of the year for you, hectic or smooth or whatever? Whatever it is there’s this place that we come to hear from God, and we let His word reach into our lives. And, so we have this one place where we can just exhale and just let the Bible speak to us. So let’s get to that. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. And we’ve got this drama, this considerable family drama happening in the Old Testament where this man Jacob who got married and woke up to the wrong girl and then a week later got the right girl, but now he’s married to two sisters and that’s not going so great. And that’s where we pick up the story. Genesis chapter 30, verse 1 through 31 verse 16.
Okay. So, yesterday in the book of Matthew we actually just kinda did a deep dive into the back story, like all the different things, the disruptions, the subversion that Jesus message was bringing, especially the disruption to those who were devout religious leaders. And we talked about how they were like, “you know, the reason He can do the stuff that He’s doing is because He’s empowered by the evil one to do these things”, which Jesus will address that plenty of times. And, so, we’ll talk about that when we get there, but the bottom line was that yesterday’s reading gave us a glimpse into what Jesus was seeing. He was seeing a human harvest on behalf of God bringing Earth’s people back to God and He was out in the harvest doing that. And we need to notice what He was doing, because what He wasn’t doing was coming up with an evangelism curriculum. What He was doing was talking about the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God and awakening people’s awareness to it. He was telling them that the thing they have been waiting for is already happening if they have eyes to see and ears to hear. And then He was demonstrating that reality through His ministry works. And then He’s kind of lamenting to His disciples, “this is a big harvest. The harvest is ready, but the laborers are few. Pray that they’ll be more, more to go do what I’m doing.” So, we moved into Matthew chapter 10 the day and Jesus is commissioning His disciples to go and do exactly that. He’s sending them into this harvest He was talking about. So, if this is the first opportunity for us to see Jesus sending out friends that He loves, His closest people, sending them out into the harvest, then we should pay attention. So, I’m quoting the Bible here. “Summoning His 12 disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness.” May I point out that it wasn’t Jesus death and resurrection, His work on the cross that made this possible. He hasn’t gone there yet. These are just 12 people that Jesus picked who are ordinary human beings and He’s basically saying, “look, just go do what you’ve seen Me do.” So, He gave them instructions to equip them on this mission on this journey. So, let’s take a look at what He said to do or don’t do. “Don't”, he says, “take the road that leads to the Gentiles and don’t enter any Samaritan town. Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Okay, so we can read that and go like, “well, the mission of the world of all the world’s people is try to tell the house of Israel that they’re lost sheep and should return to God.” And we could look at something like this, Jesus saying like, don’t go to the Gentiles, don’t go to Samaritans. Just go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and…and…and go like…scratch our heads and say, “what? Is this not like kind of in conflict with the apostle Paul, whose saying that the work of Jesus was to bring everyone, all nations together back to God. Isn’t that the story that God told Abraham, the story that we’re reading through now in the Old Testament now, that all nations of the earth would be blessed through Him? So, why is Jesus just being so exclusionary and so exclusive here?” And believe me, there’s plenty of different doctrines, different ways that people have interpreted and tried to live out what Jesus is depicting here. Since we know from the beginning of the story with Abraham, and since we know through the writings of the apostle Paul that yes, in fact, Jesus did come to restore all of the earth’s people back to Himself - no Jew, no Greek, no male, no female etc. etc., that Jesus isn’t giving an exclusionary instruction here, He’s telling them to go to their people. These are uneducated Hebrew fishermen for the most part, and tax collectors, zealots, like different kind of Hebrew people, but they have that in common. So, He’s not asking them to go without any education whatsoever into cultures they absolutely do not understand and have never had any kind of interaction. He’s saying like, “go into the harvest in the world that you live in in the culture that you understand and as you do it, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven has come near. And it’s interesting because Jesus pitch isn’t, “hey, your lost without me. Accept me. His pitch is, “the kingdom of heaven has come near, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This is the message that was awakening the hearts of Jesus hearers and there was a reason and they were misinterpreting it. They’d been waiting for this. They were waiting for a Messiah, a Redeemer, somebody to come and announce the kingdom of heaven is at hand and get everybody to rise up and revolt against these evil Romans who are occupying their ancestral land, which hadn’t been their own land for well over a millennia. So, Jesus saying, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” awakened things inside of them and they thought this was going to manifest itself in unified Israel when all Jesus was saying is, “if you have eyes to see or ears to hear you will see that God is never stopped working among you. You have silenced Him. Wake up and see what’s actually happening and what’s actually available right now if you simply have eyes to see it. And it’s no different for us today. We share in the same kinds of blindness is and Jesus came to awaken us. So, he tells them, “go. Like, go. Proclaim the kingdom of heaven has come near.” And then He’s like, “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, drive out demons.” Like…like just go do those four things. That’s just a whole complete sentence. It…I’m just like thinking to myself if I’m standing there in the crowd of friends