1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17, Acts 25:1-27, Psalms 5:1-12, Proverbs 18:19
Today is the 7th day of July welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is a joy, it is an honor, it is a privilege just to be in your presence today, just to be here to take the next step forward as we gather around the Global Campfire and just let it go. All the stuff that’s going on, it’s gonna be there in a little while and we can pick it back up and carry on or we can reemerge out of this time with maybe some new perspective and a reminder that we’re not alone, we’re in this together and God will never abandon us. And, so, let’s just still ourselves, open our hearts to God’s word. We have been spending the last couple of days getting into the book of first Chronicles and we’ve talked about it. We’ve talked about first Chronicles. We’ve talked about genealogical names that we’re reading right now. And we’ll continue to read those names today, but hopefully since we talked about it a little bit yesterday, they’ll have some gravity. And soon enough we’ll…we’ll come out of that genealogical section into some of the stories in first Chronicles. We’re also nearing the end of the book of Acts. As we end this week, we will also end the book of Acts. So, let’s dive in. First Chronicles chapter 4 verse 5 through 5 verse 17 today. And, we’re reading from English Standard Version this week.
Okay. So, we can see we’re continuing with the genealogies in first Chronicles.
We can see that Paul, even though he’s like incarcerated and has lost his freedom he’s still on a missionary journey. It’s just that he’s not traveling around. Because he’s incarcerated people are coming to him. So, Paul’s testifying and we’ll continue this tomorrow, but Paul’s testifying with a proconsul in charge of the region on behalf of the Romans and a king today. He’s sharing the way of Jesus with people that he would scarcely even be able to see much less have a conversation with.
And then we get into the book of Proverbs. So, have you ever been offended in your life? That’s kind of a silly question probably. Have you ever been the offender? Have you ever offended anyone? Which is probably equally a silly question, but what does that feel like? What does it feel like when you are offended and the offender is trying somehow to make things right, but you are still in the steam of the moment? Or what does it feel like when you’ve done that? Like, you have made an offensive, you’ve said something to your spouse or whatever. And even as the words are spilling out of your lips, your like, “this is not something I should be saying.” And an offense happens, and you want to go and try to make this right, but you can’t because they’re unyielding. “A brother offended” the Proverb says “is more unyielding than a strong city and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.” Couldn’t be stated more simply than that, couldn’t be more true than that. When we find ourselves locked in an offense, we pull up the castle gates, fill up the moat and become an unyielding strong city. You are not getting in here. Some of this is…is a natural reaction but so often then we do not deal with these offenses. We let some time pass and then maybe there’s just a quick sorry or hug or whatever but the thing is left unresolved and so it’s still in there. And offense after offense after offense after offense and building up over time makes us an offended person. We’re very easily offended because we’ve been hurt and not dealt with it for so long. And, so, that begins to become a stew inside of our hearts that begins to bubble and percolate and boil over, all these unresolved things. And then we’re led into all kinds of assumptions because we’re in isolation. And before you know it, we are a very isolated, very resentful unhealthy person. So, you can look at today’s proverb and say, “yes, I identify. It’s just simply stating a fact. I don’t know exactly what to do about it.” And maybe a natural thing to do is to think that maybe, “well…I just have to be less offensive. Like I’ve gotta have tougher skin and not be so offended.” But actually, it’s not that, it’s dealing with the offense. Because the proverb is talking about a walled city, castle bars, like a closed…closed off unavailable heart. So, nothing…nothing is flowing. Nothing is coming in and out. There is no flow. Everything is walled off and undealt with. So, maybe the antidote here is humility. Maybe the antidote here if you are the offender is true deep humility. And maybe the move here for the offended is grace. Because we consume the grace of God every single day, every single moment. We depend on the mercy of God and He is depending on us extending that mercy into the world. So, if an offense can lock a person down, right, make them all walled city then imagine what repentance can do. Imagine what loyalty and grace and mercy and love can do. Maybe like Jericho, the walls can come tumbling down.
