Ezekiel 40:28-41:26, James 4:1-17, Psalms 118:19-29, Proverbs 28:3-5
Today is the 20th day of November welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is a joy as it is always to be here with you. It’s one of the great consistent joys of my life that we can gather like this and allow God’s word to come into our lives, to speak to us, to speak to us in every area and to give us what we need. And, so, let’s dive in. We’re reading from the New Living Translation this week. Ezekiel chapter 40 verse 28 through 41 verse 26.
Okay. I don’t know if it feels like James is cracking the whip for you, but it…I mean I don’t read the book of James where I don’t feel like the whip has been cracked but I got a spanking in some sort of way. I just know I’m not alone. That’s the thing. I just know James wasn’t written for me, that James was written for people who were dealing with the kinds of things that I deal with because that the kinds of things you deal with. They are part of our story and challenge. And this letter from James’s just kinda steps into the middle of it and calls out hypocrisy and just asks us to look clearly, to have eyes to see not what everybody else is doing, but to have eyes to see our own lives. And that can be uncomfortable. That can even be painful. But it can be so good because we’re getting eyes to see, which allows us to move forward. It forces us to a crossroads. Remember back in the very beginning of this year we met wisdom and she told us she’s at every crossroads and we’ve talked about her a lot throughout the year. James forces us to these crossroads in terms of…well…the difference between what we say we believe and what we say about our faith and the story of our faith that we’re actually telling with our lives because those are supposed to be the same story but they’re often not. So, today James is like, “what’s causing the quarrels and fights among you?” And that question right there, like we can just take that and go into the day. What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? And we can look in our marriage and go, “what is causing the quarrels and fights among us? We can look in our family and ask that question. We can look in our community and ask that question. We can look in our nation and ask that question. We can look at the world and ask that question. What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? It’s a rhetorical question though. It’s a question he’s asking in order to teach a lesson. He has the answer, and he gives the answer. “Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” O man. So, now all the sudden we’re plunging into the depths because we’re talking about conflicts that develop because we don’t have what we want. We can’t fulfill our desires or we’re not getting what we somehow believe we deserve. And if we just pause and take this slow, we can see that these things can be true as intimately as between a husband and wife and as macro-ly as encompassing the entire world of humanity. When we examine ourselves as compared to somebody else and find ourselves lacking and they have something that we think we deserve or want then we use all kinds of domination try to take it from them or negotiate it away from them or ruin it for them because we’re making them miserable. Like we do this stuff all the time. And what happens? Quarrels and fights. When we’re trying to get our identity by comparison to some other person we cannot achieve an identity and so we dehumanize the person and we look at what they have or what they have achieved or some sort of advantage that they have in some sort of way that we don’t. But even if we could destroy the one, we’re in competition with and get everything we have we’re still not gonna be happy. There is no life there. There is no identity in being better than another person. The identity is bestowed upon us by our Father, by God. And, so, James says, “you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And when you do, you don’t get it because your motives are wrong. You only want what will give you pleasure.” And that’s mostly true. The things we’re asking for, the things that will make life easier for us in some sort of way, they will make us have to endure less. Now James can kick butt and we joke about it and we’ve talked about it because it really does press into some…some behaviors that were all guilty of. But James didn’t sit down and think, “how can I condemn God’s people for all time. You know, like how can I just make everybody feel bad about themselves like a failure. That’s what we need. We need everybody to feel like a failure.” That’s not what James is after. What James is after is that people would live true like the Savior, they claim. And it appears that James, although he didn’t believe in Jesus ministry, ended up believing. When your brother rises from the dead you rethink some things you could say. So, James ultimate encouragement is, “if you’re gonna claim the name of Jesus if your gonna claim to be His disciple then you’re gonna need to live like He lived otherwise you’re just saying stuff. And anybody can say stuff. And all this comparison, all this trying to get an identity by leeching off each other, denigrating each other, suppressing each other, causing quarrels and fights that are never ending so that disharmony is the story we’re telling instead of unity.” He’s not doing it to heap condemnation. He’s doing it because in his view, what’s