and Jesus is like, “look go heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, drive out demons.” I'd…like you don’t even know what to do with a command or even an indentation like that. And He’s just saying it matter-of-factly because He’s just been doing it matter-of-factly. And e can think that He can just do it that way because He’s the son of the living God and yet He’s telling His friends who have no education, who do not understand theology, who are not practitioners of doctrine, He’s telling them to simply go and do what they’ve seen Him do. And then He tells them, “freely you have received, freely give” right? Like this is a wide-open posture. We’re not trying to carve off a little piece of the action for ourselves that we can hide in a tent somewhere under the ground. We’re not angling for how the optics of our ministry might look and who might be able to see us being all holy and pious. Jesus hated that kind of stuff. That’s the kind of stuff He goes after in the Gospels because it’s false. It’s a veneer of falseness. It’s a curated reality that’s not real that we can even deceive our own selves into believing but it’s not true or real. And Jesus can’t stand what’s false because it’s a lie, it’s a deception, it’s the cloud that plagues the human race. It’s the thing that’s been going on since the Garden of Eden and the deception of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When we look at Jesus we see a person who sees this clearly and is working diligently to do everything conceivable to get people to wake up to what’s going on so that they can become aware and change the story. And it’s a wide open story. “Freely you received, freely give. Don’t acquire gold, silver or copper for your money belts. Don’t take a traveling back for the road, extra shirt, sandals or staff. Everybody’s worthy of their food” and so on and so forth. And those…like…those last instructions we can be like, “He’s sending them out completely unprepared. Anything could go wrong and they won’t be prepared to deal with any of it.” So, what can we learn from this? I like to be prepared. In fact, I think obsessively so, like maybe at times even in unhealthy ways to be prepared to care for those who are in my charge, whoever they might be. And, so, I can look at this and see his would be really difficult for me to just walk out my front door and walk into completely unprepared. And that’s the thing, that’s the thing about Jesus. That’s what He was doing. And yet He never…there’s no stories of Jesus staring off into space completely lost, right? There’s never a depiction of Him sitting on a rock down by the Sea of Galilee, praying a prayer of like, “what the heck am I doing? I have no idea what the next step is.” He knows when He needs to know. He does what He needs to do. He’s always looking behind the false and finding the true and exposing the true. And that causes incredible amounts of disruption because we’re so used to hiding. People don’t like that. And yet it’s the truth that will bring us into the presence of freedom. So, there’s Jesus instructions. And…and then, like to put the little cherry on top of all of this, Jesus very, very clearly, after he’s telling his friends to simply go. He tells them what to expect. “I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. So, be shrewd as serpent and innocent as a dove. Beware of them, they’ll hand you over the local courts and flog you in their synagogues”, right? Like, that’s basically like saying, “they’re gonna…they’re gonna take you to court and they’re gonna drag you into church and beat you up. You’ll even be brought before governors and kings because of me to bear witness to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over don’t worry about what you’re gonna say. You’ll be given what to say at that hour because it isn’t you speaking but it’s the Spirit of your Father that’s speaking through you.” And now we get some clues about our own preparedness in our own strength. Jesus is saying, “this kingdom work isn’t something that you can simply arrange for by your own brute force. It doesn’t work that way. You can begin to do this kingdom work, the kind of work you’re seeing Me do when you are out of the way and out of control so that the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you.” Like, I know that we’ve covered some serious ground here that can feel highly theological in nature. Jesus isn’t making it highly theological though. We just make it highly theological to try to understand what he’s saying to do. And what He’s saying to do and what He’s saying we are going to be experience as we do it, we should be aware of because, like it’s so easy to just sign up for the Santa Claus in the sky, that…that we just have to ask for what we need and He’s just gonna drop it in our laps and that’s how life is supposed to work and then we’re so angry when it doesn’t work that way. And yet here we are in the Bible, Jesus the son of God is speaking here and telling us what our realities are supposed to be like. And how is it that we have such a disconnect? So, He’s like, “I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves and and you gotta be smart about it. You gotta stay innocent. You don’t play that game. Just beware. You’re gonna face some opposition. You might be in court. You might…you might get beat up in church. You…you might be brought before governors and kings but you…you’re gonna bear witness. You’re gonna reveal the kingdom in that situation. So, don’t worry about what you’re gonna say. It’s not gonna be you speaking. You’ve simply become open and available to go into this situation so that God can speak through you to them. It’s not about you. Brother will betray brother to death. Father will betray his child. Children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death. You’re gonna be hated by everyone because of my name but the one who endures to the end will be saved.” That’s kind of Jesus pitch. So, why are we so confused when what H says would happen, does? There’s a concept that’s kind of being introduced here. There’s a theme that threads its way through the teachings of Jesus and through all of the teachings of the New Testament and that is that if you want to truly live then you first have to die to yourself. And now we are beginning to see what that might look.
