Ezekiel 47:1-48:35, 1 Peter 2:11-3:7, Psalm 119:49-64, Proverbs 28:12-13
Today is the 24th day of November; welcome to the Daily Audio Bible, I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today. It is a joy for us to take the next step forward together. That next step lands us in the Old Testament in the book of Ezekiel, we will conclude the book of Ezekiel tomorrow which will be Thanksgiving Day here in the United States and maybe…maybe even more importantly to me personally, will be my daughter, China’s birthday. So, this year we’ve had two birthdays in our family on national holidays because Jill’s birthday is always the 4th July which is a national holiday in United States, Independence Day and then now China on Thanksgiving Day. But I digress. We have come around the Global Campfire to take the next step forward in the Scriptures, so let’s do that, we’re reading from the new English Translation this week, Ezekiel chapters 47 and 48.
Okay, so the apostle Peter in his first letter, at least the letter known as first Peter in the New Testament and he is giving us wisdom and guidance for life. Yes, indeed for the holiday season where it is upon us, but for life and I swear it couldn’t be more poignant because if…if we can be self-reflective, as Christian people as the body of Christ, we would have to know that we are arguing with each other constantly and that is spilled into social media to the point that it’s really, really disheartening and sad the way that we need to be right all the time against each other and what is that look like if you are on the outside of this, knowing that something inside of you is tugging you toward spirituality. But you look at this and say, but that, that who wants to be involved in that, some of that would be deserved. We brought it upon ourselves. Some of it would be a stereotype, it’s not fair, it doesn’t represent all but once you become a part of the stereotype then it’s very, very easy to dismiss the stereotype because it’s not actual people anymore. It’s a set of behaviors and characteristics that are brought together in some kind of melting pot and an isolated in some sort of way, dismissed in some sort of way. That has been the story of the Christian faith through different parts of our church history. It has also been certain that we have been on the other side of that, marginalizing others and stereotyping others in the same way, which is what’s really easy to find going on. If we leave here the 21st-century and go back to the first century, go back to when this letter was written, we’ve talked plenty through our year about the back story, about the culture that Jesus came into about the culture of the early church and what they were facing when they were being marginalized and stereotyped by Jew and Gentile alike, where they were being kind of shot at from every direction and persecution had begun because marginalization had begun because stereotyping that happened. And now, these aren’t people anymore right, this is a group of people with a select group of behaviors that are weird, and so all kinds of assumptions were being said about these early believers. So now, with the freedoms of the internet and the freedoms of speech and the freedoms that we take for granted often, if somebody maligned us we feel slighted in some way or stereotyped in some way, usually we’ll just go right back, right eye for eye, tooth for tooth, whatever we gotta knock out, whatever we feel likes been brought against us we’re gonna come back that much stronger and dominate and be right. The people that Peter is writing to, these Jewish people who are being dominated by the Roman Empire, who really don’t have a spiritual home anymore because they’re also being dominated and pushed around and stereotyped by their fellow Hebrew people, they don’t really have the opportunity to rise up and do that. But even if they had the opportunity to rise up and do that that’s not the council that the apostle Peter them with. And honestly, if we have to sum up what Peter is saying it’s: hey guys, you’re better than this, don’t you know that you’re better than this. Let me just quote Peter and it’s really simple, it’s is the 15th verse of the second chapter of first Peter “God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” I mean just stop there because we could be like; well, that is what I’m doing if we’re the one that is constantly doing this. Let me read the whole thing, God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good, live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil but as God’s slaves, honor all people, love the family of Christ, fear God, honor the king. I guess there’s plenty to say, doesn’t it, doesn’t just say it for itself, like if that’s not how we’re conducting ourselves, then there is at bare minimum, a disconnect from what Peter is suggesting what we live into as the body of Christ. Like, it’s not, the things aren’t being said or marginalization or stereotyping isn’t happening. It’s the response. Do you, do you fight back with the same tactics or do you say no, that’s not, that’s not who I am and just move on and rise above it all and be better than that because eventually your true character has to shine through. And isn’t that what makes us human, isn’t that what humanizes us away from a stereotype and makes us a person like everybody else doing their very best to try to live true. This advice will change our lives. It’s as simple as that. If we change our speech, we change our lives and this could change our lives and maybe we only have control over that. We can’t change the world we can just change our lives. But if God’s people would see things like this directly and clearly from the Scriptures and obey it, instead of all of the different nuances that we fight over we would change the world by rising above it all and revealing a better way to be a human being, but may we at least personalize it. May we at least take ownership of ourselves and determine for ourselves that we are going to rise above it all. We will be a witness to the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ not by the next clever meme, but by the weightiness of our very lives.
So, Holy Spirit, come into that, O we need You, more than ever we need You. We are all over the map, all of the time. And so, on some days we are actually doing well and on other days we’ve lost ground. We need You because we need to consistently live into the principles that you have taught us and this one specifically in first Peter today, understand our posture of heart and how it is that we should be in this world and how that will change things. Come Holy Spirit into this, we will not be successful without Your leadership and we humble ourselves to Your leadership and pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com that is home base and that’s where you find out what’s going on around here and there’s a lot of stuff going on around here right now as we move into the holiday season. So, yesterday we announced our brand-new Christmas album that releases one week from today on December 1st and is available for preorder right now and you instantly get 1/3 of the album, three songs, well, it’s a 10 song album. This is a contemplative kind of atmospheric treatment of the classic Christmas carols that we know and love and it was produced and arranged and performed by my son Maxwell. So, during this preorder week, it is available in the iTunes store for the Apple devices and it’s also available in the Amazon store for download. So, that is available now, I’m excited for you to hear it. I’ve been listening to it for over, well, about a week. It’s beautiful. It’s right down my alley and enjoyed since I was a kid, shutting all the lights off in the house and just leaving the Christmas lights on and just kinda, just being quiet, just enjoy, just having Christmas music in the background to set the tone and just appreciating the season and this record is made for that so just search for Maxwell Hardin Christmas Time and you’ll find it. I hope you can pick up a copy when we have preorder pricing.
