Isaiah 60:1-62:5, Philippians 1:27-2:18, Psalm 72:1-20, Proverbs 24:11-12
Today is the 30th day of September, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It’s great to be here with you today, as we bring to the close, another one of our months together. So, we’re closing down month nine and tomorrow moving into month 10. And what a joy it is been to be on this adventure thus far, and certainly looking forward to every day we have left to spend in this year together in the Scriptures. So, as we bring this month to a close, we go back to where we left off, which leads us back out into the book of Isaiah. We’ve been camping out in the book of Isaiah for a while. We got a little stretch in front of us. Like, we are at Isaiah chapter 60 today and there are 66 chapters in the book of Isaiah, so we’re rounding a corner. But Isaiah’s one of the longest books in the Bible. That is where we left off yesterday, so, today, Isaiah chapter 60 verse 1 through 62 verse 5.
Okay, so there are a lot of things that if we, sort of understand the context in the letter to the Philippians, they bring out more meaning. In fact, that’s true of all of Paul’s letters. But like knowing that Paul is writing from prison and awaiting a trial that has a life and death sentence attached to it and actually, for that matter, knowing that the eventual outcome is the execution of Paul, should make us pay attention. This is a person who’s going to die for what they believe in and what they believe in, is what we find in these letters. This is a person who’s going to die for what they wrote in their letters and not just what they wrote in their letters but what they spoke out loud and what they lived. So, for example, if Paul’s laying out a posture that we are supposed to espouse and live into, he’s not sitting in a dungeon in Rome, thinking about how he can control the Philippians or the Colossians or anybody else. In part, he’s gotta be thinking about what he can say that may live on beyond him. And certainly, these letters of Paul, found in the New Testament, have done just that, lived on beyond him and had enormous impact on the world. So, in our reading today, Paul was talking about our posture toward each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ, children of the most high God, and citizens of God’s kingdom. So, I quote from Paul, “Dear friends, as you always obeyed me when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey me now, while I am away from you. Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation because God is always at work in you, to make you willing and able to obey His own purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be innocent and pure as God’s perfect children, who live in a world of corrupt and sinful people. You must shine among them like stars, lighting up the sky, as you offer them the message of life. If you do so, I shall have reason to be proud of you on the day of Christ because it will show that all my effort and work have not been wasted. Perhaps my life’s blood is to be poured out like an offering on the sacrifice that your faith offers to God. If that is so, I am glad and share my joy with you all. In the same way, you too must be glad and share your joy with me.” And if we’ve read any of Paul’s other letters, we know that there are lists and postures and we can just be like, yeah, I mean, living a straight and narrow life, everybody knows that. But Paul’s not writing these letters to sort of unify behavior for the sake of behavior modification. Like here’s what you’re doing wrong, here’s the gold standard, here’s what you’re not living up to. He’s not really attempting to get people to modify, he’s trying to get people to imitate. This isn’t us by our brute force trying to modify our behavior, like stop complaining. He’s trying to get us to imitate Jesus behavior by not complaining. We’re supposed to be living our lives worthy and set apart as holy. We’re supposed to be living our lives Christlike, like Christ, imitating Christ, which was what he had just previously outlined. And I quote from Paul, about Jesus posture, “He always had the nature of God. But He did not think that by force He should try to remain equal with God. Instead of this, of His own free will, He gave up all he had and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death, His death on the cross.” As backward as that is and flies in the face of culture in so many ways, that is what we are supposed to be trying to be like. That is being an imitator, that is being Christ like. And that would have mattered to Paul, who was in prison, awaiting the knowledge of whether he would live or die. Because for Paul, he was imitating Christ, which would change the whole context of his imprisonment. So, as opposed to being a dangerous criminal to the Roman Empire who needed to be in a dungeon and somebody the emperor someday would decide whether he would live or die, Paul could see he was following the path of Jesus and the path of Jesus was leading him right where Jesus ended up. And with that perspective, he could see that he was walking in the footsteps of Jesus and was having to do exactly what Jesus instructed and modeled: endurance. Paul was willing to walk that path and re-model that path, so that all of the brothers and sisters could see what that looked like, because they were facing the same journeys. And the only possible way, it’s worth it, at all, self-sacrifice and even sacrifice of one’s life, the only way it’s worth it, is if Jesus is who He says He is, if Jesus is Lord. Paul unpacks what that looks like, right after he described Jesus posture. So, Paul says for this reason so, because of what Jesus did, God raised Him to the highest place above and gave Him the name that is greater than any other name. And so, in honor of the name of Jesus, all beings in heaven, on earth and in the world below, will fall on their knees and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. When we imitate Jesus and that includes endurance, and we find joy in surrender and find our only hope is in God, then we are imitating Jesus, we are imitating God and that completely transforms who we are. And for Paul, this is the highest pursuit, there is no cost too great, even life itself, for Jesus is Lord over life and death. Which ultimately leads us to look at our own lives as the Scriptures so often do, are we imitating Jesus, are we allowing ourselves to be conformed to Him in His image or is Jesus the heavenly being that we talk to, to make our suffering and hardship go away and make our life easier? Are we chasing after the life Christ offers, or are we trying to live the life we want and bring Jesus in it to make it even better? Is God, the God of our story or are we the Lord of our story and God is a part of that story as insurance? Some things to think about today.
