Genesis 16:1-18:15, Matthew 6:1-24, Psalms 7:1-17, Proverbs 2:1-5
Today is the 7th day of January welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian and it is wonderful to be here around the Global Campfire with you today. It’s a special day. We have completed…well…we haven't…we’re about to complete our first full week of the year and our first full week on this journey through the Scriptures together and just kind of getting moved into the year and establishing the rhythm. That’s a big feat. We have moved through it. We are settling in for the journey of a lifetime. And, so, it is wonderful to be here with you today as we take the next step forward. And, of course, that next step leads us to the place, the exact place that we left off yesterday, which happens to be back in the book of Genesis. Today, Genesis chapter 16 verse 1 through 18 verse 15.
Okay. So, as we complete our first full week together, we are greeted with something that we literally cannot ignore. Literally, we…we cannot ignore this because it is essential, irreplaceable in our faith journey.
But first, in the book of Genesis, now Abraham has a son. He didn’t have the son with his wife Sarah. He had the son with Haggar, a wife that was given to him by his wife and that has obviously caused some issues. But then the Lord comes by and sees Abraham and Abraham feeds the group of people that are there, and though the prophetic word is given, “about this time next year you will have your own son.” Like, Sarah is going to have a child. Both of them laughed to themselves about that. And in the end, Sarah says, no I wasn’t laughing. I was laughing. And the Lord says, but…but you were. You were laughing. And about this time next year you will have a son. And we will certainly watch that story play out in the days to come. But it does give us an opportunity to consider the things that we sense the Lord instructing us or promising us and whether or not those things are impossible enough for us to laugh about them. I mean it’s like we’re here at the beginning of the year and so it’s not a bad time to think about this time next year. What is life going to look like? What direction are we walking in? Are we walking toward this promise or are we standing still and spending our energy laughing about the impossibilities? It’s a great time to spend some time reflecting upon that because how this year’s going to go for us will be transformative. That’s what the Bible does, but we will end up in whatever direction we go in. Like if we walk in a straight line in a certain direction in our lives that’s where we’re going to be, on that path. And, so, it’s a good time to think about this time next year.
But then we flip over into Matthew’s gospel and Jesus is doing some teaching. And generally the teaching that we are reading from today is Jesus talking about hypocrisy, talking about doing things in secret because God who sees everything then sees what’s done in secret because the things that are done as a performance to sort of bolster the image that we are presenting to the world, like if we’re doing the right thing so that we can be seen doing the right thing, then our motive is exposed. We’re doing it to be seen. So, Jesus is teaching that life is from within. These things that you do in secret, those are things that are true about you. The things that you do for your image, your motives are different. The truth of life comes from within us. Not a performance that we give so that we can look a certain way. And Jesus even brings that into prayer. Like, don’t be like the hypocrites. Don’t go on and on and on. And don’t be in public where the whole point is for you to be seen as pious. And then He says look, when you pray, pray like this. And that is where we get the globally famous Lord’s Prayer. In fact, let’s pray it together, let’s pray it together around the global campfire. “Our father who art in heaven hollowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” So, like, probably a good majority of us, thousands and thousands and thousands of us just prayed this together which is beautiful, but we just prayed something that we need to pay attention to because we just prayed something that is essential. So, Jesus taught us how to pray. He gave us the Lord’s Prayer. Immediately after saying this He spoke something that is irreplaceable. Like this immediately follows the Lord’s prayer. If you forgive those who sin against you your heavenly Father will forgive you, but if you refuse to forgive others your Father will not forgive your sins. Like, that is from Jesus. So, all of the sudden forgiveness is a category that reaches the top of the list if we want to free ourselves and experience transformation in our lives. And we just prayed this - forgive us our sins or forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass or sin against us. Forgive us as we forgive is the Lord’s prayer. And then Jesus brings it out and says, that’s how it works friends. That’s how it works. If you’re not willing to forgive, then how is it that you expect forgiveness. And I realize having been in ministry a long time and having…having seen plenty of things that people are willing to do to each other how difficult some forgiveness can be, how traumatic some of the offenses and sins against us are. Like, I’m not trying to make this easy or trite