Ezra 10:1-44, 1 Corinthians 6:1-20, Psalms 31:9-18, Proverbs 21:3
Today is the 10th day of August welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it’s great to be here with you today as we gather around the Global Campfire and settle in and take the next step forward together. And to take the next step forward we’ve got to go to the place where we left off so we can take the next step and that leads us back into the books of Ezra and first Corinthians. In the book of Ezra, Ezra has arrived at Jerusalem, only to find out that the people, the exiles, the people who should’ve known better, are mixing with the people in the lands around them taking wives in marriage, giving sons in marriage, essentially doing the very things that led them into idolatry and to their demise. And, so, Ezra has humbled himself, tore his robes, lifted his hands the sky and essentially said, what can we say about this? What can we say? And that’s where we pick up the story. Today Ezra chapter 10.
Okay. In first Corinthians we can see, at least at this portion of the letter, Paul is not pulling punches and is being extraordinarily direct in what he’s trying to say so that nothing can be misconstrued. He is trying to be clear to people that he knows and to people who are participating in things that they know they’re not supposed to be participating in, things that they know are wrong. And the parallel continues with Ezra because that’s what the people in Ezra’s time are going through. And easy enough to read into first Corinthians, especially what we were reading today as Paul shaming the Corinthians. But if we look closer, is he shaming them in, you know, the way that we understand shame today, in the way that shame is something that is talked about a lot or is he exposing? Is he shining the light so that they can see and be exposed to the light what they are hiding in the dark? What seems to be happening here isn’t that Paul wants to heap condemnation and shame upon the people. He's…he’s inviting them to open their eyes and see that they have been called to a higher standard, that they have been invited into actual true freedom. And some of the things that they are participating in and allowing are not going to lead to freedom but actually bondage and enslavement, which in Paul’s view was not how things are supposed to go. So, for Paul, Jesus being raised from the dead is so huge, but it denotes a shift, a complete shift in the species of human beings. And we talked about this when we were going to the letter to the Romans. Jesus was resurrected into new life from the dead. So, He was the first born into new life, life from death. For Paul that started something new and all we who believe are reborn or born again to new life in Christ. The claims of sin have been dealt with. There is nothing that has claim to us other than that which we give authority to. So, he talks about a bunch of things today, like taking each other to court and like why would you do that? Like are there are literally no wise people among you that can help sort this out? Why do you traipse before unbelievers and allow them to have authority and make a judgment? Like, don’t you know that that’s what you’re being nurtured into by your Father, that you are to rule and reign? Can’t you sort this out? Why do we need to be a humiliation to ourselves by the conduct that…that we participate in. He talked about a number of things in this way. And in so many ways what Paul is doing is discussing what freedom might actually be. Because we think freedom is that we can choose whatever we want whenever we want with whoever we want, regardless of the consequences. That’s freedom. We are free to do as we please. From Paul’s perspective that’s not really freedom that is an open door to bondage or put that in Paul’s words, “everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” That should not be really all that foreign of the concept. We can make our choices. We can choose to get into that argument and shouting match and World War III. We can choose to commit adultery. We can choose to leave our family and those that we love. We can…we can choose whatever we want and pretty much nobody can stop us. We can choose those things and say I exercised my freedom, I needed…I needed to move in this other direction. I’m outta here, or whatever the case may be. For Paul, that’s not actually freedom. Just because you can make a decision or a choice doesn’t mean it’s a good decision or choice that will lead you into shalom, into the way things ought to be, into wholeness and peace. So, we have freedoms to make choices, but those choices then are allowed to matter. And, so, for Paul, just kind of pulling up a blanket of freedom and saying everything under this blanket is my freedoms, I can do whatever I want isn’t necessarily giving or bringing you freedom. For example, you could take your blanket and…and get a hive of killer hornets and put it under that blanket and climb under the blanket with them and say I’m free to do this. Sure. You’re probably not going to enjoy the repercussions and at that point you probably won’t consider it freedom. The thing is though, life is so full of like of these gray areas and knowing how to choose long-term freedom over time in the thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of choices that we have to make even in a day. It's…it’s like some…sometimes hard to know. So how can we know? Basically, kind of following the reasoning of Paul, we have to be willing to take a step back enough so that we how perspective enough to take some inventory about ourselves and about the way and the why we do what we do. We have to be able to observe ourselves at least enough, be self-aware enough to understand what we have given authority to in our lives, what we are willing to be a slave to. Paul says, everything is permissible for me, but I will not let anything master me, right? I will not allow anything to dominate me. I will not enslave myself to anything. If we think about the things that maybe we have been enslaved to in the past or in the present, that’s what we’re talking about here, the things that are mastering us and not the other way around. We have but one master and we are supposed to be slaves to righteousness, living sacrifices. There is one master, one authority and when our full faith and trust is in that authority knowing that that authority, speaking of the Lord, loves us and wants the absolute best for us and knows the absolute best for us we place our trust in that and walk in that direction and away from anything that would thwart that process of relationship with God, anything that would get between us and God. And, so let’s give it some thought today. What are we allowing to be our master, to master us? And are we really free because we choose to allow that to master us?