being done is dangerous. It’s walking up to the line and becoming a friend of the world and playing that game. But playing that game, it won’t work, it won’t go anywhere. James says, “don’t you realize” and I’m quoting this, “don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God. I say it again. If you want to be a friend of the world you make yourself an enemy of God.” Yeah. That’s an ouch thing. That’s James 4:4. Go look it up for yourself. If we’re gonna try to play the rules of the culture. If we’re gonna try to be in the world and of the world while simultaneously claiming allegiance to Jesus Christ, while not living in any way like He lived, the dissonance is gonna be unbearable but it’s going to lead nowhere because when we try to play that game we make ourselves an enemy of God. That is the last thing on earth anywhere, that is the last thing in all of my existence that I would ever want to be - an enemy of God. And so, what we do about all this? Because these kinds of behaviors, these kind of things, they sneak up on us and we just find ourselves in the thick of it saying things we shouldn’t say, doing things we shouldn’t do knowing better the whole time not being able to do anything about it because it’s what we want. And, so, we’re going to get what we want one way or another because we feel empty inside somehow, because we’re comparing ourselves and we’re not measuring up. At least that’s the way we’re perceiving it. And, so, we get jealous and we get envious and we do all kinds of stuff. So, what are we supposed to do about all this? If James isn’t just heaping condemnation by exposing it all. What do we do? James tells us, and I quote, “humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come close to God and God will come close to you. Wash your hands you sinners, purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up in honor. I’m not sure what else to say. I think the instructions are pretty clear. And if the Scriptures are speaking into places that are like a little too close for comfort then we know now what to do and the posture that we need.
Father we humble ourselves. And what a grace that is. What a gift that in…in and of itself is, that we have the chance to humble ourselves before we get humbled by something that we don’t want anything to do with. Thank You for this grace. And we humble ourselves before You and invite You fully. Nothing is off limits to You, God, nothing is off limits to You. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit as we are in a posture of repentance, knowing that the last thing we want to be is an enemy. The last thing we want to do is offend You. But we’re not capable in our own strength of doing anything but those things. It’s Your Spirit within us that we must yield to. We have what we need to live a victorious life as a servant, as an ambassador, as Your representative in this world. We have what we need. It’s just we get our eyes on the culture that is built expressly to tell us what we don’t have. It’s built to show us lack. It’s there to part us from our resources so we can keep buying things that promise fullness and wholeness and it doesn’t work. And, so, we move into pride, we move into arrogance, we move into envy and jealousy. We compare ourselves. We get all wound up and tied up and it doesn’t work. We’re humbling ourselves before You. We have what we need because it has been given as a gift from You. And whatever we lack You do not lack and therefore we lack nothing. Come Holy Spirit as we consider the ways in which we need to humble ourselves today. We ask this the precious and mighty 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 here tomorrow.
Community prayer and praise:
Hello Daily Audio Bible family this is Treasured Possession and I have to admit straight up that it’s not easy to call and talk about this. I…I want to be included and yet I know that saying that you’re different from everybody else excludes you, but I know you people. You people are God’s people and so your hearts are full of His love so that’s what I’m coming forward to. I am…I am on the spectrum and I’ve been praying about Michael and praying for his parents and thinking about them and how hard it is when you have meltdowns like that and they come one after another and especially if you’re a big person that can be kind of violent and scary. And oh God my heart just goes out to you. I love you guys so much. And I just want Michael to know it’s not your fault. It… it…it’s a trigger. It…it’s an effect, it’s something that happens and you feel so bad after it’s over and your parents are scared and you’re scared and…and you just pray and God brings His peace but I…I want to give you encouragement. As you get older Michael it’s going to get easier it’s going to get better as you know yourself. They happen when you push yourself past your limits, when your sensory influx is too much, when there’s too much going on, when there’s too much stress. And sometimes you piggyback off of the stress of others and it just adds to your own stress. So, lately it’s been real crazy around our house but…but God is so good and He is so forgiving and so merciful. And He brings us out of it, and He heals us, and we get better every time. So, that’s what I’m praying for you. Lord Jesus pour your spirit on Michael and his family. Bless them, give them your peace in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jesus thank