The other thing is that tomorrow is going to be Thanksgiving here in the United States and then the day after that is a Friday and it’s Black Friday all over the world. I think big, big shopping day and so our email inboxes are about to get jammed with every conceivable Black Friday configuration known to man, so just letting you know a little bit, a couple of days ahead of the game here. The Daily Audio Bible Christmas box that we’ve done annually for a long time, we didn’t do it last year due to COVID, but we are doing it this year and it becomes available, now today. So, if you go to the Daily Audio Bible Shop using a web browser or using the Daily Audio Bible app you will see in the Shop a new category, it’s called Christmas and the Christmas category you will find Family Christmas 2021. And this year in the box we have a copy of the God of Your story, a written resource that is, I mean the Daily Audio Bible is what the Daily Audio Bible is and this is happening in real time, we’re doing this together every day but if there were a written version of the things that we talk about as were navigating and moving through the Bible in the fashion that we do it would be the God of Your Story. It’s a 365 day dated devotional, that’s not my favorite word because it just plugs right into the Daily Audio Bible here but if you’re ever without Internet access, or you’re kinda of taking break from the Internet and you continue the rhythm in the Scriptures, than the God of Your Story is a perfect companion to the Daily Audio Bible. This is a beautiful hardback edition. It’s a lovely piece that I thought would be fairly simple to write but it took two years to really dive in and write this and so I’m glad that it is available and it will be in the Christmas box this year. We also will be including the Daily Audio Bible writing notebook, the Daily Audio Bible journal 3.0 and yeah, we’ve just been over time kind of trying to create a journal that you can carry with you, that you can have with you that is fun, uses good quality paper and is good to write and I personally use black wing pencils that we sell in the shop as well and the journal is perfect for writing in a pencil. But I’ve also written plenty of notes in pen. But if you’re planning to take the journey through the Bible next year and if you feel like God speaks to you through His word, then it’s good to have something to take notes with. If the Lord is speaking it’s good to take notes and so a Daily Audio Bible journal will be included in the Christmas box this year. We are also including the Global Campfire candle which is well, it’s a Global Campfire candle. It’s got the Global Campfire logo on it. It’s a beautiful tin candle and we worked with the perfumer to create an aroma that smells like a campfire. And I’m not talking about a smoldering campfire that just had water poured all of it and just smells like soot and smoke. It’s a lovely aroma that evokes a campfire and evokes the community that we are around the Global Campfire. Also, included your choice of either the DAB blend of fresh roasted coffee or if you are a tea drinker, we are including as the tea selection, our honey bush and rebus herbal tea, which is one of our more sought-after teas, so it’s your pick either coffee or tea. Also included will be our 2021 Christmas ornament. So, it’s got Daily Audio Bible 2021 on it and the word for the year which has been “mend” and I love these. I’ve got them since we started doing them. I think 10, 11, 12 years ago, I don’t know, a long time ago. I got one for each year, goes on the tree and it just reminds me of the journey through the Bible in a year in community. There’s no possible way I could have everybody over for hot cocoa and cookies at our house and that would be impossible, but it’s one of the ways, one of the things that I have in our Christmas tradition that brings the community home and close in nearby. So, that ornament is available in the Christmas box for this year. In fact, that’s the only place you can get it, is in the Christmas box. We are also including a Global Campfire pop socket. So, pop socket is that little handhold device he can come to stick to your tablet or your phone and then you have a little grip. We’ve made one with the Global Campfire logo on it. Also, two Global Campfire stickers and a pack of five Global Campfire frame-able postcards, it’s a series of Global Campfire postcards. It can be used as postcards to write, put a stamp on, send away or to kind of hang onto and put in different places to remind you of the community that we are as we moved to the Scriptures together. And then lastly, we will be including a mystery item from the vault, while supplies last. So, you can check out the Christmas box. The family Christmas box for 2021 in the Daily Audio Bible Shop which you can access at dailyaudiobible.com or using the Daily Audio Bible by pressing the drawer icon in the upper left-hand corner and in the Shop you will find Christmas category now that it’s Christmas time and you’ll find the Daily Audio Bible Christmas box for 2021 there in the Christmas section. Another new resource that we’ve been talking about for about a week is the Promised Land, Photographs from the Land of the Bible which is beautiful coffee table book full of photographs from the land of the Bible that have been curated from nine different seasons in the land of the Bible that can also be found in the Daily Audio Bible Shop. In fact, we even put it in the Christmas section to make it easy to find. You can find it in a couple of other sections but if you just go to the Shop, click Christmas, then you’ll find Christmas box as well, as well as the Promised Land book, so check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, here as we begin to approach the end of the year, I thank you humbly, humbly, deeply with a deep gratitude. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t in this together. And so, thank you. There is a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996 Springhill, Tennessee 37174.
And as always, if you have a prayer request or encouragement, you can hit the Hotline button in the app or you can dial 877-942-4253.
And that’s it for today, I’m Brian. I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.