Ezekiel 29:1-30:26, Hebrews 11:32-12:13, Psalms 112:1-10, Proverbs 27:17
Today is the 14th day of November welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today as we approach the center of another one of our months together. And we reach the beginning of a month or the middle of a month or the end of a month the same way, step-by-step day by day together. And, so, our next step forward leads us back into the book of Ezekiel. This week we’re reading from the New International Version. And today, Ezekiel chapters 29 and 30.
Okay. So, for the last several days in the letter to the Hebrews we’ve been walking down what is famously known as the hall of faith. And the writer of Hebrews spends quite a generous amount of time, walking through the biblical stories that we’ve been walking through all year while pointing out very specifically that these stories all had something in common. The people had faith in the promises of God regardless of what they saw. And, so, in effect their stories couldn’t have been their stories without faith. They may have had stories. They would have just been totally different stories and we probably wouldn’t be reading about that, but for faith. So, this hall of faith is this march through the biblical narrative of examples of people’s great faith that changed the story, stories that wouldn’t have been the same without faith. So, we’ve kinda been walking through the hall of faith for a couple days. We finished the hall of faith today and that little journey and by revealing to us that our story as well is not the same story without faith. Our story requires faith just like the examples of the people in the hall of faith. And we saw as we walked down the hall of faith that most of these people believed in a promise that they never got to see. They knew they were carrying the story forward and their faith didn’t always just make them blessed and prosperous. Some of them died for their faith, believing that what was to come in faith was greater than what they had to lose, which was their lives. The writer of Hebrews is revealing to us that we’re no different. Faith is the ingredient that is irreplaceable in the recipe that is our lives. So, as we’re coming out of the hall of faith we are told how to not be stuck or how to lose weight, how to understand that faith is the central piece of our lives and not all the other things that entangle us. And, so, we encountered a very famous passage in the letter to the Hebrews. And I quote, “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Many translations tell us to throw off every weight, the things that we are carrying that are excess, that aren’t doing anything, the things that we are dragging around that are slowing our progress down that do not build and encourage and establish our faith. So, Hebrews says, “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Basically, we’re being told that we’re running a race, an endurance race, a long race, like a marathon, a life-sized marathon. If you’ve ever seen a marathon or seen that kind of race, whether in person or on TV you understand that the runners are very light weight as far as what they’re carrying with them. You don’t see people with 80-pound backpacks running marathons because the excess weight would keep them from enduring enough to complete the race. You don’t see runners following a well-marked path, the path of the race who decide simply to run through fields of brambles and entangle themselves and fall down and get all caught up trying to stay on course. But if we think about our lives and think about our lives using the metaphor of a marathon then we realize we’ve been trying to run this marathon in a way that we can’t really achieve. We’ve been cutting through fields of brambles. We’ve been carrying backpacks. We’ve been chaining things around our ankles. We’ve been trying to run a marathon with all the weights that drag us down, that don’t keep faith out in front of us as the central thing that we are running toward. Looking at the examples in the hall of faith we see that the promise was the prize. Faith was the path. Endurance was what needed to be built up to follow the path to the promise. And this is a good time to point out what we’ve pointed out before, because the further that we go into the New Testament, and it’s not as if we have forever to go, but the further that we go toward the end of the year the more we’re going to see this theme on every page, that endurance is part of the story, that there is no escaping endurance, that even runners who want to win a race have to endure. They have to train then they have to run the race with endurance in order to win. And, so, the writer of Hebrews tells us as we ended our reading in Hebrews today, and I quote, “therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled but rather healed.” What we are learning is that there is a precedent for faith. We walked down the hall of faith and saw all the examples, that that precedent is attached to our lives, that faith is the era personable part of our story, and that faith requires endurance, that