Zechariah 4:1-5:11, Revelation 14:1-20, Psalms 142:1-7, Proverbs 30:21-23
Today is the 23rd day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you as we move into and through Christmas week. What a time of joy it is. And, you know, what a time of mixed emotions it can be, and I get that fully, I understand, but underneath it all, we need to remember joy. The coming of Jesus changes everything. And, so, may we press into the themes that the season of Advent brings up - hope, faith, joy and peace - and may we experience these things as we continue our journey toward Christmas. And that journey takes us daily back into the Scriptures as we come around this Global Campfire and enjoy each other’s company. Merry Christmas to everybody. Just imagine us all sitting around this roaring fire waving at each other. We’re all dressed up in…I don’t know…either just terrible Christmas Sweaters or our finest, but we’re here together in one another’s presence, in the presence of the Savior, and allowing the word of God to speak into our lives for today. And that will take us into the book of Zechariah. And today we will read chapters 4 and 5.
Okay. So, in the Old and the New Testaments, in the book of Zechariah and the book of Revelation, we’re reading prophetic and even apocalyptic literature. So, you know, so reading from Zechariah and reading from Revelation in very visionary fashion can sound very similar, even though they’re separated in their writing by…by centuries. This genre of writing is highly symbolic. And, so…so while we’re reading from old and the new Testaments, while we’re reading from Zechariah and Revelation, especially Revelation since it’s more widely talked about, we should observe ourselves. Like, what is it that we are looking at symbolically and what is it that we’re like taking literally and why? Like, what is it that’s inviting us to do that? How would we…how do we tell the difference? Those…those are the considerations that are taken when interpreting this genre. But even inside of all of the imagery in Zechariah today, we encountered a very famous passage, “it is not by might nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s armies.” Can…can we just…can we sit with that one verse for second? It…now…think about this, think about what you are going to walk into today that you don’t want to be walking into. Think about the rest of this week and all of the festivities and all that the little booby traps that are set everywhere for us to step into. It is not by force nor is it by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord. That right there my brothers and sisters, is our anchor for the days ahead. If you’ll just hold onto that for…even the rest of the week…just hold onto it. Say it in the morning, say it a night. Every time that you are about to step into something it can come back to you, remind you - are you doing this in your own strength, is this by your own might? Then its…then it’s not gonna work like you’re hoping. It is not by might nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.
And Psalms gives us hope. Psalms gives us direction. The psalmist says today, “you are my place of refuge.” Like, could we just pause there? Could we just sit with that going into the next few days? “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.” That’s from the Bible. That’s Psalm 142. And, you know, everybody wants something this time of year. Like this is…this is the time of year where we’re giving people what they want and receiving what we want commemorating the gracious unspeakable gift of the Savior. So, you know, like there's…there’s presents under our tree and Ezekiel, like he can’t hardly…you know…he can't…like the hours have turned into days for little kids. Like one 24-hour period feels like seven weeks for him right now because of all the festivities. He’s wondering what he might get. He’s wondering if he might get what he wants, but I know what’s under that tree, and I know that I have no way to wrap a gift and put it under that tree that will be his place of refuge. That is a gift that God is putting under the tree. That is a gift that only God can give us. And He is giving it to us. But are we receiving the gift that He is our place of refuge? The psalmist said, “when I’m overwhelmed you alone know the way that I should go.” If we can allow these things to get beyond our intellect and actually rest in the center of our actual being, in the place that’s true….if these truths could be inside of us in the place that is most true then we would understand the gift that they are that we do not have to be overrun by this season or any season. We have a gift, the place of refuge. And we receive that gift by realizing that it is not by might nor by power nor by…nothing that we can do. It is by God’s Spirit that we can navigate.
Father, we invite Your Holy Spirit into exactly that. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and…yeah…this…this is it…we’re here, and certainly we are rejoicing, and certainly we are rooted in the story that tells us of the coming arrival of the Savior, but there’s a lot of add-ons that go along with these festivities and they’re not normally practiced at any other time of the year. And, so, it’s very easy for us to live completely distracted and get out the other side of the next few days and wonder what just happened. We are inviting Your Holy Spirit to allow us to experience the next few days from within this place of refuge that You are offering us. It was actually Your coming to rescue us that offers us this relationship in this place of refuge. And, so, we receive this gift that You are giving us of the opportunity to move into the holiday season with a sense of calm, a sense of peace, a sense of hope, a sense of joy, and a sense of faith, all of the things that this season are intended to teach us. So, come Holy Spirit, we pray. We welcome You as we move forward in celebrating You. 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 hear tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hey DAB family, I’m a first-time caller and I don’t know where I’ve been the last 11…however long many years it’s been…oh my goodness. But I am so encouraged, I am blown away. My name is Daniel from South Holland Illinois. I am…I’m blown away by the incredible amount of encouragement and concern and care and love and refreshment and prayer covering that you guys provide for each other. I just…I…I…I…I’m really almost speechless, which is a very difficult thing for me, but I am just so encouraged and I look forward to being able to join you guys on a consistent basis to just…to be a blessing, to be an encouragement, that’s what my wife and I desire to do, as well as to have some prayer…prayer concerns presented before you as well. So, thank you guys for what you’re doing. Thank you so much for…for the love that you guys have for each other. I’m looking forward to connecting with you guys. So, God bless you guys, keep up the great kingdom work.
