Leviticus 19:1-20:21, Mark 8:10-38, Psalms 42:1-11, Proverbs 10:17
Today is the 26th day of February. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. And it is great to be here with you again, coming to you from the Galilee, from near the Sea of Galilee, which is always a fun thing to say, and an even more fascinating thing to do. We had a fantastic day yesterday. Busy, very busy, very highly concentrated. And we’ll talk about that in a little bit. And we’ll be heading to the north today, up on to the Golan Heights, but we’ll get to all of that in a little bit. So, this week we’re reading from the Modern English Version, which, of course, is what we’ll do today. And as is the custom, we’ll pick up where we left off yesterday. We’re in the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. We’ll read chapter 19 verse 1 through 20 verse 21 today. And, of course, right now we’re moving through the laws and statues that will govern these people, who are wandering in the wilderness on their way to the Promise Land. So, we begin with Leviticus.
Father, we thank You for Your word because it keeps us on the way of life and it holds up a mirror in front of us, revealing the contrast, the difference between who we really are and who we’re portraying ourselves to be. And we thank You because it continually corrects and encourages us forward. It continually invites us to change from within. And we change from within by surrendering to You, opening ourselves to union with You, which is who we were created to be. So, come Holy Spirit, we ask, in the name of Jesus, and plant these words in our lives, changing us from the inside out, and inviting us to be an agent of change in the world. Come, Holy Spirit. We pray In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Alright, so yesterday we spent the day within just a few miles radius, well, we covered much ground nonetheless. We began by going to the Mount of Beatitudes, the traditional site where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, which is essentially the central teaching that has become the Christian faith. And rather than talking about how it happened or the context for it or who was there or how they got there or any of that stuff, we simply sat down together, opened the Scriptures and read the Sermon on the Mount in its entirety as if we were one of the people that had come there to hear this rabbi named Jesus who had an obvious anointing from God upon his life and we listened to his words. And then we stood up and walked away. I mean, we walked all around the site but we stood up and walked around after having just heard the Sermon on the Mount as if Jesus had just spoken it and allowed it to wash over us and challenge us because it’s challenging, which is certainly an intriguing way to begin a day. And from there, we began to visit a couple of the cities that Jesus ministered in, certainly, Chorazin was the first stop. Of course, the scriptures say, ‘woe to you Chorazin’. And true to that prediction, Chorazin is an archaeological site. It’s ruins now, but they’re pretty spectacular to see. There’s a synagogue there that would have likely been a place where Jesus ministered. It’s, of course, a village near the sea of Galilee. So, people from Chorazin would have followed around with Jesus and known who he was and listened to his teachings. And it’s fascinating to see, not just the synagogue, but also the way that they would have done agriculture, and the ruins of places they would have lived, knowing that people lived in these buildings, walked out their front door on certain days and went to listen to Jesus. It’s just…it’s fascinating to begin to place yourself in the exact places where these things happened. And it was a lovely day. Temperatures were great. And everything is becoming green and lush and beautiful in the Galilee. And it’s just magical this time of year. And once we left Chorazin, we went down to Jesus’ hometown, right on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum and were able to, literally, see places where Jesus taught, healed, lived, ate, drank, laughed, slept, lived a fully human life. And Capernaum, of course, is very, very famous, very holy site because it’s Jesus hometown, so there’s always a lot of visitors in Capernaum. In Chorazin, we had the place to ourselves. In Capernaum we didn’t. And we never do, but it’s nice to see brothers and sisters from all over the world, all on their own journey. And Capernaum is one of the most disruptive places for me to go when we come to this land because it’s ground zero…because it’s…I mean, the world changed from that home base. And it’s such an unlikely story. And, so, there’s so much to see and contemplate. And I walked around a little bit by myself and just looked at all the dwellings and realized the same thing I was realizing in Chorazin. People walked out their front doors and would have been able to walk over to where Jesus was staying and visit. I mean, what we have in the Scriptures is Jesus moving about and ministering the kingdom of heaven and teaching and all that, but there were the home times, the times that aren’t recorded in Scriptures, where Jesus is just having dinner, or just having a normal conversation that isn’t necessary a teaching moment…just…’how did fishing go today?’ ‘It’s good to see you.’ ‘How are the kids?’ You can get a sense of that when you’re actually in these places. And a lot of times we’re looking for the extraordinary, we’re looking for the extravagant, or sensational, but Jesus was very, very rooted in the way that people respond and interact with each other, very, very rooted in the normal. Which is really beautiful and disruptive at the same time because it’s God being willing to be in personal contact and interaction in a very normal way with humanity. As He still is today. And we still kind of look for the sensational. We look for the magic. And sometimes forget that God is a part and wants to be a part in collaborating in our everyday normal routines. And Capernaum kind of brings that out if you’re looking for it. And we climbed back on the bus and, you know, just went to the other side of Capernaum and got on a boat and sailed out into the Sea of Galilee and it was just a very, very calm day. We’ve been out on the Sea of Galilee when it’s kind of choppy and really windy. And it was super calm. Really, really, lovely. We began to sail to the other side of the Sea of Galilee and we cut the engines on the boat once we got a little ways out and just enjoyed a moment of silence, something that we don’t really get to experience on a trip like this much, unless we’re asleep. But sometimes when you still yourself, calm yourself down, become silent, you realize just how much noise you’re making, and how much noise there is all around you all of the time, and what a distraction that can be, to the point that silence is actually the disruptive thing. But in the silence, this is where we hear God speaking to us and giving us direction. And, so, it gives us, not only a chance to experience some calm and serenity and some silence, but to become aware just how much running, running, running, noise, noise, noise is all around us and that we’re making. And then we wonder why it is we can’t get clear direction or hear what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us. So, learning to still ourselves is such a good practice. We could hear the sound of the water. We could hear the distinct call of the seagulls. And all of the sudden we realized nature is speaking the glory of the Lord all around us. And we’re so full of artificial noise that we rarely even pay attention. So, we got to experience just a few minutes of silence, but what a rejuvenating few minutes that was on a beautiful, beautiful day. And once we docked, we had some lunch, did a little shopping along the northern part of the Sea of Galilee called Magdala. And this would have been the home of Mary Magdalene. And, of course, it wasn’t named after her. She was Mary from Magdala – the Magdalene. Kind of like I’m Brian from Nashville. I’m a Nashvillian. But there’s a synagogue that has been discovered there in recent years that hasn’t had any kind of church built on top of it. And that’s fascinating, to think that this is the actual bedrock, a place that Jesus would have probably ministered because of its immediate proximity to his hometown and all of the other villages in the nearby area that he did most of his ministry. And just beginning to realize that Jesus ministry was very, very localized. It’s not that he didn’t go other places, He did. But most of his ministry was really, really, centrally located, right around the northern part of the Sea of Galilee. And so Magdala is a fascinating place to go. And then the last stop of the day was a place called Peter’s primacy. A place that’s been venerated as the place where Jesus pressed in on Peter, you know, ‘do you love me? Feed my sheep.’ And we just discussed what happened there, Jesus kind of sharing with Peter how things were going to go for Him and how the last words of Jesus in the New Testament are, ‘you follow me.’ And that was a response to Peter. Jesus was sharing with Peter a glimpse into his future and he looks at John and says, well what about him? And Jesus responds, ‘what is that to you? You follow me’. And those words, every time that I think of them, every time that I read them in Scripture, every time that we’re here, it’s very penetrating because, man, we’re looking at what everybody else is doing so much of the time. And we can catch ourselves and hear Jesus words, ‘What is that to you? You follow me.’ And it’s a great way to end the day. And that’s what we did. We went from there just down to the banks of the Sea of Galilee. It’s one of the places you can go and get right next to the water and just find a place to sit down or just walk around, pick up a rock, just think about that. And allow ourselves to realize just how much of the comparison game we’re actually playing. So, it was really, really a beautiful day today. Kind of an exhausting day, because there’s a lot of jostling around even though there’s not a lot of travel. So, we got some rest and we’ll be heading north today and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Of course, we’re continuing to post things as they happen here on the Daily Audio Bible Facebook page and Instagram. So, you can check all that out, see the places that I was just talking about. And we continue to thank you for your prayers over all the moving around and all the exhaustion that sets in and all of the things that have to be done to keep the logistics for a trip like this moving in the same direction and technology and health. We thank you, thank you, thank you. Just knowing that we’re here and we’re in this together, but we’re in this with a larger community of thousands and thousands and thousands of people and just knowing that you’re thinking of us and praying for us when we come to mind is so encouraging and so comforting. So, thank you for your prayers.
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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 my Daily Audio Bible family. This is Stan, The Perseverer, from Maryland. Over the past few years income from traditional employment has simply invaded me. I believe this is because of my age. I’m 62. Soon to be 63 and Hold an MBA. And the jobs that I seek, I just don’t get interviewed for. So, I’ve decided to seek a nontraditional income source by starting an e-commerce business form. Please pray that God will extend His hand of mercy and grace, wisdom, knowledge, humility and favor over me with this e-commerce business that I’m starting to develop. And also, I am so thirsty for God’s gracious and to free me from the money worries I’ve had since 2011. Over those four years I’ve suffered through divorce, financial challenges, intermittent employment, bankruptcy, loss of family relationships, and life purpose. I covet your prayers to break this financial stronghold and restore me unto the joy of thy salvation as Psalm 51 declares. I love you all. Have a great day.
