Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20, Luke 9:7-27, Psalms 72:1-20, Proverbs 12:8-9
Today is the 31st day of March, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible, the last day of the third month of the year which means that we have completed, we are about to complete our first quarter of the year. So, and this is…this is…this is a big milestone. If you’re still…you…if you made it here, you can make it. The rhythm has been established in life. Now this is what we do. And we can do this for the rest of the year. And the territory, I mean the stuff that we have out in front of us, as if the Bible hasn’t been epic in its first quarter there’s a lot of fascinating things for us to explore together as we continue the journey. So, this is the 90th day or actually this is a leap year so this is kinda like the 91st day that we’ve been here together in the year. And, so, we just mark that. It’s like a little pile of rocks. We see often in the Bible, these little memorial stones or things set up, so you don’t forget, which is why we write things down. And, so, getting to this point the first quarter of the year, it’s just a little pile of rocks for this year. Well done. I am so glad we are on this journey together. So, let’s dive into that journey and finish well this third month of the year. We’re reading from the New International Version this week. Deuteronomy chapters 16 and 17 today.
Okay. The last thing that Jesus said in our reading from the Gospel of Luke today was, “truly I tell you”, right? I’m telling you the truth. “Some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” It’s a big thing to say. Throughout so much of my life I read that phrase and thought, “well that’s not…how can that be true because the kingdom of God isn’t here? We’re like…we’re still waiting for Jesus return and then…and then whatever happens next, like somehow this is after what’s happening now is when the kingdom will come.” But as we’ve seen so explicitly clear from Jesus own lips out of the Gospels, the kingdom is within us, is among us, is happening. And, so, in light of that Jesus is simply saying, “tell you the truth. Some of you will have eyes to see and ears to hear. Before you taste death, you will see the kingdom of God.” That is still possible friends. Before I taste death, I pray that I will have eyes to see and ears to hear and see the kingdom of God. And I’m not talking about like some mystical vision kind of thing, I’m talking about that I have eyes to see and ears to hear. Like, don’t we all want this? And we’ve been kind of talking about this because one of the words over this year is…is “vision” and that means something specific. It is exactly what we’ve been talking about all year, eyes to see. Give me vision in this year of 2020 that I might see your kingdom and never be able to unsee it again. That is my prayer. But if it’s in and among us, if it’s sown in and Jesus uses a parable about a farmer planting his field, and then his enemies coming in and sewing all kinds of weeds in it and it all grows up together until the harvest. That’s how Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven, that it’s all mixed in. With all of the bad and the evil there is all of the good and light. If we want to see the kingdom of God, then we will be looking for the good and light in this world. And, so as we’re closing the first quarter of the year, like we are 25% through this year of 2020 already. And, as we know, it’s going to fly by and be Christmas before we know it. I mean there will be patches that seem like they stretch on forever and there’ll be patches that seem like they flew by. That’s how a year goes. But will we…will we gain eyes to see and ears to hear in this year? Where are we even supposed to be looking? I guess there are many things that we could look for but what we are ultimately looking for is the good, the good that is sustaining the world. Wherever we find that it is evidence of the kingdom. But we can also turn to Scripture. We could do a whole big thing, I suppose, but we can just…we can just consider the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit will be the kingdom of heaven in this world. So, wherever there is love, wherever there is joy or peace or long-suffering or kindness or goodness or faithfulness or gentleness or self-control, the Bible says there’s no law against any of that. That is evidence of the kingdom. And while we’re looking for that, because that’s really what we need to see, if we could have eyes to see, we would see God on the move. This planet would go dark. It would be done if it weren’t sustained by God. We would’ve never been here. It would have been over a long time ago. Where is the good that sustains our world and our people? That is where God is at work and He will continue to be at work whether we notice it, whether we have eyes to see or and He will use whoever is willing whether we understand it or not. He is the most-high God. He can do whatever he chooses, but we are invited into that story, into that dance of life, that collaboration of revealing the kingdom as Jesus did, because we are His body in this world, the body of Christ. Man, what if we all got eyes to see and ears to hear? Everything changes at that point. This is what we are struggling toward, but we’re just trying to find eyes to see and ears to hear. And we also have to look in our own lives. Is the kingdom, is the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit, is good within us? Where is that? And what is false within us? What is the mask that we just keep wearing and trying to perfect? How do we get eyes to see and ears to hear inside of our own self, what God is doing in the transformation process of our own hearts? It’s all happening. Like, this has always been happening. It’s always been available for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. And it’s so fundamental to the message of Jesus.
Father as we go into the next quarter of the year, we have established a rhythm. We kind of know what’s going on now. We’ve acclimated ourselves to the Scriptures. We’re moving through together. And now as we move into this second quarter of the year, we’re asking what we’ve been asking for all along, eyes to see and ears to hear. Open our eyes that we might see You at work everywhere. It’s not hard to find. Our eyes have just been tuned in to find the evil and the things that might challenge us and make us uncomfortable. And yet, we can make up a life of our own and only lose it. And You’ve told us today in the Scriptures, but if we’ll give up all that, if we’ll give up all the façade, if we’ll give up our life, we’ll find ourself. You said, “what good is it for someone to gain the whole world and lose or forfeit their very self?” So, come Holy Spirit and give us eyes to see within and without what You are doing among and within us. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And for the last…well…I guess it hasn’t been quite a week yet, but each day we’ve been releasing a new chapter of the book Sneezing Jesus, which is really poignant for the times that we are in. And so glad to be doing this. Just so, so glad to be hearing how it’s landing in different lives around the world. I’m just so happy to be giving this to you like a soul care around the Global Campfire because we need soul care right now. Things are so disrupted. And that just kind of leads us down all kinds of dark thought paths. So, it’s just so important to keep our faith and to keep our focus on the only hope we have, which is the only hope we’ve ever had, which is to put our faith and trust in God, knowing that He…like we are utterly dependent on Him and to become aware of that. It’s so important. So, it’s been so nice to be able to release a chapter a day. And today’s chapter as we end of the month of March, one of the weirdest months…I think…one of the strangest…yeah…one of the strangest months I can ever remember. It just seems like so long ago it was like March 1st that we arrived back from our pilgrimage to Israel and then…yeah what a weird month it’s been. So, it’s so good to…to give this away. So, today’s chapters…today’s chapter is called Neighbors. So, in the Scriptures we’re…we’re told to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and all of our mind and all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves, which brings up like the poignant question, “then who is my neighbor? Like define that.” And that’s found in a story in the Gospels, the story of the good Samaritan. That’s specifically what Jesus was asked, “who is my neighbor?” And that is pretty poignant for the times that we are in. So, the chapter Neighbors explores Jesus discussion, the good Samaritan, using a backdrop of a personal story of getting stranded in the Mohave Desert like really, really in the remote Mohave Desert one summer day, many years ago where the temperatures were well, well above 100° and how people who I didn’t know and people that I would not have paid attention to any other way were neighbors to me. And I love this, I love this chapter and it's…it’s pretty, pretty funny story on reflection. It wasn’t so funny a story as it was happening but that’s kind of what happens in our lives sometimes. So, I’m super excited. I’ve been waiting for this chapter to come up. It’s one of my favorites in the book. So, that’s available in your Daily Audio Bible feed. So, if you’re using the Daily Audio Bible Apple or like the web player it just shows up, just an additional program along with the Daily Audio Bible as we work our way through this and just offer it, like I said, as a soul care, as some challenging encouragement in a time where we’re getting kind of pulled all over the place is common. This roots us in our faith. So, check it out.
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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.