Greetings DAB family it is 16 December, I am a Daddy’s Dreamer from Tampa or DDFT. I just felt the Lord pressing on me to call today to encourage others to press into Him even when you don’t feel like it. When I first made the decision to block out or at least minimize the world’s influence in my life it was a hard transition which really opened my eyes to how much worldly influence was dominating my life and how easy it was to be of the world. I remember very vividly how distressed I was when I discovered as a teenager that all of these new very attractive freedoms maybe weren’t the best for my soul. My daughter has recently said to me with exasperation, “why does everything always have to be about God?” It broke my heart but reminded me that, I too, felt that same way at her age. All I can do is press into the Lord for daily and even hourly and minute by minute guidance. Please pray with me. Lord, You know every situation and You know the path to our children’s heart. Lord, show us the way, give us the words and steps to guide them in the right direction in Jesus’ name. Amen. Obviously, family our God loves our earthly children more than we do and wants what is best. I guess just with everything else, I need to do the hardest and easiest thing, just hand over control to God. Thank you for praying over our children with me and listening. This is DDFT. Stay positive and always with his light shine through you. Bye for now.
Good morning my wonderful DAB family it’s December 17th and this is Jeanette calling from Canada. As I listened this morning, I heard Scott Utah calling and asking for prayer regarding is tinnitus, which is that ringing in the ear. He sounds so despondent and discouraged. And Scott, you said you don’t want to hurt yourself in any way and this is cause for concern. So, I am taking you to the throne of grace this morning to our heavenly Father who hears you, here’s your cry, knows your heart, see everything that you’re going through, and He is the greatest physician of all times. And, so, I ask You God that You would take Scott now in Your arms and You’d put those hands over his ears Lord God, and You would reduce the ringing and You’d to bring healing to his ears. You are God Almighty, there is nothing that is too difficult for You and I’m praying Father God that at Christmas time this season when we celebrate the birth of Christ that this will be a renewed Scott, ringing will be gone, joy will fill his life again and he will be able to praise and worship You and give You Thanksgiving for all that You’ve done for him. Scott, hang in there. God loves you and we love you too, your family. And I pray for a little Cherry from Canada who sounded so down in the dumps. Cherry, I love to hear your voice. I love the joy that comes out of you and I’m praying for you today that God would ease all your pain and bring joy into your life again. And we praise you.
Hey family, His Beloved in California. I have a favor to ask of you, a prayer request, it’s so…embarrassing, I guess. First of all…ugh…okay. So, the holidays are coming up, families get together. Every year we go away with my family. I have a very large family and we take a trip somewhere together. So, there’s about 25 of us that go every year. One of my stepsisters, God bless her, has some issues with philandering and adultery. And I kind of lost it a couple years ago and started yelling at her in private. I just had enough of it. I’d seen one too many affairs and I’m not judging her, but I just lost it. Last year on the trip she came after my husband and it was very inappropriate and instead of fighting back with the sword of the Spirit, which I know to do, I got in the fight with my husband, I ruined our whole trip and I’m just like whipped up about this new trip because I just want versus to come out of my mouth, I want to fight the enemy with the sword of the Spirit, do you know what I mean? So please, please, pray for me that the Holy Spirit will come upon me and I’ll have the right versus because I know this is not a battle of flesh. And it’s keeping me up at night and I just want to have peace and I know that all things are possible with God and greater is He who is in me than he is in the world and I just pray that the Holy Spirit and the prayers of you would help me through this time. Thank you. I love you. Bye.
Yes, this is Florida Charlie Oscar Papa. I just heard the prayer request for the guy in Utah. I think it’s Titus with the ringing of the ears and I just want to pray over you my brother. I feel your…your pain. I feel the wanting for healing in your voice and I just…I just declare Father God that You just heal Titus right now God. Heal him with any ailment. We speak to the medical professionals. We speak to the doctors, to the staff, Father god, anyone that is treating him, that they come and they just provide a supernatural touch, just relieve any ailment that is in his mind, his ears, his system Father God, let it all come into alignment with You. Father God we just declare that he hears the joy of the Lord, he hears the sound of the Lord, he hears the…the word that You have for him Father God. Don’t let…don’t let anything…any ungodly thing come to pass that is not of You Father God. And we just declare Your safety, Your protection over him. In Your wonderful powerful name, we pray Jesus. Amen.
Hi this is Don I’m my first-time caller. I would like to ask prayers for my son Kevin who is getting out of prison tomorrow. He has been battling drug addiction for many years and finally ended up in state prison. He has been in there for four years and he has an 11-year-old son. He’s had very little contact with the family over the years and is angry. I would also like to pray that my wife and I can be guided, that we may handle the situation according to God’s will. I pray that we can lead him by example to have faith in Jesus Christ and in his life so that he may find the peace that he needs to be a good dad and come back to the family. Thank you.