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Daily Bible Podcast Day 092 – Judges 13-16, 2 Corinthians 2

January 31, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.” ~Judges 16:15-16

Observation:
So he told her everything (v. 17). She’d already betrayed him 3 times and still he told her. Either Samson was incredibly obtuse, or she really nagged him until he couldn’t stand it any more. He had bad experiences with women, that’s for sure.

Application:
I think that there may be temptations that nag at me until I give in. Maybe this is what’s going on with Samson. He isn’t strong enough to stand up to Delilah’s constant nagging. Like Samson I know, or should know, that the betrayal is coming.

Prayer:
Father, help me to stand strong in the face of nagging temptation. Even though he triumphs in the end, Samson’s reputation is tarnished and his effectiveness on Earth was lessened due to his failure. While I’ll never be as great as Samson, I don’t want my legacy marred by giving in to nagging temptation.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 091 – Judges 11-12, Psalm 50, 2 Corinthians 1

January 30, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.” ~Psalm 50:8-12

Observation:
God is speaking and He makes it clear that the things we sacrifice aren’t needed by Him. We don’t really have anything other than worship to offer God.

Application:
God doesn’t need any of my talents, time, or money to accomplish anything. Yet, He allows me to contribute all 3 and be a part of His redemptive work. Nothing I sacrifice is needed by God. Still, He was willing to sacrifice His Son in order to set things right between us.

Prayer:
Father, I know that I have nothing that You need. My sacrifice is about my heart, not Your need. Help me to keep a loose grip on my time, talent, and money so that my heart will be right. The few meager things that I have are nothing in comparison to the incalculable gift that you gave. May I never forget that.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 090 – Judges 9-10, Psalm 49, 1 Corinthians 16

January 29, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.

People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.” ~Psalm 49:16-20

Observation:
Everyone dies and you can’t take it with you. We tend to revere those who are rich, but the Psalm tells us that everyone dies and being wealthy doesn’t help you at all if you lack understanding. Both rich and poor fools end up dead.

Application:
I spend a lot of my time thinking about money and chasing money. What I should be thinking about and pursuing is understanding, wisdom. God redeems those who pursue Him.

Prayer:
Father, I don’t want to trust in earthly riches or waste my mental, physical, or spiritual energy chasing wealth. Help me to gain understanding and wisdom and to put spiritual concerns far above monetary considerations..

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 089 – Judges 8, Psalm 42, 1 Corinthians 15

January 28, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side.” ~Judges 8:33-34

Observation:
God interacted more directly with the Israelites than with any other group. Those at Mount Sinai saw His glory; those in this story saw Gideon defeat many thousands with his 300 troops through God’s power. Yet, as soon as Gideon’s leadership is gone, they go right back to sinning.

Application:
I’ve often wondered why God doesn’t show Himself more obviously. I mean, wouldn’t more people follow Him if He spoke more directly to us? The case of ancient Israel shows that this is not necessarily the case. Despite direct evidence of God’s power and provision, they always lapse back into sin.

Prayer:
Father, I don’t want to forget what You’ve rescued me from and I don’t want to go back to old ways of being. I want my children to remember you and my grandchildren after I’m gone. Thank You that, even though You the Father aren’t as active now as You were then, that You have given us the Holy Spirit to give us assurance of the reality of our faith. Spirit, assure me again.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 088 – Judges 6-7, Psalm 52, 1 Corinthians 14

January 27, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“‘Pardon me, my lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’” ~Judges 6:15

Observation:
God has told Gideon that He will use Gideon to defeat the Midianites. Ultimately, the Lord uses a mere 300 to scatter and destroy the multitudes of those opposed to Israel. God often chooses the weak to carry out His will. Moses had a speech impediment. God does this so that no is confused as to what happened. It was obvious that God, not Gideon, was victorious over the Midianites.

Application:
From time to time I will focus on my weaknesses as examples of why God can’t or won’t use me, but it is precisely because of those weaknesses that He might be even willing to use me. In fact, when I remember that God seems to favor the weak as His instruments, it tends to make me skeptical of the message of those who appear strong. It’s not to say that God can’t use the strong, it’s just that He doesn’t seem to prefer to.

Prayer:
Father, use me in whatever capacity You want. This is hard to pray, but if making my weaknesses apparent to others helps bring glory to You, I want to be obedient. God, whatever else happens, Your plan will come to pass. If you choose, use my weakness to display Your strength.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 087 – Judges 4-5, Psalm 39, 41, 1 Corinthians 13

January 26, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” ~1 Corinthians 13:1-7

Observation:
Jesus tells us to “love our neighbor” and our enemies. Paul lays out what it means to love.

Application:
Not only am I not usually loving to my enemies, I don’t always do a great job of loving those I love, at least by Paul’s criteria.

Prayer:
Father, help me to love. Not just those that love me, but those who don’t. I know I’m supposed to love my enemies and those who are unlovable, but too often I don’t even do a good job keeping Paul’s criteria with my own family. Help me to love.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 086 – Judges 1-3, 1 Corinthians 12

January 25, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.” ~Judges 2:14

Observation:
The Israelites turned from the Lord, so he no longer blessed their undertakings. God’s desire was for them to turn back to Him.

Application:
I wonder does God do this still. Are the times when God is not blessing my work evidence that I have forsaken Him? I certainly give far less attention to God than He deserves, yet there are times He has chosen to bless me, and indeed I am very blessed. If anything, it seems that the attention I afford God should earn me less blessing. Or are things different now than in ancient Israel.

Prayer:
Father, sometimes it is hard to know what lessons to draw from ancient Israel. All I know is that I do want to experience Your blessing. I confess that I have turned from You at times and I turn back now. Thank You for the undeserved blessings that I now enjoy. Help me to stay on Your path so that I may bless You and receive Your blessings in turn.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 085 – Joshua 23-24, Psalm 44, 1 Corinthians 11

January 24, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.” ~1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Observation:
Paul is adamant about us not taking communion while we are unworthy. We bring judgment on ourselves if we do so.

Application:
What does it mean to be unworthy? At our church, we usually have a time of confession prior to communion. We are also encouraged not to take communion until we have asked for or given forgiveness when we need to. I admit that I have not always taken this admonition as seriously as Paul says I should.

Prayer:
Father, I want to be as worthy as possible during the Lord’s Supper. Help me, through the Holy Spirit, to discern anything I need to do prior to celebrating it. I want communion to be a sacred reminder of Christ’s sacrifice, not a vain ritual that brings judgment on me. Forgive me the times I have not taken the body and blood as seriously as I should.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 084 – Joshua 21-22, Psalm 47, 1 Corinthians 10

January 23, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” ~1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Observation:
The comments above are made by Paul in the context of a discussion about food that is kosher for the christian and the customs of those the christian is trying to reach. Apart from sin, we are free to do anything, but we must be careful that it doesn’t cause others to stumble. We should behave to seek the good of others, not ourselves.

Application:
I wish there were more modern-day examples of how this can play out. I am obviously aware that I am permitted to eat pork, and I have a very small list of dinner companions who sacrifice food to idols. As a musician and a lover of music, this also means that I can listen to whatever music I like, but I need to be careful if it brings up things in others. I’m a little stumped about other ways I need to be careful though.

Prayer:
Father, I’ve spent some time meditating on this idea the last couple of days and I’m still a little unsure exactly what things to be careful of. Please give me wisdom in the moment to know what things to be careful of. I don’t want my freedom to cause others to stumble.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 083 – Joshua 18-20, 1 Corinthians 9

January 22, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” ~1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Observation:
Paul adopts the customs and behaviors of whatever group he is trying to reach, so far as he is able to without sinning. He even goes so far as to call himself a slave in this way.

Application:
In what way should I be like the world I live in? Certainly some customs are easy to adopt without sinning. For example, there are those who claim that “secular” music will have an ungodly influence on the believer, but I suspect that music would fall under the heading of “being all things to all people.” There are other customs of the world that I clearly should not adopt, but it is hard to know when things are not so obvious.

Prayer:
Holy Spirit, help me to have wisdom in determining how to win as many as possible. Show me the ways that I can “speak the language” of those you would have me reach. As always, I will try to obey.

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