Ezra 3:1-4:23, 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4, Psalms 28:1-9, Proverbs 20:24-25
Today is the 6th day of the month of August welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here together with you today as we gather around the Global Campfire and have God’s word come into the story and intermingle with our stories and advise and guide and correct and direct us and what we need for today. So, let’s dive in. We are reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week and moving into these new books that we have encountered, the book of Ezra in the Old Testament and the letter to…the first…well it’s not the first letter to the Corinthians, but it is known as first Corinthians, a letter written by Paul to the church in Corinth. And we’ll get there soon enough. But first, Ezra chapter 3 verse 1 through 4 verse 23.
Okay. So, in the letter to the Corinthians, known as first Corinthians that we’re reading through now from the apostle Paul, we are getting glimpses into the Corinthian church and the kinds of questions that they’re asking because they’re the things that Paul is teaching and talking about. And, so, we can kind of deduce that from their questions they’re rational people and they’re thinking things through and some of them are people of means and have power and other are not highborn. This is a mixed Jew and Gentile church and invariably questions are arising about what’s happening to them. Like this transformation that is happening to them is something that they can sense, it’s something that they can see among their community. But how to live this out and what is happening here are the kinds of questions that they’re answering…are asking. And Paul is talking about how the gospel is nonsense, basically, if you approach it in a worldly way trying to use ultra-rationalism. So, I mean let’s just go there so that we can kind of get ourselves in that headspace. What Paul is saying is that God had a plan to redeem the world and that plan was very ancient and very hidden, like up until that present time but then was revealed, the plan was revealed in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, but you couldn’t recognize that or become aware of that unless in following Jesus you began to have eyes to see and ears to hear. Okay. So, like everything that I just explained this is definitely basic Christianity and we could all be just like, “yeah…got it. I know of it.” But If you backup and step away from like looking at this through a spiritual lens and just look at what we’re saying here, it sounds like nonsense. If you are rooted in…in your five physical senses and what your mind can process and then to be told, “God had an ancient plan. It was hidden up until now. Jesus revealed this plan by the power of the Holy Spirit” and you never heard of any of this before, you’re like, “who’s the Holy Spirit. Like what’s going on here? How do I have eyes to see and ears to hear?” It sounds like nonsense. It doesn’t make sense. However, once you felt the truth of what’s being say…said, once you become aware of your spirituality and you are awakened to that and you feel this love from…from the heart of your Father as it floods in, then you can’t really see the world any other way, which is really hard to describe to a person who has…who isn’t trying to look through the world through spiritual eyes. And this is the kinds of questioning that were happening in the Corinthian church. Like how do I make this spiritual awareness part of my every day awareness, part of my all the time never off always on kind of experience of life? So, quoting Paul from first Corinthians, “we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit because it is foolishness to him. He is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything and yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For who has known the Lord’s mind that he may instruct him?” Okay. So, what Paul’s saying here…and this is kinda gonna be a bad analogy probably, but it will…it’ll work. We understand what an antenna is, and whatever that antenna exists for it is to receive signals from somewhere to do something, right? And the signals are there whether the antenna is on or not. But if the antenna gets turned on, then the signals that are already there can…can be gathered and deciphered and used. And Paul is saying when we are made new creations we basically receive that equipment, we become aware that there is a lot more going on than we had previously been aware of and we are awakened to a deeper understanding of reality, one that includes spirituality. So, again using this bad analogy, if your antenna is on and you are in this awareness trying to explain it to somebody who doesn’t have the antenna or its shut off then what you are describing doesn’t make sense, they’re not getting the signal. So, in effect what we’re being told here in this letter is that our mind alone, and our experiences alone, our awareness of the world that we live in and how it works alone is not capable of deciphering an understanding the ways of God. We would need something…we would need a bigger antenna…we would need something greater than our own mind in order to step into that arena and become aware. And I confess, this is true. I confess in my own experience this is true because I live in my mind. Like, that’s where I spend most of my life and I have done my dead level best to hold God in my mind. And God doesn’t fit in my mind. He blows it. None of it does make sense without a belief in…like a firm faith in the fact that Spirit…Spirituality…like we are more than our bodies, we are more than what we can experience with our physical senses equipped for this world. There’s more going on. If we can’t get there, then it is all nonsense. But even if we believe it and we try to get there by holding God in our mind…like in other words, “I’m going to learn everything there is to know. I’m gonna read everything anybody has ever said. I’m gonna study, study, study, study, study, study, study until I know all of the thoughts about God that have ever been issued in this world, then I will know God.” That's…that’s not how it works. Knowing someone is not just knowing all you can know about them. Knowing is deeper than that. A good analogy would be love, right? You can't…you can’t rationalize why you deeply are committed to someone for the rest of your life through thick and thin. Like you can’t rationalize how you love someone, you just do. But since this is a part of our experience, we accept it. But if we have to sit down and explain it then we’re gonna need the language of art, like we’re gonna need language that speaks of something greater than our experiences. So, if we can’t rationalize all of this, we can’t hold God in our minds. And this is something that the Corinthian people were wrestling with. What to do? Like what to do? And this is where Paul gives us something that we quote all of the time, but now we see it in its context and have a better understanding. Yeah, you cannot hold God in your mind. So, God gave you His mind. We have the mind of Christ, according to the apostle Paul and it is available to us if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, if back to the bad analogy, if the antenna is on and we’re receiving the signals then the mind of Christ can open in us allowing us to see the world through His eyes. That’s what one of the primary goals of our faith is. When we look at the world through the mind of Christ, while then we are seeing on earth as it is in heaven, we are seeing God’s goals and desires for humanity, we are seeing His love and compassion on us, we are seeing his long-suffering and mercy for us as a species and us as individuals for all of the missteps that we make every single day. We see things as they are and not with the limited equipment that we have to navigate this planet on our own. It’s a bigger story that we need tune into in order to navigate as a new creature upon this earth that is fallen. We are here to be a part of the restoration and we have been given what we need in order to do that, the mind of Christ.
And, so, Jesus we invite You fully - mind of Christ open within us. Make us aware. Give us spiritual site that we may see what’s really going on and what Your hopes and desires are for our lives, our families, our communities, this world, and how we might participate because we are awake and aware and seeing clearly. Holy Spirit, well up from within. Lead us deeper into Jesus today. Give us this mind we pray in Your precious name. Amen.
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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.