Daniel 11:2-35, 1 John 3:7-24, Psalms 122:1-9, Proverbs 29:1
Today is the 3rd day of December welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is great to be here with you today. It is great to come in out of the storm of everything that…that goes on in a day and just exhale and just be here and let God’s words speak. So, it’s so good to be here with you today. And what we do here every day is pick up where we left off yesterday in this never-ending rhythm that allows the word of God, the Scriptures to speak into our lives. And, so, here we are to take the next step and the next step leads us back into the book of Daniel in the Old Testament today. Daniel chapter 11 versus 2 through 35. And we’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week.
Okay. So, there were a number of clarifications written down in the letter that we’re reading right now, first John. And a lot of times when we’re reading the letters…well…you may have noticed, as we’ve been reading these letters, there’s not like a whole lot of personal stuff going on, like “Aunt Mary’s doing fine. Uncle Joe broke his arm in a fall.” Like, there’s not that kinda stuff in here. The letters are pretty direct about what they’re saying. And a lot of times when there’s clarifications then we can assume that there was a question at some point that needed clarified, some kind of question had been raised, even if it was a proverbial question, even if the writer John here wanted to answer a question that hadn’t been asked just to simply help encourage the people. And a lot of times we can assume because these churches were spread out and communicated by letter. And, so, between letters a lot of things happen. Ironically, the clarification of the answers to the questions today are things we ask. So, let’s just go back through here and try to ask the question and then receive the answer from first John. So, the first one we encounter would be, “why was the son of God revealed?” And, so, from first John we read. “The son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the devil’s works. Everyone who has been born of God does not sin. Because His seed remains in him, he is not able to sin because he has been born of God.” Okay, and then moving deeper into this topic, the next question would be, “how can you tell the difference then? How can you tell the difference between God’s children and children of darkness?” And the answer, I’m reading from first John, again. “This is how God’s children and the Devils children become obvious. Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother or sister.” We could look at something like that and go, “that’s kinda harsh”, but the distinction of our love for one another is the foundational evidence that we are disciples of Jesus. If you will remember before his crucifixion at his last meal Jesus told His disciples, “a new commandment I give to you, that you will love one another as I have loved you.” This is a fundamental distinction of the body of Christ, which should bring a bit of conviction as we look at our own lives. What we are supposed to be doing is showing and modeling for the world how to love one another because if everyone loves one another as they love themselves, if everyone loves one another as Christ loved us the problems in the world go away. And yet we look inside of ourselves and see we’ve got work to do. It’s so easy for us to point out how somebody else isn’t loving their brother or sister and so difficult for us. We give ourselves such a pass for the ways that we behave sometimes. And like James said, it’s not right. It’s not right. Peter said similar things. John is saying similar things. Let’s move on and just kind of telegraph another question. John has been talking about holding on to the things that you were taught from the beginning. And, so, the question would be…well…remind me, what’s the message, what is the core message that we’ve heard from the beginning that we’re supposed to hold onto? And the answer…and again I’m reading from first John, “for this is the message you have heard from the beginning. We should love one another unlike Cain who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brothers were righteous.” Okay. So, we move into all things here, all kinds of things here. The murder…the murder of Abel by Cain didn’t just happen at a whim. His deeds were evil according to first John. And, so, leading up to that murder what do we have? Things like envy, things like jealousy, things like comparison, things that lead us away from loving one another. These are the things that lead to worse and worse and worse things. What John is bringing out here, “the message that you heard at first is the message that you must love one another.” Okay, let’s move on to another question. How is it that we know God’s love? And I’m answering again by quoting first John. “This is how we have come to know love. He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has this world’s goods, and sees a fellow believer in need, but withholds compassion from him, how does God’s love reside in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.” Okay. So, we see the theme that’s arising here is the reminder that this whole thing does not work without love. I mean the fundamental commandments in the law in the Old Testament would be that we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, with everything that we are and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. The fundamental commandment of the New Testament coming from the lips of the Savior would be, “a new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you.” This is basically all John’s saying. He’s saying like, “this is the core. This is what you’ve heard from the beginning. This is the essence. This