Jesus, we love You, we trust You, we believe You, and yet what You’re saying it kind of disconnects when we actually experience challenge and opposition. We very, very much want to live into our identity as Your children so we focus very diligently on who are in You and what we can do because of You. And yet we are watching You in the gospel of Matthew. We are watching You, light in the darkness, people amazed and overwhelmed. We are watching this, but we are also watching the darkness envelop and try to smother You. And You are simply saying, “You need to be awake. You need to be aware. You need to be as shrewd as a serpent. You need to be innocent as a dove because the darkness is going to do everything it can to swallow You too.” And yet, we acknowledge that You have told us we are the light of the world. And, so, help us Father understand what that means and how important that is and how vital, how vital it is that we stay true and that we allow Your work to remove from us what is false so that we too can announce the kingdom and live in the light as You are in the light, no matter what the darkness may do. Come Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus, Your precious name, we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I will be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hey DAB this is Kathleen in Mount Zion Illinois and I’m just calling today for an urgent prayer request. I’m sorry…I feel awful, you can hear me. So, my daughter…my whole family was just together in San Diego and things seemed….things seemed to be well and then everybody flew back to their own places and my daughter went to Dubai where she lives Abu Dhabi in Dubai, anyway that area and she’s been having migraines and found out that there is lesions on her brain and…and some odd shaped things on her brain, some oval-shaped things. They don’t know what they are and so they’re gonna do another MRI. They have to wait until February for some reason. And I just want everyone to pray that these things will go away, the way that this will be healed before her next MRI. And also, I need a way to get over to see her and so that she won’t be alone during this time. And any way so, we are working on all that and I just…I just pray people that…that this will be a miracle will happen here and that this will all be healed. So, I was just hoping you could pray with me and thank you so much family.
Good morning, this is Duncan Holmes from Fredericksburg Texas. I’m a first…I…I think I’ve sent recordings before, but I think only one was successful. So, let’s pray in the two minutes I have. I am totally blind, so I don’t know when this thing shuts off until voiceover tells me. And, so, when I’m recording, I don’t have voiceover. Let’s pray. Father God I bring Reed to you and any others on this community line that are hurting whatever is happening apply Father your balm of Gilead, apply whatever would take to comfort them, to walk them through whatever they’re all going through for Reed especially. It breaks my heart when people are…are…when I hear the needs and I hear the hurt. Father, the same…for the same for this one who calls herself Anonymous. Father may she find…she find comfort in your word and might she stay the path…the course. Father I don’t know what all to pray. I’m being general here. I don’t know to pray specifically. I thank you for this community. You’ve kept me in this group for five years now. My wife is now gone on to be with you back in October. She and I did this together every day except we didn’t always do the prayer…didn’t always go through the prayers. So, Lord I just ask you to…I just submit all of these to you Jesus and I know that time is limited so I better quit. Thank You Lord for hearing my prayer. Please…please be merciful. Amen.
Morning family I don’t normally do mornings at least not this early. It’s Paul from Wales. To the chap in Chicago whose voice was breaking, you were in my prayers straightaway. I could feel it in your voice. Please feel free, ring back with more. I’ll have a look on the Prayer While perhaps tomorrow see if there’s anything specific to pray about. Also just wanted to thank family whoever had those children that ring in with their prayers. Both my children are fully grown apples and it’s so lovely, it brought back memories of when they first committed their lives to God. And like so many young people, they go their own way. So, this morning Lord I just pray for all those people who gave their lives to you as youngsters and ask that they reconnect with you and come back and make this family so much bigger, so more effective and so more evangelical in your name so that mission might put some right back in this world. Amen.