we keep running in faith, even though we can’t see the promise. Because it is faith that tells us it’s there. It’s out there. We must keep going. We cannot give up, we cannot surrender. We must endure. We must persevere. It’s out there, we can see it through the eyes of faith. These kinds of things are so encouraging when they come up in the Bible because life is an endurance race, is it not? Like that’s a good metaphor. And there are times where we feel like we are weighed down to the point that we can’t move. And there are times we feel like we have endured until there’s nothing left. And we have run in the dark when our faith seems dim. Life has a way of pulling us off the path and inviting us into the brambles where we find ourselves entangled in all kinds of things, weights that we don’t need to be carrying around, shackles that aren’t ours, things that we’re dragging and carrying that they’re best let go of because they’re not going to be helpful on the race ahead, whether that be wounds in our lives, assumptions about other people, anything in our story. Anything that we’re believing about anything, we’re or sending out our faith in that direction. And sometimes we can be believing things about ourselves that we have honestly been set free of. We can carry weights around inside of ourselves because of regret or failure or things that have been done to us and we carry these things as a burden like it’s the burden of our lives when we have honestly been set free from those things and our Father, is saying hey sweetheart, son, son, you can let that go. You can put that down right here. You don’t have to carry that another step. It’s not your story anymore. Your story is a promise in front of you that you run toward in faith and let go of everything that is tangling you. And, so, as we continue through this day that is worthy of contemplation, that is worthy of inviting the Holy Spirit into. What are the tangles? What are the things that I have entangled myself in that now are trapping me? What are the weights that I am carrying around that are slowing everything down and making me exhausted so that I don’t feel like I can persevere, so that I don’t feel like I have the endurance to finish this race. Those things need examination. It doesn’t mean that we just selfishly jettison everything and everybody because it would make our lives so much simpler if we didn’t have any entanglements whatsoever. It’s worth inviting the Holy Spirit into what is the dead weight that I am carrying around. Because that’s what it is. Dead weight. I am carrying around dead weight in my life and I have full permission by the lover of my soul to set that weight down and run forward without it.
Holy Spirit, we all have these things. We all have things that have slowed us down and are slowing us down that are entangling us and trapping us and weighing us down. Each of our stories is different. You know all of our stories. You have been here with us every step of the way. You know what’s going on in each one of us. Show us the dead weight that we may set down and run with freedom because we’re going to need more endurance and perseverance. Letting go of the things that are weighing us down is necessary for our future. Help us Holy Spirit, we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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Reminding you once again of our most recent resource, our brand-new resource, Sleep, a contemplative journey. That can be found wherever it is that you stream or download your music wherever that might be, whatever service you may use, wherever you are in the world. And, so, check that out. That is a resource created to make space for rest, for calm, for sleep. And as these weeks continue to progress in this month…I mean before this month is over we will be in the thick of the holiday season and I just really felt like releasing Sleep at this time in…in advance of that can give us a resource that we can turn to if we’re finding ourselves restless. Because we need rest. We are at our best if we’re arrested. So, check that out as well
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I will be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
This is Jersey Jane for Jesus. It is November 10th. I heard Barbara call in. Barbara, your husband of 41 years passed away you said at one in the morning, and you downloaded the Sleep album by Brian. It rested his restlessness. It calmed him. You said he passed away with a smile. Oh, Barbara, I’m so sorry but as you said he is lifted now to the Creator to our Lord. He is in heaven, but it leaves you alone down here until it is your time. So, I pray for you for comfort through Jesus. And Barbara, I was astounded that because of your grief you still reached out to Kayla. You still had the heart to think of other people during your time of deep grief. You are precious Barbara. You are loved. God sees your work. He sees how you care. I…I have never heard of someone losing a partner and then in turn praying for someone else. Kayla, call in to us. Let us know you are OK. God bless.