Father. We acknowledge there’s all kinds fences that are broken in our lives - broken relationships, broken stuff. Like, we are broken people and we seek You because there is no way to be restored. We are utterly helpless to change ourselves. And, so we come, and we come believing You will be gracious and merciful, and we come believing that by the power of Your Holy Spirit You will lead us on the narrow path that leads to life. And sometimes the narrow path that leads to life means that we have to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. And sometimes it means that we have to repent. Sometimes it means that we have to deal with things that are making us all walled city. And, so, whether we are the offender or the offended, because the truth is, we can identify on both sides of this coin. None of us are just perpetually offended, but we do know offending. We are all guilty and we all understand what’s going on here. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit to help us deal with some of this so that the walls can come down, so that life can happen. And, so, Father when we offend, let us be humble. Let us first seek restoration and reconciliation in all humility. And when we are the offended help us Father to extend grace and mercy because it’s not gonna be that long before we need it to be extended to us. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In the name of Jesus we ask. Amen.
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And today is the 7th of July so I’m probably talking to a lot of you who are out walking, out on a long walk just kinda getting into your day with God, taking that long walk and drinking in the beauty of nature, just getting eyes to see, like to look differently to become aware that life is happening all around us and we were unaware because we were so busy or we were so full of anxiety or fear or whatever. But this is like a reprieve from that, just a break from that, a re-centering, a time to just pour out our hearts, a time to be still and know that He is God, time to listen for His leading and direction as we…you know…as we’re here, like pretty, pretty close to the dead center of the year. And, so, first half of the year has had its trials and it’s been weird and strange, but now we’re heading into the second half of the year and what is that supposed to look like. And, so, that’s really what the long walk is all about. And, so, I’m with you. I’m on the same journey and doing the same thing. And every year it’s so meaningful to just have one day to let it go and ask our Father…like show me how to aim myself, give me the north star and I can follow when it gets so crazy because it’s been so crazy. Show me where I should head so that I don’t get off to the left or off to the right, so that I’m not off in the weeds off the narrow path that leads to life. Show me what I need to know. And I love that He does, and He loves us and that He walks with us when just slow it all down and get comfortable in His presence. So, enjoy your time.
I’ve been mentioning this new resource that released today at midnight. So, it’s available now. It’s called Heart, a contemplative journey. And I thought, after creating all this, I thought this is really…in our community here, this is this is perfect for the long walk because it gets the conversation going. It’s like a guided prayer and then music plays over us as we invite God into all of the different emotions that…that this project contains and lot of the different emotions that we’ve all been feeling. So, it just kind of gets us into that place where we can then…ahh…relax and be with God on this long walk. So, you can find this project and download it today. It’s all available in the iTunes store or in the Google Play store. You search for Hearts, a contemplative journey or you can search for my name and it should come up. And it’s here to accompany us for part…for part of the journey, for part of the day, for a little part of the day to kind of, like I said, move us into the space that we need to be in to just enjoy fellowship with God. And, so, that’s available and is a…is a great accompaniment to the long walk. So, check that out.
And those of you who are all over the world to doing your long walks, wherever it is that you went, wherever it is that you are, out in nature, out in beauty, just snap a picture, maybe you want to shoot a little video and post that to…like as a comment to the Daily Audio Bible Facebook page, which is facebook.com/dailyaudiobible and then we will post them up on the page and just watch as the day unfolds and look at all the different little windows into each other’s lives. And over the next day or two it’s just a beautiful thing to see. So, looking forward to that like every year.
And, so, yeah, I know we’ve already prayed, but let me pray over our long walk. Jesus it’s simple. We’re slowing down the world and stepping away from the world that we’re in but not of and becoming aware that we’re not of it. But this world that You have created is magnificent and Your presence is permeating it all. And, so, come Jesus as we spend this time with You getting reacquainted with the lover of our soul. We love You. Be in and among and through and above and beneath and around us. Give us direction and clarity for the second half of this year we pray. In Your precious name, we ask. Amen.
In the Garden – Marvin Sapp
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet that the birds they hush their singing
And the melody that He sends to me
Within my heart is still ringing
And, and He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me that I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry, tarry there
None other has ever, ever known
None other has ever, ever known
None other has ever known
None other has ever known
None other has ever known