is the starting point.” And very similarly to James, John is here saying, “look, you can say what you want to say. If it’s not borne out of new life it’s not true” or quoting him, “let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.” In other words, truly from our hearts we are putting ourselves into action the action of loving our brothers and sisters as Christ has loved us. Then John goes on to say like, “it’s in your love that you begin to know that you belong to the truth and that you are going where you’re supposed to go.” Like, “if you are loving your brothers and sisters as Christ loved you then you know you are on the right path.” John says it this way. “This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and will reassure our hearts before Him whenever our hearts condemn us, for God is greater than our hearts and He knows all things.” John is referring to our love for one another, reassuring us that we are doing the right thing. And then last question from our reading today, if we’re holding on to what we heard from the beginning, what is the command of God, what are we supposed to be doing? And I answer again from John. “Now this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and to love one another as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commands remains in Him and He in Him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.” So, again this all does boil down to loving one another and that love transforming us and that love compounding upon itself so that it grows, so that we walk around on this planet with the Spirit of Christ in us operating precisely as Jesus did. This is the goal. Christ-like is the goal, that Jesus came and this one man, the very image of God in human form, lived a life modeling how this is supposed to look. If everyone looked that way then the world would experience shalom, things as they were intended to be. This is what the body of Christ is supposed to be modeling. I guess I’m getting a little bit passionate here. I have plenty of work to do. I have plenty of work to do to but it’s not enough anymore to just say we have work to do. It’s actually time that we do the work because it’s time to move forward. I remember at the beginning of this year praying for vision and believing that we would see vision and we did. It was nothing like we intended it to look, but we were exposed, humanity was exposed. We have seen ourselves at our worst. We have seen things more clearly than we have seen maybe in decades. We see how things are. The thing is we can’t keep talking about how things are. The way forward from here is loving one another as Christ loved us. This is His command. There is no way forward without that element and we aren’t capable outside of the fact that we have the Spirit of Christ within us. I know we are at the beginning of this month. I know what this month represents. I know how crazy this month can get and I know that we’re going to blink our eyes three times and it’s going to be New Year’s Day. What we do right now through this season is gonna round out what this year meant for us and for our lives. And if love, actual genuine love coming forth from our very being and spilling out into the world isn’t a part of the equation we’re just gonna keep having the same kinds of years over and over and over. Maybe not with…maybe not with a virus, but the same circle. We will just keep making the same circle pointing out everyone else’s failures and never addressing the work that we must do to love one another as Christ loved us.
Father, this is kind of pointed and kind of hard but it’s kinda true. In fact, it is true. This is the leading edge of the work that we must do. We keep trying to correct all kinds of symptoms without actually dealing with the problem. And, so, we keep bandaiding things together just to get us down the road without dealing with the issue. So, Holy Spirit, come. Well up within us. We become aware of where You are leading us. And we pray most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word and deed by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole hearts. We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves. We are truly sorry. And we humbly repent. In Your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are and direct what we will be, that we may do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You, our God. We pray this in the name of Jesus. 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.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hi siblings this is your little sis, His little Cherry in Canada and I’m calling because I want to call so many times and I don’t and I’m not sure why. Well there are thousand reasons why, but I won’t get into all of that. But I am calling because I’ve decided that I need you guys and even if my messages don’t sound perfect, even if I’m not exactly happy with what I…what came out of my mouth I’m just gonna call when I feel I need to and I hope that’s okay. Of course, that’s okay, right? If it was anyone else, I would tell them it’s okay, call, we need you, we need you. And, so, I am calling not so much because you need me but because I need you. But anyway. Blah blah blah. I’m calling because tomorrow is the first day of Advent and I am celebrating Advent with all my heart this year. Advent is about waiting, preparing, expecting, salvation. And boy I don’t know about you, but I need that. If there was ever a year that begged for Advent, it’s 2020. So, I’m refocusing on waiting, waiting for salvation because that’s the part that I can really relate to. So, tomorrow as I deliberately observed the first Sunday of Advent I am really wholeheartedly waiting for salvation and I know that can only come from the Messiah.
