Jeremiah 33:1-34:22, 1 Timothy 4:1-16, Psalms 89:1-13, Proverbs 25:23-24
Today is the 19th day of October welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is awesome to be here with you today as we come in and gather around the Global Campfire and move forward on our journey through the Bible. And our journey has led us all the way into the book of Jeremiah. Actually, toward the end of the book of Jeremiah. And, so, we will take the next step forward in the book of Jeremiah today before moving into first Timothy. So, we’re reading from the Modern English Version this week. Jeremiah, chapters 33 and 34.
Okay. So, in the letter of the letter to first Timothy. In the letter to Timothy, known as first Timothy, Timothy received some really interesting instructions. “Exercise in the ways of godliness for bodily exercise profits a little but godliness is profitable in all things, holding promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” So, first off, if you can exercise in the way of godliness or train in a godly way than it’s possible. And we all understand the concept of exercising. Do we ever turn that consideration toward our spiritual lives? Like we may hit the gym, but could we work out in such a way that would lead us to godliness? And if we could, which apparently, we can because we’re reading about it in the Scriptures. How? How can we exercise in the way of godliness? How can we train ourselves to be godly? I remember coming to this territory several years ago, and that just kind of leaping off the page and it became something that…that has stuck along the way because our culture is very very much infatuated with exercise. And it’s more than just an infatuation. Like, most everybody understands like if we work out our bodies, we will gain strength and health. And we all want that. And, so, to find out that the results that we can get physically are also something that we’re to sow into our lives spiritually, sounds like a direction we all need to be moving in. So, how can we exercise godliness? And the truth is, at least the way my mind works, it’s like okay, got to figure out like some sort of discipline…some…something that’s difficult that you have to train for. But it’s like we already know what exercise looks like and we know that if we’re gonna train for something then the main thing we’re gonna to have to do is practice over and over and over until a skill develops from that practice and that skill can grow and become more and more proficient as we practice. Like I remember as a kid playing baseball and I wanted to play baseball. Like, I thought that was gonna be my life. Like baseball’s gonna be my life. And I would wonder, like, why in the world are we practicing ground balls for an hour? Why are we practicing pop-ups for an hour? Like why do we have to keep doing this boring stuff? Let’s play, let’s play the game. But the coaches would be like, until you can learn the fundamentals, until you can do this in your sleep, until you’re not thinking about it anymore than practice is what you need to do over and over and over. And, so, how can we practice, how can we train, how can we exercise for godliness? The short answer is an answer we already know. We imitate Jesus. And this is the fun part of this passage as we consider our lives because we right now have this opportunity to look back at the first day of this journey that we are on. Now maybe you’ve been going along each year with the Daily Audio Bible for 10 years or more, but if we go back to the beginning of this year January 1st we likely went into the new year with some goals and objectives in mind. One of those goals and objectives might have been to read through the entire Bible this year. And if you’re all the way here and listening today then well done. Like that’s been an ongoing thing for the last 292 days. We also, since it’s a very, very ever popular thing to do, decided that we have some fitness goals, or some dietary objectives and we began. I mean we just think back to January 1st for a moment and what you might’ve been thinking and what you might’ve wanted to see yourself achieve. And now here we are, the 19th day of October. Where we went from those decisions that we made on the 1st of January is where we are. And, so, some of us may be experiencing fitness and health and good sleep and all kinds of well-being within ourselves that we have not experienced in years and years. Some of us had high objectives and lofty ideas, but we are exactly where we were when we started on January 1st because we didn’t put any of it into actual ongoing practice. Maybe we went a week, maybe we went to weeks, maybe we went two hours. But if we’re basically where we were when we started this year then we didn’t put it into practice. We didn’t actually do the training necessary. And not just the working out of our body, but the training of our minds, getting ourself on the same page with ourself, understanding that we have a goal and we are going to achieve that goal. Because achieving any goal takes planning and thought and dreaming and then it takes starting and then it takes not stopping. And if it were our goal for example, to lose some weight, shape up, build some strength and we practiced that every day since the beginning of the year then things are quite different for us than when we began. The realization of what we had been practicing has materialized. So, spiritually, our objective is to