Isaiah 48:12-50:11, Ephesians 4:17-32, Psalm 69:1-18, Proverbs 24:5-6
Today is September 26th, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is great to be here with you, as it always is every day, as we move forward together in the Scriptures and through the Scriptures. So, we’ll will pick up where we left off yesterday, obviously, that’s what we do every day. And that leads us back into the book of Isaiah, we are, I’d say 75% through the book of Isaiah-ish and picking up where we left off yesterday will bring us to chapter 48 verse 12, through chapter 50 verse 11 today.
Okay so, several years ago reading through this passage that we read today in the letter to the Ephesians, I was reading through it and thinking of it in terms of wholeness and new nature, becoming who we were intended to be. In other words, like the full offering of what the Gospel brings to us, this transformation into a righteous and holy, set apart person. And I was trying to think like, what describes this state of being of wholeness and of course wholeness probably is the best word or shalom, the way things were supposed to be. But as I was thinking it through, I was like, what is the modern vernacular of what we’re going for, because everybody, I mean everybody, nobody really thinks they’re perfect and so we all know the things that are visible that are imperfections about us. And I don’t just mean just physically but in our character or whatever. We also know the things that are hidden really well that we’re working on, but nobody usually wakes up in the morning and thinks there’s just really nothing to work on. I’m perfect. So, everybody is aware, to some degree of some deficits in their lives. Ironically, that’s part of the cultural equation, that’s the pool we’re swimming in. And so, entire industries centered around marketing things, key into that knowledge that there are things that we want, there are things that we want to do, there are things that we very much want to improve in our lives. And so, often in like a marketing campaign is centered around showing us what we lack and showing us the solution to that lack. And for 99.99 you can fix that lack and that thing will be fulfilled, and that thing will become whole. So, as I was thinking this through a few years ago, I thought of a very, very popular thing to say. I’m trying to be the best version of myself, and I ended up using that analogy, even in writing ‘The God of Your Story’ because I think we can understand that. If we have a lack, the commercial comes on, tells us of something that we didn’t know that we needed but because of our sense of lack we realize this thing, I want this thing, because if you can become closer to the best version of yourself, why wouldn’t you want that product or service. And in so many ways this vista, this little pull off on the road of Ephesians that we get to get out of the car and look out across today, is discussing with us how to achieve or how to move toward the best version of ourselves. So, just listening to Paul as he begins in our reading today and I quote, “in the Lord’s name then, I will warn you, do not continue to live like the heathen whose thoughts are worthless and whose minds are in the dark. They have no part in the life that God gives, for they are completely ignorant and stubborn. They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint.” That is probably a really decent description of not the best version of who Paul’s talking to and not the best version of ourselves. Right, I mean, living like the heathen, worthless thoughts, minds in the dark, completely ignorant, stubborn, no feelings of shame about any of that, a person was given themselves over to vice and does all sorts of indecent things with no restraint. I suppose we should all be willing to agree, that’s not the best version of anybody. So how do we move away from that category and move toward the best version of ourselves? Quoting from Paul, “get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to. The old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.” So, that is the best version of ourselves, that is the version we were intended to be, but that’s not just acknowledge that this would be the best version of ourselves, let’s understand what’s being said here. You must put on the new self. Okay, if we must put on the new self, then it must be possible. And this new self, according to Paul, is created in God’s likeness, in the image of God. Can we just acknowledge that because of Jesus’s love for us, that is even a sentence that can be said that we must put on the new self, which is created in the likeness of God and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. It is so encouraging to understand that what our soul longs for and what we keep seeking, which is wholeness, is not a product or service that can be bought but is a gift that is bestowed freely upon us. First of all, that it’s even possible, is mind blowing. Second of all, that it’s freely available. Now, we got a vista here that is life-changing. This is the best version of ourselves a new self, a new nature in God’s image. This is what being made new or justified or sanctified through faith is. There is no commercial of any sort that can show us any product that we need to buy that can do this for us. It is a gift, but we have to collaborate in this gift. We have to maintain this gift. We could receive the gift of a brand-new car and drive that brand-new car right into the ground by not maintaining it at all. So, what would it look like to first of all, realize the magnitude of the gift that we’re talking about and through faith receive this gift and then collaborate by maintaining what we’ve been given freely. What would that look like? I quote from Paul, “no more lying, each of you must tell the truth to the other believer because we are all members together in the body of Christ. If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin and do not stay angry all day. Don’t give the devil a chance. If you used to rob, you must stop robbing and start working in order to earn an honest living for yourself and to be able to help the poor. Do not use harmful words but only helpful words, the kinds that build up and provide what is needed so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad, for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the day will come when God will set you free. Get rid of all bitterness, passion and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tenderhearted to one another and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you, through Christ.” Let’s just acknowledge if this is how things are supposed to look, then they are possible. The best version of ourselves is to acknowledge, receive, and live into the fact that we are created in the image of God. We have been made Holy and set apart to God. This is how we we’re made and there are things in our lives, like, if we just go back and reread what I just read the Paul said, we’ll realize we have some work to do. But in paying attention to this and doing the work, collaborating with God and opening our hearts to his transformation inside of us. We are becoming the best person we can be, the most available person to God’s work that we can be. What we want is available. So, let’s give that some thought today as we enjoy this vista from the book of Ephesians.
So, Jesus, we love You. Why would You do this for us? Why do You love us like this, and even beyond what we can comprehend? It is a mind-blowing mystery. And that we can be completely transformed from the old self, the person that we were, into something brand-new, created in Your image and that this is free, that this is freely offered to us. All we can do is, humbly, express gratitude and a deep hearted surrender. And so, we surrender to You, Holy Spirit, inviting You to make us more and more aware of the transformation that is, not only available but that is occurring inside of us, day-by-day. Thank You, we love You. We want to live as the best versions of ourselves, because this is how we were made, and this is what is necessary for us to be about our Father’s business in this world. So, help us live into this we pray, in the name of Jesus, we ask. 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.