Greetings Daily Audio Bible family this is Egbert from Belize by the way of California. I’m calling in for a young lady by the name of Asherah she’s a college student and the spirit of fear is evident in her life. I ask that you would pray for her, that she would be able to be healed from whatever traumatic circumstances she is facing, whether it’s friendship that she’s in need of. Asherah be advised that you do have a virtual family with the Daily Audio Bible family and we will pray for you. I will pray for you. And sometimes you may not hear your actual name, or you may not hear the prayers that others choose to pray for you. They may just do it based on hearing the request and not announce it. So, I’m calling to assure you that this virtual family do pray and that’s what we do through the Spirit of the living God in us and we know that in the times we’re living in that prayer is one of the most essential things that we have to combat the enemy. So, rest assured that you’re being prayed for and we pray for your families, other people, and other students that may be dealing with a similar situation. We love you. God bless you and we are sending you a virtual hug in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Hey everyone, this is Gigi from Gainesville and I just want to add my thanks to the Thanksgiving prayer list because everyone else has been so…been encouraging and thought you’d at least find my story amusing because I’ve had time. I’ve been having a hard time recording this. I keep like feeling so awkward. I don’t know why. So, I just want to say thanks to God for bringing me the man that I would fall in love with and get married to. I’ve just been this odd type of person I guess that never has felt like that was for me and…but I told God, you know, I’m open to your will and if you do want me to engage in such behavior you need to bring the person directly to my doorstep. And he did so. And it was strange. I mean as soon as I saw the person, Seth, it was just like unlike any other person and I treated him very differently. I was not very composed. And, so, my whole life has changed because, you know, the plans that I had were for a single woman, you know, maybe in the mission field or something but now I probably will have a family and he’s been just so wonderful and he fits in so perfectly. We live with my mom because actually my dad’s passing it’s just so much nicer to stay together and we’re…it’s just so encouraging to be altogether, and it’s so blessed and it’s just so many happy feelings and emotions. It’s great. And I just wanted to wish you guys all a happy new year. Very Christmas.
Hey Daily Audio Bible this is Hope from the Heartland. Listen every day love each one of you so much. Thank you for your voices and your prayers and for this ministry Brian of reading the word every day. And I’ve been meaning to call in for a while and just wasn’t sure what exactly to say so I thought I would just begin to pray for myself and others and…and leave the rest to God. Father God we just come before you today Lord just with hearts full of praise for who you are. God you are sovereign, and you are good. You’re our anchor in these hard days. You see us God as you saw Hagar in the desert and Lord we just lift our hearts to You. I pray You’d be with each one that is listening to this Lord and that You would just continue their work in their…Your work in their lives. And Lord I just lift up my own family today Lord. My husband has been out of work for a while and I’m not sure where he stands with You. The dynamics of our family are very very hard. Tomorrow I’m going to be starting some part-time work and Lord You know that my desire is just for my husband to walk with You and to find joy and for our family to have peace father in the midst of this chaos and that we would love You and serve You with all of our hearts for all of our days. And right now, Lord people are just not getting along. And I just want to have You be high and lifted up Lord. Please bless each member of the Daily Audio Bible. I love You. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Hi China, congratulations on finding out the…that the baby was a girl. And we are so happy for all your friends are missing you. They’re saying God bless. We pray that the child doesn’t miscarriage __ the child come to full term and be born a most healthy baby. We pray that she will be a great prophetess of God and close to God’s heart in influencing the children of God all over the world and all children of God and we also pray that she never be having __ problems and this thing that thing, you know, all the problems that she may have a perfectly happy life. God bless China harden and Ben. Bye everybody. It’s been lovely talking with you.