Hi, DABbers this is Jean I’m calling in again with a prayer request for the persecuted church. If you remember I called in about Afghanistan and Algeria and I was going in alphabetical order, but I wanted to quickly step out of order to pray for Nigeria, the Nigerian church. I don’t know if you’ve heard but over Christmas there were 11 Nigerian Christians killed in an Isis Christmas video. The Nigerian church is extremely persecuted and suffering a lot right now and again I’m getting this information from the voice of the martyrs, but it is sharply divided along religious lines. There are about 80 million professing Christians in Nigeria. There are a lot of Islamic militant groups that are persecuting them and nearly Christians in northeastern Nigeria have lost family members to Bocu Huram ands and Islamic militants, Islamic violence. There have been entire congregations that have been displaced, pastors have been forced to leave the region. It takes immense courage to continue to serve Christ in this area. There is a need for Bibles in the north and there is an issue with famine as well in the North because of the jihadi activities. Farmers aren’t working because they’re afraid of being attacked and there’s just a lot going on for the Christians in Nigeria. So, I just want to lift them up. Lord Jesus, we pray that You would put Your hands on the Christians in Nigeria and comfort them, that You would encourage them Lord, that You would fill them with Your spirit and meet all of their needs, provide for their physical, emotional, and psychological needs Lord comfort them as they grieve. Give them courage in the midst of danger. I pray that You would give them hearts of forgiveness towards their persecutors and that Your word and Your gospel would spread. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
Hey Anonymous my sister, this is Michael from Arizona. I’ve got a new name for you to call the Lord. Brian had…when Brian read it your face and thoughts of you came into my mind and it was thre name that Haggai referred to the Lord. She said, “you are the Lord who sees me, you are the God who sees me.” And I think that’s a beautiful, intimate way to to refer to the Lord. Not only is it acknowledging that He sees your innermost parts and every part of you, but it also acknowledges that you reveal yourself to Him and are vulnerable to Him and open yourself like a flower. It’s very intimate and draws you closer and I just I think it’s an awesome name for you to for you to refer to the Lord. I think it’s an answer to your prayer and I so admire your vulnerability in calling in and turning to the Lord, turning to the DABber prayer line and being vulnerable. Ahh…I have trouble pronouncing that word. Anyway, I love you sis. Hang in there and tell all that negativity to take a hike. You don’t have time for it because life is so full. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hi Brian and the Daily Audio Bible community family my name’s Diana Davis and I’m the one that wrote Jewels of the Bible. I took the Bible line by line. I pulled out the verses and made them rhyme. __ the Bible I took it line by line but I’m leaving it to the world and I just got the news that I thought I was gonna get today and my…my cancer started out in my breasts and it metastasized to my brain and I had __ head radiation and they laser __ each one but I went back for my CT today and they’re all over my head and they said the only thing that they can do is put a drill and then inject chemo into my brain but he said that he wouldn’t recommend that for his wife or…or whatever, that it would…I wouldn’t be the same afterwards. So, I did everything that I’m supposed to do, that they’re supposed to do, and it’s…it’s at a stop where there’s…there’s no more to go. So, my husband after 25 years, 2 weeks after I was diagnosed drank and drank and drank and got real…so I had to get him out. I have two autistic boys ages 19 and 22. My prayer is quickly, my son Elijah he’s 19 but he’s severely autistic but I’m so…I know God’s gonna take care of it, I know, but please pray that Elijah and Michael get to stay together because my older son who’s also autistic but highly, he’s been on the __ about three years but he said his biggest fear is getting separated from Elijah. I’ve got them all set up with everything that I can possibly do but I just need your help and prayers because there’s so many people that can listen and pray for my son Elijah. He’s autistic and he’s so sweet, such a sweet boy. And he’s going to be really sad. And I know this is more than two minutes, but Brian the Daily Audio Bible and Jill says the Bible, you inspired that. I’ve been listening to you every day for 13 years Elijah is…
Hey Lee in Chicago it’s your brother Bart in Kentucky. I heard your call today, your prayer request on January 7th and I want you to know that I’m praying for you and I know many others are too. I’m sorry that you’re having to go through these tough times where everything seems like it’s falling apart. I understand completely. So, keep praying to the Lord. Keep asking him to hold your hand as you walk through this troubling landscape. He won’t let you go brother and we’ll keep praying for you. Call in and let us know how we can further pray for you in detail so that we know what’s going on with you. We love you. Have a good day. Have a great day everybody, all you DABbers out there. Thank you for your fellowship and thank you Brian and Jill for this podcast.