Father again, we thank You for the Scriptures. We thank You for Your word in our lives and the way that it touches everything about us as we move through a year. We are grateful for this opportunity for self-reflection about the things that we have allowed to master us. Holy Spirit, come. Reveal that to us as we contemplate it. You are the master You are the Savior. There is no one else and You indeed will lead us into wholeness and completeness, and shalom. So, come lead us into all truth, even all truth about ourselves and why we do what we do and what we allow to master us. We pray this in the 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:
Hey this is Chris calling from Brooklyn. I just want to thank God for allowing me to wake up today first and foremost. I need help getting this anxiety out of my way, getting this depression, this stress, this pain that’s within me. So, if you could, somebody please pray for me. Finding a job. Giving all the devil that he wants around me. Please. I’m first-time caller and this my first time calling so please play help me out. Thank you.
Hi DAB this is Hopeful, and I heard another Hopeful and I, of course, I love that name. So, I can Still Hopeful. And Hopeful I just wanna let you know I’m praying for you and your husband. And just wait God it’s gonna do something incredible. And it’s been over a year that I’ve called in and I have an incredible praise report. So, one of my last calls I was letting you all know that my husband was on his way to a meditation retreat. And it’s been…let’s see it’s been a little over a year and on his way to the retreat, on his way home I believe someone actually pulled a gun on him at a red light and the Lord kept him safe from anything happening. And he didn’t tell me for a while and then long story short he is a believer. He is a Christian. And I never thought…I didn’t know if I’d ever see that. It’s a miracle. And I just wanted to thank you so much for…I always get so emotional…I want to thank you all so much for your prayers and support. I love, love, love this community. It has changed my life. It’s been maybe six years or seven that I’ve been listening, and I just love you all so much. And as you know it’s been a while so we are still trying. We still haven’t been successful…successful in having any children yet but I’m waiting for the next miracle. So, I am still hopeful and…and I'm…we just pray Lord Father God for everyone in the DAB family who is struggling with infertility Father. We pray for breakthroughs. And Lord if we can’t have children that I just pray that you’d open up doors of adoption or just your will in Jesus’ name.
Hi this is Chris from California. I’ve been a listener for the last three years and a friend of mine shared this resource with me and I’m so thankful for this community and how much it has meant to my life. And I’m very grateful. And today I'm…I’m calling in for prayer for my family, specifically my marriage. My wife and I are separated. We’ve been married for 26 years, and we have three children, and our family is so hurt right now and so broken. But I know that God can heal. And I pray that you’d lift us up and I’m praying for God to do a miracle because I don’t see a lot of hope. And I pray you guys lift my wife Gin up and her heart would be open to restoration and reconciliation and a new beginning. And I pray that God would do an amazing thing and that He would get the glory and that it would be a testimony to what the power of God can do. And, so, if you’d lift us up and keep us in your prayers, I would so appreciate it. Because I know that anything is possible with God. God bless you all.
The image was there but you couldn’t yet see it
the film has to be developed in a solution that will free it
and then a beautiful image of a picture you’ll see
and those same truths that apply to film also apply to you and me
because we also bear an image of our father from up above
kindness, patience, joy, and peace, longsuffering, compassion, love
but unless you’ve been washed and Jesus’ blood and enveloped in his spirit
you’ll never see his image you can’t feel it or draw near it
we’re created in God’s image so God is clearly there
our lives are like a negative so handle with care
firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d like to give a shout out to Mark Reef down under. Hope all is well. Haven’t heard from you in a while. And also, Byron from Florida and Biola. Haven’t heard from you in a while either. Hope all is well. Know you’re all loved and thought of often daily in my prayers. Once again Brian and the Hardin family thank you for this wonderful podcast for God’s Holy Spirit to flow. Keep it flowing y'all. Alright. Bye-bye.
Good morning, DAB this is Penny from southwest Missouri, and I just heard Shelly from Oklahoma and I just want to say kudos to you sister, and I am with you there. I have been a listener for…well 13…15 years I don’t even know but I do know that I’ve been around the world literally, figuratively just with life and the one consistent in my life has been Daily Audio Bible and I know it has carried me through. Being able to listen to the word and absorb that every day literally changes your life. When you’re looking for this missing puzzle piece or the right prayer or the right friends to pray for you all you need…I mean you do need that of course…but to drench yourself in the word of God every day maybe several times a day. Listen to it over and over. It has miraculous powers. And I am just so thankful that we have this community and I’m like you Shelly, I listened for years and didn’t continue listening to the prayer requests. It was just all about me and I’m sorry, but I guess that’s the truth. But once I started listening to the requests and the praises my life just has been filled with so much joy. I love all of you. I love your voices. I love your accents. I love your prayers. And this is a church. This is a community and I’m with you Shelly. There is no greater place to support as far as I’m concerned. This is like the early church, and we love each other. You guys have…
Hey Sean from the UK this is a message about Romans 7 and about addictions. [singing starts] that which I would not, that do I do. I wish I wouldn’t do it but I’m already through. My spirit wars within me and I can’t get any rest. I’m doing all these crazy things. My flesh is such a pest. But I thank God that I am His for he will take me, break me, wake me, wash me, heal me, cleanse me, save me. I thank God that I am His [singing stops]. Sean I am a Jane Ruth from Nebraska and this year I will celebrate 37 years clean and sober. That is a blooming miracle and I do it one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. And you know it’s a miracle because every year it seems like I do a little different addiction because the addictions are not always the same. But the miracle is that there’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. I just wanted to say I’m standing with you and I’m praying with you one day at a time. Sometimes it’s one hour at a time, sometimes it’s one minute at a time. But remember that if God be for you who can be against you. And there’s no one that’s greater than you because greater is He that’s in you than he that’s in the world. All those with addictions remember greater is He that’s in you than he that is in the world. This is Jane Ruth in Nebraska. I love you.