Hello DAB Family. This is joyful noise from Southern California. I’m calling in because I love all of the…I’ve been listening to all the responses to Lent. I love the story about the socks. That’s an awesome story. What a great opportunity to share the message of Christ with others __ that lady at the store. And how interesting it is she offered you socks because there were on sale. God works in mysterious ways. I’m calling because I wanted to share a quick little lent story. And I called a couple days ago butt hung up without pressing all the correct numbers and don’t believe it recorded and God prompted me again to call in today. So, lent is a lovely…Brian says Lent doesn’t have…you know…a certain Lent in the Lentin process. It doesn’t have anything to do with how holy we are or how sanctified we become or whatever. It’s just a reminder. Jesus gave up so much. God gave up His only son and Jesus gave up all the power that He had access to, even unto His own life. And for us to give up these small little things is really nothing that can speak towards our holiness or whatever. It’s just is an opportunity to…if we’re missing something in our lives to see…well…is that starting to take the place for me of God. And rather than running to God I run to this thing, whatever that thing might be. And for me, I have issues with sleep that I’ve had for years. I’m not a good sleeper. And, so, I’ve been listening to audiobooks to fall asleep at night. And every single night, probably, I want to say for like, years. And I don’t know when the process began, but I realized that, you know what, as I prayed about Lent this year, maybe that’s what I need to give up. And I will tell you guys, it has been hard. But not as hard as giving up my own son as God did. Right? And it’s made me mindful of what I’ve turned to instead of…
Hello this is Judith calling from Reading in England, UK. I’m calling to respond to Kurtis who’s the dad of Kingston. It’s the 22nd February today and I heard your call about Kingston, your son struggling with depression and anxiety even though he’s only eight. I was really moved by that. My family, pretty much all of us apart from my dad, have struggled with mental health problems. Particularly my mom and brother are now my sister and myself struggle with postnatal exacerbation and anxiety. And it’s tough. And sometimes I think it’s harder when it someone else rather than ourselves to witness that and have, maybe, little control. But I want to pray now for Kingston. We know we are going to suffer in this life. Jesus has said we are going to have trouble in this life, but do not fear, because He’s overcome this world even though there’s struggle. So, He’s not unrealistic about what we’re going to experience, but He’s able to work for your good and for your sons good in this. But I’m praying he’s going to be delivered because it’s struggle and it’s just not from the Lord. Father, please rejuvenate with Kingston. Father, we so grieve to hear that he’s struggling with these thoughts as __ his father, it’s not what you intended. But thank You, that You can breakthrough. You said that You’ve come to set the captives free. And you can set him free from this captivity to fearful thoughts. And Lord, You said you’re not giving the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind, that you would bring that sound mind to him…
Hello DABballonians this is Kevin from California. It’s been sometime since I’ve called in but I’m still around, still listen every day, still listen to all of your prayer request, and I am praying for you all. I would ask that you continue to pray for my three sons: Levi, Moses and Toccoa. I’m still asking and trusting God to reconcile my three sons and I. And the grief gets very high sometimes. It ebbs and flows. Sometimes it gets unbearable, being separated from my sons like this. And my faith is in the Lord. And I’m trusting my God and what He’s doing. And Kurtis in Cali, I want to pray for your son Kingston. Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit, I pray for Kingston. I pray that Your Holy Spirit would rest upon Kingston’s mind, his heart, and soul. I pray God that You would make Yourself known to Kingston. Let Kingston have Your piece God. We pray that You would settle his little heart God, that You would have mercy on his soul, that he would be saved, that he would go to heaven, and that he would have a surety of that, that You are His Savior. Lord, we pray for peace. I pray for Kurtis, that you would give him just a loving heart is a father. Help him to always be there for his son Kingston. And help him not to miss a moment, not to miss a divine appointment with his son. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
This is Robert. I’m calling in for the third time from Indiana. And I am a college student. I just want to give a shout out to the father who has a son named Kingston and who’s going through depression right now. I can understand just the toll that that has with your family. And I just want to let you know that you’re not alone and God is with him wherever he is. I’d also like prayers for myself as well. I have been struggling with finding my place and just wherever I am in college and in life and relationships and I need help towards accepting to put God’s glory above all else and set aside my own desires and wants for my life. So, if I could just get prayers for that, that’d be great. I love you guys. Thank you.