Isaiah 3:1-5:30, 2 Corinthians 11:1-15, Psalms 53:1-6, Proverbs 22:28-29
Today is the 9th day of September welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today as it is all the time every day that we gather together around the Global Campfire in the little oasis that we create each day as we come and move forward on our journey through the Scriptures. And our journey has led us to the book of Isaiah which we began yesterday. And we’ll be camping out in Isaiah for a bit. It’s one of the longer books in the Bible. And, so, let's…let’s dive in. Today Isaiah chapters 3 through 5.
Okay. So, we have a strange scenario materializing in Paul’s letter, known as second Corinthians, because for all of the diminishment of comparison in all of the ways that comparison is not a good thing in general but definitely not in the body of Christ Paul is going to step into comparison and he’s going to be comparing himself to others. And Paul says in the letter today, “I don’t think I’m inferior in any way to your super-apostles” which is a very strange…like these are apostles who are full of the Holy Spirit, but also get to wear a cape…like I am a super-apostle above other apostles. And, so, it’s kind of like this weird very, very personal thing going on in this letter, but also yet again another example of how tumultuous it was at the beginning. So, often we’ll read to the book of Acts, and we’ll just have this kind of idea that everything was roses. Jesus ascended to the father, the Holy Spirit came and it was just awesome, when in fact it was a very bumpy road. So, there’s been plenty of debate over plenty of centuries among biblical scholars about who Paul’s talking about when he’s like contrasting himself with super-apostles. And what we’re likely talking about here are people who are moving around the Roman Empire, the known world understanding and knowing that churches or congregations centered around the worship of Jesus are materializing all over the place. And, so, these churches are being visited and people are coming to churches that Paul has established with different teachings or convictions about Jesus and His work and what He represents and its nuanced in a way that’s different from Paul, whereas Paul has gone through an awful lot to plant the churches that he’s planted, a lot of hunger, a lot of thirst, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of persecution, a lot of anxiety and stress. And then people are coming in behind him after all of the foundation has been laid and nuancing the gospel in a way that Paul doesn’t like. And these super apostles, well they could be people who were actual disciples of Jesus or people who were associated with actual disciples of Jesus, thus giving them this kind of super-apostle claim. This is a claim that Paul can make. He never met Jesus in his human ministry in his human life, but it seems as if some people by association with whoever is…whoever these super apostles are would gain credibility in the churches that they would go to. And since there are nuances in what was being taught you have an immediate contrast which leads you to a comparison between Paul and the super-apostles. And it should be noted that we’re reading the New Testament, but there was a time when this wasn’t the New Testament. And as we read the New Testament we’re reading about that time when there wasn’t a New Testament, right? So, people weren’t referring to Scripture and verse to try to validate what they believed or thought. A lot of nuanced teachings about Jesus were swirling around and very extreme. So on the one hand you might have Jewish believers that Paul sometimes calls Judaizers but basically, believers in Jesus, but believers that Jesus was a Jew, was the Jewish Messiah, had a Jewish message, lived in a Jewish context, that the whole thing was Hebrew and that Jesus didn’t start a new religion that was different than Judaism, that follow Jesus you needed to follow the customs of the Hebrew people believing that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Hebrew story, right? So, even if you thought Gentiles were welcome at the table they needed to move through a process of converting into the Jewish Hebrew faith and religion and then follow Jesus. Whereas Paul is like, that’s not the way it works. God is sending His Holy Spirit upon Gentiles who don’t have a clue about the Hebrew context. But like on the other extreme, like the far extreme of that were people who had a completely different view of Jesus as a being sent to reveal the true God, even as extreme as to say that the Hebrew God is an evil God and Jesus came to reveal the true God and the real mission in this life is to understand that this world is a cage, we’re trapped here and our goal is to escape it and that is done through systematically denying human experiences in favor of seeking spiritual experiences. And, so, a lot swirling around. So, Paul finds himself in a predicament where he has to self-validate and he calls this boasting. And boasting about yourself, like that’s rarely considered a good thing. But what…what choice does Paul have since he’s been forced because he’s being compared to not address it? Because Paul’s pretty concerned about people getting swept into teachings that he hasn’t given. So, Paul’s kind of in a squirmy sort of situation that he doesn’t want to be in because it’s like who can prove that they’re the most authentic disciple of Jesus Christ? Like that is a no win situation. And, so, Paul has to step in and basically say, I am not inferior to anybody you are comparing me with. If they’ve done things you’re going to see that I’ve done even more. And we may think like, well why don’t you just go ahead and continue doing the good works that you’re doing and let them speak for themselves? Like, why the insecurity? Like what’s going on here? But Paul basically said why. And I quote, “I’m as protective of you as God is. After all, you’re a virgin who I promised in marriage to one man, Christ.” And, so, as we continue this letter tomorrow we’ll get to hear all of Paul’s boasting but even at this point we have an opportunity to kind of look at our own lives and how we contrast things and how we compare things and how we contrast people and compare people and how we contrast ourselves and compare ourselves in the ways that we look for validation for ourselves, the ways that we boast without boasting, the way that we try to legitimize what we have to say in contrast to what somebody else has to say, or because of who we know, or whose name we can throw out there. What we need to remember is there’s only one validation that actually matters. There’s only one validation and it’s available to everybody and that’s the awareness that we are nothing without Christ Jesus. And if we are nothing without Jesus then everything that we are is because of Jesus. We actually have no claims in and of ourselves. And, so, feeding our ego by self-validation is really just that, feeding our ego. Paul’s quote of boasting is coming from a very different place. He is concerned for the people that he has risked his life to bring the gospel to and we’ll hear more about what he has to say tomorrow.
Father, we thank You. We thank You for the territory that we are in in the Scriptures right now. Thank You for the way that the Scriptures bring things up by letting us look back and see that so many of the things that are going on now were going on then. We are still struggling with much of the same kinds of things and that lets us know our desperate need of You and how often we are unwilling to surrender comparison or anything else that gives us a sense of control to You. We repent of that. We humble ourselves before You. Any value that we have has been bestowed upon us by You and it is considerable value that we can’t claim. You have given it to us. And, so, may we see ourselves through this lens and may we see our brothers and sisters all around the world through this same lens we ask in the 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:
Hi Daily Audio Bible family. Phone calls make me nervous, so I hope you can understand me well enough. I called in a few years ago asking for prayer for our salvation for my husband. It hasn’t happened yet. Our lives are both a mess and my mental health has been worsening. I am going to therapy and have realized that if I had been a healthier whole person I never would have been in a relationship with my husband. I don’t know if I ever truly loved him or if I just pitied him and from the mindset of my past trauma whatever I thought God wanted me there to help him. Please pray for wisdom for me for decisions and logistics, whatever decisions end up being made. I’m torn between feeling like we need to split up for my own health like I’m being taken advantage of and manipulated and between feeling guilty because I don’t know what he can do if we do split up. He hasn’t worked since Covid and has so many health issues but drags his feet on going to a doctor. But sometimes I feel hope that he will be saved and that things would be good. I really need wisdom and clarity because I don’t you know which of my thoughts to trust. I need to be able to discern whether he is speaking honestly, and I need humility and growth like if we need to learn to communicate better or whether he is trying to gaslight me and I need to stand up for myself and stop enabling him. My parents always said my name means crowned with joy, so I think I’ll go by that. Thank you so much for your prayers. Love you guys. Bye.
Hi Daily Audio Bible family this is Renzo in Florida and I just want to pray for a few of the DABbers. Father God, I pray for Egbert. I just thank You for his faith, Lord God. Let him keep being on fire for You Lord God. Guide him and just keep being filled, let him keep getting into Your word always God and just thank You for everything. And Father God, I also pray for Noreen Lord God, I pray for her relationship with her mother and her brother. Lord God, I pray that there is healing and a relationship that will just draw them closer. And of course, that’s all directed by You Lord. So, sanctify everything God. Guide them in Jesus’ name. And Father God I just pray for…I think it’s Shayla. Father God I just pray that You just guide her and her husband in what they’re going through with his legal stuff God. Just heal her and just guide her as she goes through this, hard times, her and her husband and the hurt and sorrow. God just guide her, give her bees God in this time and let her just be filled with the Spirit and her husband. In Jesus’ name. Amen. And I just ask you guys to just pray that I just keep putting God first, I keep walking with him and keep spreading the gospel through the gifts that He’s given me. And I just pray that I just keep…just keep being consistent in my word and spending time with God. If you could pray for that. God bless you guys. Jesus loves you. So do I. Bye.