And Holy Spirit, we invite You into those things as we move through this day and meditate upon what we’ve read and consider our own hearts postures toward You and toward our brothers and sisters. Are trying to imitate You? Reveal this to us, help us to be observant of ourselves today in our postures toward each other today and our hearts posture toward You today. And then instruct us in the way that we should go. We ask this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com that is home, home base, that is where you can find out what’s going on around here, as I mention most every day. The Daily Audio Bible app can be downloaded from the App Store that is connected to your device so, check that out. And of course, while you’re checking out, check out the different sections, like the Community Section of the website or the app, that is certainly where links to different social media channels can be found and where we’re participating. That is also the home of the Prayer Wall, and that is a resource that is exclusive to the community here. We can always have a place to go and pray for each other and always have a place to go and be prayed for. And so, certainly be aware of that. That is in the Community Section of the website and the app.
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And that’s it for today. Last day of the month. From here, we move forward into the 10th month of the year, that’s exciting and I’m Brian, I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here, next month.
Prayer and Encouragements:
Hello DAB family this is K from Columbus, Ohio. I was calling to encourage, I’m sorry I didn’t get all the name Testimony from UK. You don’t think you are a great parent. I got to tell you, all of us as parents has failed. Feel like we’re failing, we might be failing today. Sometimes we’re just don’t have enough patience, we’re tired, we’re doing our own thing and then we have to raise kids. So, it’s hard but it’s also hard being a great parent and saying no to your children. It’s okay to say no and it’s okay to discipline them and it’s okay to love them. It’s not like you’re over-loving them. And sometimes you miss the mark. That’s why we stay in prayer, what can I do better about everything in our lives. Apply that to your child. And if you think you need help, get help. There is nothing wrong with that, that’s the best thing you can do is get the help that you need to encourage yourself, your husband and your child. What is it that you need help with? Why do you think you need help? Check with those people around you. Everyone can help. Let the schools help you. If he can’t express himself, maybe he can’t, he’s four. They’re learning to just use their words and stop getting so frustrated. But why are we so frustrated? But get the help. I’m a teacher by the way, so I see it all the time. I teach his age. And I teach the exact same skills that he needs to gain. It’s quite okay and I’m sure it’s even more frustrating for you when you pick him up from school. But it’s going to be okay. Be encouraged. And say prayer for him and be around like minded people who can help you in each and every way and model what it means to be a great parent and to fail at the same time. Love you.
Hey family this is Zina from London. Calling today, the 25th of September. Just calling today, asking for prayers. I lost my niece on the first of September. She’s 26 years old. And it’s been really, really hard for my family, especially my sister, whose daughter just passed. Her name is Jariroo, she lives in Sierra Leone. I traveled to see her, and I just came back two days ago for the funeral. If you can keep everyone in prayer, please. Especially the mom and the dad. My sister is going through a loss of emotional distress right now. And it’s so hard, it’s so painful to watch her go through this. We are also going through the pain but for her it’s a lot more harder because this young person, she was her mom’s friend and daughter and everything. She was just finishing her college; she was in final year, but she passed suddenly. And that was a really big trauma for the whole family. If you can keep us all in prayer, especially the mother, who is my younger sister. She lives in Sierra Leone. Please, thank you. God bless, Zina from London.
Hi DABers all over the world. I’m a first-time caller and this is God’s Gal, Minnesota. I started the Daily Audio Bible in January so I’m new. And I’ve listened to the community, and it just sounds wonderful. Thank you all for just contributing. Just recently I heard, I think it was last week, today is Sunday the 25th of September, last week I heard a caller, call in a female that was incarcerated, in prison, and I had heard a man another time, and I didn’t know that they could listen. So, today I’m praying for all those who are in prison and please join with me. Dear Father, I ask that You lift, be the lifter of their head and help these brothers and sisters that are behind bars or behind walls. Give them hope. Remind them of the promises that You have for them. Remind them too that we all, in a sense, are prisoners really in this world. It’s only when we are with You, Father, that we’ll be free again. Thank You Lord for this community and I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen. Again, it’s God’s Gal, Minnesota. I thank you all DABers, God Bless you. And I’ll be listening and praying for you in between the next calls. Thank you, goodbye.
Hello, Daily Audio Bible family. This is Hanging On from the Western United States. And I’m just calling in for prayer. I have a lot going on recently. I’m processing abuse that happened to me 20+ years ago. And just feeling the weight of that, waiting on the Lord to provide healing and He has. But it’s definitely been a process and I just need prayer for that. I also feel the struggle being over 30 and desiring relationship and marriage and family. But struggling with everything that happened. And just feeling broken and unworthy. So, I would really appreciate prayer.
Hi, this is Genene from Washington. I hope ya’ll are having a good day. And I just wanted to lift up in prayer the gentlemen who called in today on September 26th. And he said he didn’t think he was a Christian but he wanted to be a Christian, but he’s confused. And Lord, I just want to lift up this gentleman Father, who has a heart to want to know You. And Lord, show him, show him what that looks like. God, I pray that You would just help him to reach out to You and know that You will show him step-by-step what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be someone who submits their life to Christ. And seeks to live for You, God. And so, just give him the tools he needs to do that, Father. And I pray that You’d heal those wounds from childhood or from life that maybe kind of blocking his view of God or getting close to you Lord. I know sometimes the enemy can use wounds in our life to give us the wrong view of God. And so, Father, I ask for Your grace and mercy upon this young man. Thank You for his willingness to call in and ask for prayer and I just pray that You would answer those prayers, Father. Just show him Your love, show him Your mercy, show him Your grace and Your kindness, Lord. And we just ask all these things in Your name. Amen. So, thank you for calling in and I just pray that God will help you. Alright, take care.