Prayer and Encouragements:
This is Hands to Heaven. Father God, I lift the burdened ones to You today. You know them Lord, though many others don’t. They rarely speak of the burdened and carry the burden in their heart. Sometimes they’re embarrassed, sometimes they’re ashamed, sometimes they’re uncertain who they can trust because their trust has been betrayed, once too often. Many walk through the doors of our churches Sunday after Sunday after Sunday with a smile pasted on their faces, while inside, their hearts are bleeding. Some have held on to the burden so long that they don’t know how to let go. I lift up the burdened ones to You Father. Let them know that You can be trusted with every burden, every care, every obstacle beyond which they cannot see. Lead them to the one Lord, the brother or sister in Christ that You have chosen to share their concerns and lead them to You. You are the only one that can relieve the heaviness in our heart, but You call all of us to be Your hands and feet here. Lead the burden ones to those of Your children Lord who have experienced Your relief, firsthand. So, that they can share the encouragement and comfort You have given them. And one day Lord, let the burden ones be the very children who lead the way for others to lay down their cares at the foot of the cross. Let their stories inspire the next generation of burden ones to reach out for the hope that rests in You alone. In Jesus name I pray. This is Hands to Heaven. God Bless you all.
Hey Daily Bible Audio, this is your brother in South Florida. And I’m calling today, September 21st to answer to a prayer request from a sister who called, who’s prayer request was played today, on the 21st podcast. You didn’t leave your name my sister, but you mentioned of being in a bad place and that you needed prayers but your mental health. Holy Spirit, Heavenly Creator, Eternal God, Power of the Blood of Jesus Christ, Angels of Heaven that protects us daily, You know everybody’s heart. You know everybody that calls to this prayer request, the Hotline. You know their heart, You know their names. This sister did not leave her name, but I want to pray for her. I want to pray for her mental health, she’s in a bad place. Holy Spirit, that You fill her heart with Your love. And this prayer be heard, this request to be heard by You. Not of the ears of anyone here Lord, but You, Holy Spirit. You know her heart. She came to be in a bad place right now and I talk to You and I ask You to please deliver her to a better place, to her promised land. To a place of peace, that you bring her mental health to an ease, God. That You’re the one that controls everything Father, and she said she’s new at this podcast. Allow her to be filled with love here in this prayer request. And I pray to You God that You’ll hold her and that You’ll lift her up in Your grace and Your glory and Your love. That You allow her to feel love by You and You only. That she not look for religion but instead she looks for a relationship with You, Holy Spirit.
I have no idea how I’m gonna do this in two minutes. But I guess I’m, I guess I’m just scared. I, I’ve struggled with my faith my entire life. With really wanting to connect to it, with trying, with but something just always just felt wrong or like it wasn’t working. And I, I don’t know, I guess today I’m feeling like maybe I, maybe I just had a moment of honesty with myself, or something, I don’t know. But I, I don’t think I’m a Christian. Which is scary in part because if, because of how I was raised and because of some abuse and that but also, I just don’t know what that, what that means for me. I want to be a Christian or I thought I did but it just doesn’t ever, it’s never seemed to work no matter how hard I’ve tried to get to know, I don’t know. I ….
Hi, I’m calling from Norway. How you doing my DAB family? I’m so grateful for this community. I’m just calling because I need your prayers right now. I’m not married but I have children and my boyfriend doesn’t want to get married. I feel very shameful to go to church because I’ve been told by the pastor that I have to get married. And it’s considered fornication. I don’t do that, of course, I believe what he’s saying, and I believe in the Bible. But I feel so shameful to go to church, to bring my children to the church. And right now, I’m pregnant. I just don’t know what to do. Please pray for me. Thank you, and I know I made mistakes, like everyone else of course, but I feel so shameful. I pray Jesus for forgiveness, that He would wash me with His blood. But I need your prayers. I need to get things straight, get married and have a family like everybody else. Go to church with my husband, God willing. Thank you DAB family, God bless you. Have a blessed day. In Jesus name. Bye.
Good morning DABers, I called in a couple of times before, but I’ve never left a name. And I decided that it would Rock Hound. Anyway, I’m calling in today for Travis, he called in for friend, Lindsey, who’s mom was killed in a car accident. And I’m also calling in for Big Dawg. So, Lord, I thank You so much for Lindsey and I thank You Lord that she survived this horrible car accident. I don’t know if she’s a believer or not Lord, but You know. And I pray that she Lord, and whoever else was in that car will see that You have a purpose for their lives Lord, as they move forward. And though we can’t understand when these horrible things happen, Lord, I pray that You give Lindsey eyes to see and ears to hear Your comfort and Your love spoken over her. I pray hope and healing Lord, over her broken heart and the troubled heart and the terrible hardships that she’s been suffering, Lord. And I also pray Lord, against the spirit of fear. In Jesus name. And for Big Dawg, I pray Lord, that You’d heal his broken heart over that broken marriage too. Help him to see Lord, that when he is weak, You are strong, Lord. Remind him, oh God, that our fight isn’t against flesh and blood but against the powers of the dark world and the spiritual forces in the heavenly realms. So, help him Lord, to come against these things, through the power of Your Holy Spirit. And help him to remember God, that greater is he who is in me then he who is in the world. I also pray Lord, that You remind him that he’s so dear to the Father’s heart. Give him a craving for Your word Lord, that can’t be satiated. Help him to stand firm and believe that Your word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. We thank You for Your incredible mercy and Your love Lord. And it’s in Your powerful name that we pray oh Jesus. Amen.