become observant of ourselves. How are we being pulled in different directions? How did we get pulled from a place of peace and serenity into this place of chaos? How did that happen? What triggered that? What paths are we used to walking that we shouldn’t walk anymore because we should be practicing a different way? Once we can begin to see this, then we can see what’s going on. Then it’s not in the dark anymore. It’s been drug out into the light where it can be seen. It’s at that point that we can take these things that we are aware of to God inviting his Holy Spirit to do what we ask every day, to lead us into all truth. If we’re going to continue to practice unhealthy behaviors, whether in body or in spirit we won’t grow mature and strong. We’ll stay right where we are, or things will get worse. But if we know the time for change has come and change is repentance, once we know the time for change is come, and we begin to walk a new path, then we can’t stop. We keep practicing over and over and over and we began to transform just like our bodies will. If we are absolutely committed to hitting the gym and putting on, say 10 pounds of lean muscle and losing 20 pounds of fat, that can be done. There is a way. And there is a way for us to grow strong spiritually. We have to watch ourselves and see what is entangling us as we practice imitating Christ. And anything in our lives that we insert into our lives as a reminder or a trigger about this can be used. These would be broadly known as spiritual disciplines. And there are plenty, a plethora of resources and ideas about spiritual disciplines. But what we need is what’s going to work for us. I remember hearing a prayer call here at the Daily Audio Bible several months ago now. This one was basically saying like every time they hear the beep of a horn, that reminds them to pray in a certain sort of way. Or any time they see like a red light change or whatever, any little thing that happens that triggers a reminder becomes helpful to us as we become observant of ourselves. The bottom line is that Pauls’ telling Timothy, his son in the faith, to exercise toward godliness, to train himself in godliness. We can do this if we want this bad enough. We can start and start practicing. And we start practicing anything we’re not gonna be that good at it. But if we keep practicing, we’re going to develop the skill and we’re going to get good at it if we don’t quit, if we don’t stop, if we keep moving in a straight line. And what we will begin to realize as were moving in a straight line is that we’re walking a narrow path.
Holy Spirit, we invite You into that. We all need this reminder. We all need to hear this. We have not achieved mastery over any of it. We will be practicing it the rest of our lives. But we don’t want a hit and miss experience anymore. We want to consistently move in the direction of godliness. And You are God. And, so, we are moving toward You. Lead us on this path. Father us that we might grow up and be mature sons and daughters in Your kingdom we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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I told the story yesterday, so I’m not gonna tell the whole story again, but a brand-new resource is coming on the radar and will be released on the first day of November, so just a little under two weeks. And this resource is called Sleep, a contemplative journey. And I shared…like if you didn’t get a chance to hear…hear the story yesterday, then, just go back and listen to the story yesterday. But I talked about the origins of this resource, which is part two of a series of resources. The first one was called Heart, a contemplative journey and this new one is called Sleep, a contemplative journey. And it is a resource that is made to be the warm blanket all around us. And I went into how just creating this in spatial audio or Dolby Atmos just to give a massive soundstage all around us so that as we are being lulled into rest and calm and sleep, we are in a space that is very spacious. And I also talked yesterday about how we’re moving into a very traditionally very busy time of year where we lose a lot of sleep and then we go into the new year pretty worn out. What if we were intentional about our rest? What if we paid attention to it as we go through these final months of the year? What went into the new year rested? What would that look like for us? And, so, Sleep, a contemplative journey is available now for preorder wherever it is that you get your music. The songs, the music in Sleep, a contemplative journey will be on the streaming services but it’s a kind of a full project. There’s 20 tracks on it. And 10 of those tracks are versus being spoken over you for your rest to calm your spirit down, whether you’re going to sleep or whether this is a resource that you just kinda have at the ready when you’re feeling anxiety arise and when you are feeling overwhelmed. This is meant to bring calm. So, the music can be streamed, the verses…like the spoken portion of this can’t be streamed. You have to go to like the iTunes store and search for Sleep, a contemplative journey and you can get it all there or…or wherever, at Amazon music or wherever it is that you get your music. You can check it out. Preorder it now and it will show up on the first day of November.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian and I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise: