Ezekiel 35:1-36:38, James 1:1-18, Psalm 116:1-19, Proverbs 27:23-27
Today is the 17th day of November, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian, it is great to be here with you today as we gather around the Global Campfire and move forward together. And moving forward, will lead us back into the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament and then we completed Hebrews yesterday in the New Testament, which brings us to some brand-new territory. The book of James, and we’ll talk about James when we get there. But first, Ezekiel chapter 35 and 36.
Introduction to the Book of James:
Okay, so like we talked about at the beginning, we have new territory that we have come upon the epistle of James, the letter of James. We’ve heard of James before, but we’ve never really heard from James, like in James’s voice. So, this is a new voice for us, brand-new territory for us. Although this letter, the letter of James has had its share of scrutiny over the millennia since it was written. So, like one of the problems is who, which James, like what James wrote this letter, who wrote this named James, so that makes dating James difficult. But there is kind of a scenario that has stood the test of time and that is that this letter probably was written by James, who was the half-brother of Jesus, who did not believe in Jesus during his earthly ministry, but after Jesus resurrection. Then James became a pillar of the early church in the church of Jerusalem, the mother church. And so, it’s James presiding over, like world changing fundamental choices, like the one that was held at the Jerusalem Council, when it was decided that Gentiles could be accepted into the faith, and we’ve talked about this many times and we’ll probably to talk about it many more times before the years over. That was a controversy, and it was a big controversy. So, James is a candidate for writing this letter, that’s pretty solid, if he’s leading the Jerusalem church and he is related to Jesus the Savior, then yeah, something that he wrote would probably be preserved and treated accordingly. Now we just finished Hebrews and we talked about Hebrews being written to Hebrews, so Hebrews being very rooted in a Hebrew context, James is very much written from a Hebrew perspective. Like when we start this letter, we’ll see that it’s addressed to the 12 tribes, to the Jewish believers in the Diaspora: people who have been spread and scattered all around, which gives us at least a clue about who this was sent to, and it may have been addressed this way because of the persecution that was beginning to arise, causing people to move away to look for safe places to practice their faith. Maybe the stoning of Stephen, that we read about in the Book of Acts was a catalyst for this. And if these things are true then…then this letter was written to believers who had fled in all directions to find peace, but who felt connected, not only to Jesus, but felt connected to their faith community, the Jerusalem church. So, a letter that was passed around and arrived from the Jerusalem church, this would’ve been a treasure, especially if James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote it. And that being the case, James preserves for us some of the earliest traditions and thought in the faith in Jesus, in what we now know as Christianity. And it preserves in ways that no other letter or book in the New Testament does, some of the postures of the Hebrew, the earliest Hebrew believers. So, James teaches that how we actually live, says the most about our faith. In fact, people can say anything but how they live, this is more true to who they are. And so, James tells us that faith without works is dead and that idea…that idea is at its detractors and has been fought about for a very, very long time. Even though those in the Protestant persuasion who look back to people like Martin Luther as kind of a leader in the Protestant Reformation, should understand that Martin Luther did not like the letter to James because sola fide right, by faith alone. And here we have James saying, yeah but faith without works is dead. The funny thing, like when we read James and we start to understand the personality of the writing here, we would realize that James couldn’t care less who was his detractor in the future, like he didn’t care that someday some Protestant reformer would not like his letter. His letter was written because it’s what he wanted to say, it’s what he was convicted to say and it needed to be said and it needs, it needs to be said today, because in our world today, anybody can say anything about anything and do. How we actually live is telling more truth about us than anything we say. And so, I come to the book of James every year and I come here for the purpose of getting my butt kicked and I’ve mentioned many times this is the butt kicker. It’s not the only one, we have some more territory that will be forthright and direct and look us right in the eyes and confront us. But James definitely does that. It is bold, it is direct, it can be confrontational, it does have a tendency to kick our butts, and make us question our motives for why we do what we do. But James wasn’t mad and just needed to be forthright and direct and wanted to write something mean. Like, that’s not the point, it’s really underneath all of it is a plea, a plea begging followers of Jesus to live by faith and to live out our faith through what we do. So, it’s interesting that this is a couple thousand years old and that this was going on in the early church and so much so, that this letter needed to be written and that this needed to be said. Because James could have been written, really at any point in church history, but it could have been written last week and still hold its power for who we are today. So, here we go, James chapter 1 verses 1 to 18.
Father, we thank You for Your word, we love You, Lord, we thank You for bringing us this far into the year. We are definitely in a place where we’re about to hit warp speed on this year and so, we look back with gratitude for all that You have brought us through, all that You have spoken to us. We thank You for this new territory that we’ve entered into today and that we’ll spend the next few days in, this letter of James. We open ourselves to your correction, Holy Spirit, and we invite You to speak to us very clearly about…about our actions and our words being in alignment. That our thoughts, words and deeds are saying the same thing, and that they are speaking the truth about You. 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 will be waiting for you here, tomorrow.
Prayer and Encouragement:
Hey DAB Family, this is Michael from ___ Texas. I haven’t called in a quite a long time, but I do listen everyday with you guys. I just heard a guy call in, Vincent. Very distraught. I guess he was talking about love, and he was questioning the Lord, our God. Didn’t know why the Lord would take something away but Vincent, just wanted to tell you sir, it’s not the Lord. That’s Satan talking to you, tell you that. God is only good, and He can only do good. But the world we live in is full of sin because of the fall out in the garden. So, God is good and always good. So, don’t blame God for love that has been lost.
Hi this is Audrie from Reno Valley, California. Want to thank you first Brian, for this platform. And thank you fellow DABers who have continued to pray for myself and my son Christian. We appreciate your prayers greatly. Hey DABers, this is Christian Smith. And I was fighting with addiction and just to give you guys an update, I’m 142 days clean today. So, your prayers worked. Continue to pray for me and my mother and our journey of getting to love each other more and getting to know each other better. And just to give you guys an update it is amazing being home, clean and sober. And spending this time with my mom watching tv shows, football games, watching her yell at the tv. And thank you guys. And we just wanna let you know that we’re praying for those of you, who have lost loved ones, those of you who are struggling, yourself in addiction, those of you who love those who struggle with addiction. And we just pray for all of them, as I listen, I pray. And I want you to know that I do, even though I may not shout you out by name. Thank you for your prayers, we covet them. Continue to pray for us, we continue to pray for you. God is good, He’s faithful, He’s true to His word and His promises. His timing may not be our timing, but it is perfect timing. And so, DAB on DABers. Have a blessed evening everyone. Thank you and we love you.
Hi, this is Right Ellen in New Jersey, and I would like to pray for Kathy in Kentucky. She called; I heard her prayer today. And she’s, she, she works, and she lives alone. And she’s getting her house ready for wintertime. And you know, she seems to be older cause it’s tough for her to be working at her age. And she’s, she lost a lot of family members. So, I would like to pray for her. Dear Lord, I lift Kathy from Kentucky. Lord, I just pray that You bless her efforts and working that you know, that’s she’s able to keep up with inflation. And bless her health, Lord. And she often says that’s she’s lonely Lord, and in Your wisdom, I pray, and I may not be right but maybe she needs to take steps of faith to be more socialful with other people. And so, Lord, just, I just praise her that she seems to really have the will to live, it’s just you know, in her, you know, give her the encouragement that she needs to put out the effort that cause, you know, we have to seek You every day. Okay. I thank you, bye.
Hi, this is Carlo from the Philippines. Yeah, I liked to pray for Kathy from Kentucky. First of all, I’d like to say that you are not alone. The DAB family is with you, they always pray with you, they always pray for you. And that, you are with us spiritual. But nonetheless, I pray that you…you are able to find friends, you’re able to find a community in the place where you live. I pray that God blesses you financially, that you are able to do your work well, without any injuries and yeah. And that you find comfort and peace and joy in the daily trials that you face. Thank you, thank you family. Thank you, bye.
Hi, this is Anita, praising God. I’m calling in to asking you all for, for prayer for me for. I call in before about my grandson, that they found him dead at the lake. Love will, and detective called last that he committed suicide. So, I’m asking you to please lift us up again, we need your prayers. Today, is November 14 or 15. And I called in before, I called in before and I left a message about prayer for my daughter and me for strength. I want to thank you for all the prayer warriors that lift us before. And now, I thank you for you Brian Hardin and your family and this broadcast system that is lifting us up. I’ve been on this broadcast system for a long time. And I really enjoy it and I thank you that we can come into this broadcast and lay out our burdens and ask all you people for to pray for us. And I ask God forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thank you very much for your love and support in this time of sorrow. Thank you, I love you all.