Hi family this is Biola from Maryland. It’s been a very tough year for me. My mother passed away suddenly a few months ago and then I had a car accident. I just want to thank God that He does care about us. First Peter 5:7 says that we should cast all our cares on Him because He cares. And He means all our cares. So, I thank God that, you know, He’s there, He’s been there for me and I give him praise because He always leaves an avenue of praise in whatever happens in our lives. I want to give a shout out to my brother Egbert out there in Belize. My brother I pray that God will protect all the concerns you in the name of Jesus. Brother, I pray that He will provide for all your needs. And sister from North Carolina I heard you. You said you’re lonely and your husband travels and you’re out there with the kids. This is just a season in your life sister, and I pray that the Lord will comfort you during this season in your life and He will bring divine connections your way in the name of Jesus. Have you thought about reaching out to a local church around you sister? I will be praying for you. Nadine from Dubai, I heard your prayer request, and I am praying that God may help you, your mom, and brother. He knows what your situation is and I pray that he will grant you your heart’s desires regarding the situation in the name of Jesus. Sister from sun from Saskatchewan this is a difficult situation, but I pray that God will fill your heart with peace and will have mercy upon your friend and give him favor before the judge in the name of Jesus. Kingdom Seeker Daniel I’m rejoicing with you and Lady of Victory, and I pray that God will cause your love to increase and about more and more in Jesus’ name. God bless you all family.
Hi family this is Anne in California. I was just calling to ask for prayer. I don’t even know where to begin but I am going through a really rough time. Having a hard time at work. When it used to be a great community of just everybody coming together loving one another being family has become us against you with young people and older people. And I don’t understand it. It never used to be that way. And even in my work itself I don’t feel content because I feel like they’re…they’re just keeping me because they have too. I don’t know. It’s so discouraging. And I used to be involved in so many things and I’ve just been put on the shelf. I don’t know anything. The hard thing about all of this is that I work at my church. I never thought it would become this way. And because it’s like this in church at work I’m feeling like this in my relationship with the Lord too. And I know that he doesn’t reflect how man feels about me but I’m struggling because He’s allowing it to happen. So, if it’s time for me to get a new job I will but that’s terrifying at 56 years of age. So, please just pray that I have clear direction of where I need to be. And I want to be content no matter what my circumstances are. So, I don’t want to fall into discontentment. So, yeah. Thank you.
Good morning, DABbers I’m calling in for Nate from Washington. He called up asking for prayer for sex addition. And Lord he wanted prayers for himself and his for his wife. So, Lord I pray against the addition that Nate has and pray that You would truly him know the pain that he’s caused his wife. I pray that Nate would repent and turn from his past and not just with a simple and sorry Lord but a true heart change that leads him to fall before You in humble repentance and that he would rebuke the Father of lies that coaxes him into believing that he can’t stop. Father Your word says that You haven’t given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. So, I pray that he’d see an amazing change in his own heart and his own mind and that that would transfer to his wife and her heart and mind would change and she’d be able to truly forgive and trust him again. Lord, I pray that as Nate claims his mind back from the enemy we know that Satan is gonna totally would not want to give up the place that he’s had so far and the place that only God should have. So, give him strength. Lord, in the battle with the lies and the confusion I pray that You’d help Nate to declare out loud that he won’t allow any of Satan’s lies to infiltrate his mind or his Spirit. Your word says that at the name of Jesus demons have to flee. So, help Nate to truly understand the power that he has is only in the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, and the word of God. Won’t You Lord fill his heart and his mind with pure and holy thoughts Lord. Give him victory in Jesus’ name. Amen.