you for your love over the family of this mother who is recovering from ovarian cancer. Thank You for Your healing grace over her husband with multiple sclerosis. Thank You, father for bringing the assurance of heart that You are present in all things. Thank You for drawing their children and to care for them in these hours. And father I pray that there would be a spirit of oneness this Thanksgiving, a spirit of…of lifted heads knowing that You are present Jesus there at the __ of the table, caring for those who care for others, loving those who love You, loving and giving in all things. Jesus I pray for complete healing for both of these people father for healing of the heart, the mind, and soul, and body, the whole being father because Your stripes have paid the price, Jesus Your precious blood has paid the price already and it is done by Your word. Thank You, Jesus.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is Running Desperately to Jesus also known as Staying Desperately Connected to Jesus. What a God, what a God, what a God I serve. My brothers and sisters lifted me up. Yes, brothers and sisters I do struggle with depression, but I have made always a commitment to myself that I could be down and out but would not go into a dark place and not be oval to pull myself up. Lots of trials, lots of tribulations that we all go through. Devil caught me off guard, but God says in His word that we are supposed to stay vigilant sober and prayed up. And there I fell short. My family I am…I can’t even begin to tell you, Michael, God’s Smile, I mean, and the names go on and on. I started listening to the Community Prayer and listened to it on Monday night all into Tuesday morning and I kept hearing my name my name my name. So, the devil is a lie. He has no dominion, no power especially with my brothers and sisters come together in Christ and lift me up. What can I say but what a mighty God I serve? I love you all. You are the best. I never thought I would have anyone that would praise and lift me up and stand in the gap for me while praising God at the same time until I read into DAB and my family that continues to grow. You are awesome. I love all of you. Running Desperately to Jesus Staying Desperately Connected to Jesus. My family rocks. Thank you, guys all.
Hello Daily Audio Bible this is Duane from Wisconsin all praise and glory to our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today is November 17th and I just heard Kingdom Seeker Daniel call in and give praise to me and praise for my son. My son Nicholas is out of jail, but he called and left a message yesterday on the 16th that he needs a place to stay and I’m not sure he’s going to be able to stay with us. I have to talk to my wife and see if that’s the right avenue for him. I’m not sure where he’s going to end up if he doesn’t come here because I haven’t talked to him. I gotta talk to my wife first. So, lift that up and thank you. Thank you all for praying. I appreciate it. I love him so much. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Hi DAB family it’s November 17th this is Sunset Cindy in Washington state and I just got through listening to this really beautiful song from Kingdom Seeker Daniel and Lady of Victory. It was just full of harmony and sweet notes and I was just so grateful that I’m a part of this family that you’re singing about. This is how we are as family, just these harmonious parts and they all fit together, and they make a beautiful song to the Lord, sweet incense. I think He’s got a big smile on his face. That song is so beautiful. And also on November 17th a lady called in who’s being treated for ovarian cancer and husband has MS and her kids are back home trying to help with him and her. And what a blessing that you have three twentysomething kids that that are willing and able to come help you. I’m sure the Lord has placed a compassionate heart in all of those lovely young people. I’m just gonna lift them up in prayer Lord Jesus. Give this family strength and hope and compassion and just steadfast energy that they need every day to accomplish your will in their lives. Thank you DAB family for all of the resources we have. Thank you, Brian and China and Jill for your dedication to your virtual family. Love you all. God bless.
Hi this is Larry from Palm Beach Florida and I’m calling in response to the weekend and the weekending of November 14th prayer line. And we finally heard from Michaela from Gloucester. It was so nice to hear her voice; however, she said she wasn’t in a good spot, she hasn’t been in a good spot, but she hasn’t reached bottom yet. So, Lord we lift up Michaela from Gloucester, a wonderful warrior, prayer warrior for this at and we and maybe we can get Biola from Maryland and Esther from Orlando to pray for her in their…in their mighty voice to rebuke the devil or whatever is bothering you. Lord we don’t know what’s going on with him in Michaela’s life, but you do but we…we pray that you will open doors that need to be open and close doors that need to be closed. Give her wisdom and discernment and give her strength and fortitude as she fights whatever battle she needs to fight. And Michaela I was so glad to hear from you. You have a lot of friends here that will be lifting you up in prayer and we’re grateful that we heard from you and whatever it is that’s going on in your life we rebuke it in Jesus’ name. God bless and hope to hear from you soon.