Hi Barbara this is God’s Life Speaker I’m listening to November 10th and you came on as the first prayer after Brian’s commentary to tell us that your husband is now in the arms of Jesus and after 41 years. And I just loved your testimony. It was 1:00 o'clock in the morning and this is your story, yet I wanted to just…I’ve never heard anybody say that even though they were there with their loved one they were wrestling but as they departed you felt that you saw a smile on your husband’s face, and I’ve never heard anybody say that. And my mom had had a stroke and it was another 43 days before she would depart and be with Jesus. And she couldn’t smile and that was like the one thing that we were missing and when she took her last breath also at one in the morning, she left us with a smile. So, Barbara, that was so beautiful and it was just so heartwarming to feel like we were there with you and your husband. You are now on a different path as this is airing behind and in a new place that we just hold you up. In the name of Jesus we pray for your strength to be given by the Lord, that your joy would be of the Lord, that He would just be flooding your mind with memories of the past 41 plus years, that you are surrounded by beautiful believers and family and all that just cherished your husband is a friend, dad, son whomever…whomever is there, that it is just joyful even in the hard spots, but that you cling to that smile because you know why he was smiling. He was standing in the arms of the savior. Amen.
My heart was touched today by a call from Barbara. In tears you told us that your husband had just passed away on November 10th. We care about you Barbara. We love you and want to support you. I was amazed that in your tears you also shared with a grateful heart how much DAB has encouraged you and helped you and I really related to your call. My husband passed away in a similar situation three years ago and DAB has always been an encouragement to me and a comfort. And I know it will be for you as you go through this journey. Know that I’m praying for you, I care about you, and I know there are many others who feel the same way right now. You’re loved.
Please please please family pray for my nephew Sam. He’s a marine veteran. He has PTSD and he stepped out on his marriage. He’s got four beautiful children and now he’s suicidal and it has been…has been admitted to veterans’ hospital. He knows he did something so foolish and we’re just desperate for him and his…his children can’t lose their daddy. And we just pray for some miracle for their marriage. Please pray for his wife Kelsey and their four beautiful children. Lord please please please make a way where there seems to be no way. Rescue Sam. Rescue his family…the family and thank you family for praying. Just in desperate need. Thank you so much. This is Sarah from Colorado.
Hello Daily Audio Bible I’m asking you all to pray with me. I wanna thank the Lord for the sister who called in from Waco TX on 10/21. It was the last call, and it is so awesome how God is working in your life, how He’s blessing you in your recovery. I am so so proud of you. And I just thank You Lord for putting people in this sister’s life who can identify with her and love her. And I thank the Lord for everybody who’s been in recovery that’s calling in and talking about being set free. I’m thankful for the guy who works in the prison who called in talking about the water and comparing it to the Holy Spirit. That was a great analogy. God bless your work. I’m praying for all the ministry that goes on in the jails and the prisons, that the prisoners would be set free just like God has set all of us free who have been in prison to sin, that God would give them freedom. And I’m thanking God for Echo Hope who called in on November the 7th when it was played. Praise God for how He is working in your life. Joyful James, how all the letters have made a difference in that prison. And pray for my friend Marty who’s on Hospice who’s trying to decide whether to stay with her brother or what. God bless you guys. Bye-bye.
DAB family I have been a long long long-time listener and this podcast has been a huge blessing to me in my life. All throughout the trials and tribulations I’ve had this has been my foundation. Every morning before I start my day I am blessed by this podcast, by your spirits, by your prayers. Each and every one of you are truly a blessing in my life because you pour out your heart and soul to my God my Lord my Savior and to thank you each and every one of you. And I’m just calling now finally after so many years because of the podcast that just played where a guy said I don’t understand. I just don’t understand. And I feel you my brother because I…I have gone through the same…same state of mind, same perspective that I just don’t understand, especially because I’ve gone through my Job moments. I’ve lost everything and I am the only one left in my family that’s alive trying to honor their lives the way that I live my own by honoring God and allowing Him to be the forefront of everything that I do. But you’re gonna have moments where you just don’t understand but you gotta take that leap of faith. It’s all about that faith that you have to have and remembering the blessings even when the prayers don’t go answered and your voice is not heard. Have faith. In Jesus’ name I pray that we all continue to stay in love. Hoping you all have a blessed day.