or simplistic. I’m just saying Jesus is telling us that this is how things work. And we could very easily go like, that’s just simply not fair because of what I’ve gone through. We have to, though, remember Jesus as He’s being affixed to an executioner’s beam with nails through his appendages to attach Him there, as He’s praying, “forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing.” Like, none of us I don’t think have been crucified…like we haven’t reached that level. And we’re watching this be modeled and that wouldn’t have been easy for Jesus. And, so, it’s not about whether or not this is easy and it’s not diminishing the pain and trauma that we experience out in our lives at the hands of other people because forgiveness isn’t just about letting somebody get away with something. It really fundamentally coming from within is saying, I can’t keep this inside of me, this poisoning my entire life. This is shaping everything. I can’t keep this inside of me because I’m holding onto a person and an event. I’m carrying it around within me as if it is ever present and ever ready to give me pain-and-suffering. Like, it’s simply acknowledging I don’t know whether I can release and forgive not. But by holding onto this and holding it within myself I am I am enslaving myself to this. I’m trapped. Forgiveness is sort of like the first step at open hands to say I can’t carry this. I don’t know how to let a person get away with what they did but I am not the judge. I am not the one who makes the call here. I can’t release them. I can’t release the event but I…I can surrender it to God. I can let go of it and release it to God. That is what we’re talking about here and that is the first step, releasing it, releasing the event or the people involved, releasing them to God, releasing them to the actual judge allowing the most-high to deal justly in ways that we have no comprehension, to release so that we can be set free. Not to release so that somebody can get away with something. To release so that we are no longer chained to it understanding that we are in constant need of forgiveness and realizing that forgiveness isn’t something that just flows to us. It’s something that flows through us. And depending upon our story, like I’m not saying this is something that you make a decision to do this moment. And that’s it. That’s the end of it. Some of us can do that, depending on what’s…what’s going on. But to understand that this is an actual category actually spoken to by our Savior helps us to understand that this isn’t something that we can continue to ignore. And it’s not because the Lord is mean, it’s because He is putting things back together. He is putting us back together. Maybe we have been fractured and broken. But we cannot keep the poison within us and get put back together. We realize that forgiveness is the ticket to our own freedom. And when we can learn to let go then we realize we don’t have to carry the dead weight around in our lives anymore. And, so, forgiveness, big topic, different for every single one of us but the end result is still the same for us, freedom. And, so, working through this has to be a category in our lives as we move through the Scriptures. And may we begin today right here at the end of our first week. If we begin this practice of making forgiveness an actual category in our lives and begin to observe ourselves and the ways we’re carrying offenses around and unforgiveness around and how much that is actually affecting us, how much energy it takes to maintain that, how much pain-and-suffering it brings us, what would it look like if we weren’t dragging those things around anymore? That’s how we begin to imagine what forgiveness will do for us.
Father, we invite You into this because this is not something that we can ignore but it’s not something that we want to face either. And, so, we need Your guidance. We need You to come speak truth into these situations. We need Your comfort and Your counsel, that we might know how to navigate letting go and releasing events and people to You so that we are no longer dragging these things around in our hearts. So, come Holy Spirit and teach us what it might look like to forgive. 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 will be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hi this is Still in Him praying for you in Kansas. This is my first call. I’m also celebrating today my first year with DAB. My youngest son kept bothering me about doing it and I thought, oh great something to add to my to do List. He kept talking about this Global Campfire. And I didn’t see how community could be built online in the way that it has. And hearing the word spoken by Brian has added so much to my reading the Bible as well as listening and him adding his knowledge has shown me things that I’ve wanted to know and sometimes things that I didn’t want to know but needed to hear. Having been listening to the requests for prayers and the prayers for others have been a great blessing and I am…I a, honored to pray for my wonderful DAB family and I totally understand the community now. I am packing up 2022. I’m looking at all the wonderful blessings that God has given me and I’m looking for a good 2023…2023 and praying for all of you and __ the community and hearing the Bible going again. Thank you so much. Love you guys. Bye.
Hi this is Micah in Awe in Kansas City MO area. I just wanted to reach out and give some messages to some DABbers. Sean 3:16 really hit me in the heart today with what he said talking about he wish he would’ve been able to tell Pelham what he meant to him. And I wanna tell you all what you mean…what you mean to me. Like you are all our staples in my life. Many of you that are consistent callers like Sparky, and Victoria Soldier, Blind Tony, so many others. There’s so many that I know you whenever I hear your voice but it’s hard to list you all. You mean so much to me. You’re…you’re friends to me even though you’re not here in person. But I love you so dearly and I hope that your lives are going well and I’m here praying whenever I hear your prayer requests. Today I want to pray specifically for Peggy in Texas. Your son Ben, it made me weep when you told me what was going on with Ben and I just wanna ask. I’ll just pray now. Father we just ask for Ben Lord. We ask for some normalcy in Ben’s life. We ask that You let him be the father and a husband that we want him to return to Lord. We want him to be able to be that in a healthy way Lord. I know that he has all these medical issues that have caused him to have to be in physical therapy places. We ask for a miracle Lord, a reversal of the stroke, healthy….the trimmers going away where he can begin to do things on his own Lord and where he can get some assemblance of normalcy back in his life. And Lord we just ask for just comfort during this time and encouragement for Peggy. Thank You for women like Peggy, mothers like Peggy that pray. And please Lord we just ask for a modern day miracle here for Ben. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. I love you guys and be safe out there. We’ll talk to you next time.
Hey everyone happy new year. This is Pam His Ransomed Soul in New Jersey. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve called in here. I guess you could say I fell off the DAB wagon. And I could offer excuses to as to why that is and what had happened but I won’t because that’s not the reason I called in today. I wanted to call in and say to Mark Street from Sydney Australia. Mark, I’m praying for you. Darling, I want you to know that you are not the only one that this kind of thing happens to. I’ve done it. I’ve lost my cool and I’ve snapped horribly at friends and family more times than I care to admit. We all fall short. Keep that in mind Mark. I dare say that there are many of us here who have been in your shoes and feel awful about it but our God is loving and forgiving. He’s merciful, filled with compassion. And as the song that played on January 1st when your call aired states, you are perfectly loved. You asked God for forgiveness, I’m sure you’ve asked your mom for forgiveness, and I’m praying you will be able to forgive yourself now and keep moving forward and not let the enemy trip you up any longer Mark. God bless you brother.
Hey, this is Pam, His Ransomed Soul in New Jersey. Today is Monday January 2nd and I just wanted to say to God’s Chosen from California, thank you so much for calling in today and for singing with your daughter. It was so beautiful to hear the both of you and I could actually hear the smiles in their voices as you sang. As a mom of a special needs adult son I know how hard some days and even some seasons can be. So hearing this today just filled up my heart and it made my day. So, thank you for sharing that with all of us here. May God bless and keep you both and may the joy of the Lord be your strength always.
Hi DAB this is Woman of the Lord and it is my first time calling. This last year I embarked on DAB for the first time and I’m so elated to have completed it. I’m even more elated to start this journey again for the second time. And I also finished my first ever Bible study in the month of December. And my take away from the year has been a new found meaning in prayer and the belief that it does work. My challenge for this year is to listen to the prayer wall daily and to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. So, I ask for your support and guidance that the little light inside of me stays lit and that I can continue to grow with you all as the year progresses. I wanna say a special thank you and a special prayer for doctor Ryan, my mentor who introduced me to the DAB. And what a wonderful human and light she’s been in my life to have a rekindled relationship with God. Thank you so much. I also want to pray for everyone here in the Daily Audio Bible as well as Brian who is constantly reminding us to have eyes to see and ears to hear so that we may act when God answers us. Thank you everybody and happy new year.
Hi DAB family this is Gigi from gville calling and asking for prayer. I am still in nursing school in my last semester, and we recently found out that I’m pregnant again. My first baby girl is…she’s gonna be 11 months this month. So, almost a year old and we’re having another girl and the due date’s July. So, just need to get through these last couple of months and then I’ll be at home doing the online bachelor’s program. So, that’ll be a lot easier. Yeah we didn’t think…we weren’t planning on this that’s for sure but I believe God is helping us through it already. And it would be nice…yeah…having two little girls close in age. They’ll be friends. Ahhh…yeah. Thank you for your prayers. Have a good day. Love you guys. Bye.