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Daily Bible Podcast Day 151 – Proverbs 16-18, Romans 12

March 31, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ~Romans 12:17-21

Observation:
We are to love and Paul is providing some guidelines for loving. Wrath belongs to God, we are to love everyone. Additionally Paul seems to be saying that, by serving those who have wronged us, if they don’t repent and ask forgiveness, they invite further guilt upon themselves.

Application:
This is really hard. My natural tendency is fight back against or at the very least avoid anyone trying to do me wrong. It goes against every natural instinct to love those who hate me. Loving them to the point of serving them or feeding them is completely against my tendencies.

Prayer:
Father, there is almost no way that I would ever be able to do this without Your help. I don’t really have any enemies, but show me if there is anyone who opposes You that I am to serve. Help me to be at peace with everyone and overcome evil with good if it presented to me.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 150 – Proverbs 13-15, Romans 11

March 30, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.” ~Romans 11:33-36

Observation:
God cannot be fully understood. He can’t be told anything He doesn’t already know. Everything is His and because of Him.

Application:
God’s ways often don’t make sense to me. Why certain things happen as they do. Why some things aren’t more obvious or understandable. I suppose that if they were, they wouldn’t show who God is. It can’t be fully God if it can be completely understood.

Prayer:
God, I know that I will never understand completely. I won’t be figuring You and Your plan out anytime soon, not in its fullness. I know that someday all will be revealed. Until then, help me to have faith and continue to reveal those things that You do want me to understand.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 149 – Proverbs 10-12, Romans 10

March 29, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” ~Romans 10:9-10

Observation:
Paul is saying in the surrounding verses that he wishes all the Jews could be saved, but that not all accepted the good news. He laments that the Israelite zeal for God is not based on knowledge. Christ is the culmination of the Jewish Law and there is salvation for those who believe in his resurrection.

Application:
Salvation is based on profession of Jesus’ Lordship and belief in His resurrection. I will remember this in those moments where I have doubts about Who I belong to.

Prayer:
Father, I say again that Jesus is Lord over everything, myself included. I do believe that Jesus was raised from the dead in final victory over death itself. Remind me through Your Spirit that I am Yours, especially in any moments of doubt. Continue to conform me to the likeness of Jesus, and it is in His name I always pray.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 148 – Proverbs 7-9, Romans 9

March 28, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?’ But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” ~Romans 9:18-21

Observation:
Some verses in the Bible are hard. This is one. Paul is saying that God, as creator, can do with His creation whatever He chooses. The purpose of Pharaoh’s suffering was to ultimately bring glory to God. The following verses, though, also speak of how God has great patience with those who should be the objects of His wrath.

Application:
This is a little scary. I don’t think that my heart is hardened, but if God chose to do so, what could I do to avoid destruction?

Prayer:
Father, please do not allow my heart to be hardened. Call me to Your purposes and continue to show patience with me. I know that I have no basis for asking these things, since You are in control, but I ask them anyway. Do not let my heart become hard and help to follow Your ways.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 147 – Proverbs 4-6, Romans 8

March 27, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” ~Romans 8:1-4

Observation:
There is a lot of good stuff in Romans 8. It’s hard to pick.

Paul is saying here that for those who belong to Christ, none of our sin (past, present, or future) will condemn us. Christ, as sacrifice, justifies us before God. He goes on to say that those who live in the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Application:
Since I am in Christ, there is no need for shame or guilt. I should continue to pray for and strive to live in the Spirit (not the flesh), but my sin doesn’t count against me.

Prayer:
Father, help me to live in the Spirit, to keep my mind on what the Spirit wants. I want the time that I live in the Spirit to exceed the time I spend in the flesh. Please help me, as I know that I can’t do this alone. Send Your Spirit to replace any remaining “flesh” that I have in me.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 146 – Proverbs 1-3, Romans 7

March 26, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.” ~Proverbs 2:1-8

Observation:
Solomon promises protection and blessing for those who seek wisdom and live wisely.

Application:
I’m really looking forward to reading all the Proverbs. Perhaps this will represent some “God-help” instead of the self-help I seem to not do so great with. I will pick out a Proverb to apply each day.

Prayer:
Father, give me Your wisdom as You gave it to Solomon. His wisdom served to make You famous. I want understanding and whatever success You desire for me. Mostly I want to know that I am on a wise path. I’m seeking, please show me Your wisdom.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 145 – 1 Kings 10-11, 2 Chronicles 9, Romans 6

March 25, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” ~Romans 6:11-14

Observation:
Paul makes this statement because we have “died with Christ” and that our old sinful self was crucified along with Him.

Application:
Does letting sin reign mean you have a habitual sin? If I have sin that I occasionally lapse back into, is that considered “reigning?” I need to daily offer myself to God to combat the effects of sin that wants to creep back in.

Prayer:
Father, I want to daily offer myself as an instrument of Your will, not an instrument of wickedness. Keep me from both any periodic or habitual sin, so that I can be a servant of Yours, not a slave to sin. Thank You that my old self was crucified with Christ, so that I didn’t have to stay dead in my sin.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 144 – 1 Kings 9, 2 Chronicles 8, Psalm 136, Romans 5

March 24, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:6-8

Observation:
God’s way is so often just the opposite of what seems natural to us. God gifts us with what we do not deserve out of His love.

Application:
God was patient and loving with me as a sinner. Therefore, I need not only to be thankful to Him for that, but I also need to patient and loving to others who are sinners. I need to follow God’s example.

Prayer:
Father, thank You that in Your incredible patience and love You did not choose to condemn sinners, but instead offer Jesus as a sacrifice in my place. May I never forget the incredible gift that is and may I always praise You for it. Grant me Your patience and love with others who are still not reconciled to You; let me reflect Your heart for them.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 143 – 2 Chronicles 6-7, Psalm 135, Romans 4

March 23, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” ~2 Chronicles 7:14

Observation:
God is granting a request that Solomon has made that God should always hear his people when they call on him and repent. All the potential sufferings that are mentioned could be blamed on external factors, even though they all have a spiritual component. That is, sin is the ultimate cause, not just whatever the obvious cause is.

Application:
There is not enough repentance (turning away) in the churches I am aware of. Too many Christians are blaming outside forces instead of repenting. I spend too much time trying to identify non-spiritual causes for the problems I see. Perhaps my first thought should be to ask if there is repentance that I need to make to experience God’s healing in a particular area.

Prayer:
Father, the sufferings of the Israelites were often as a result of their sin. You restored them, though, when they realized their error and turned back to You. I suspect much of the trouble in America, where I live, is a result of non-repentance among Your people. Father, I repent of my own sin that has caused “drought” or “attack” in my own life. I pray that others in the church both here and worldwide will also realized their own faults and turn away as well. There is much in the world that needs to be healed; help us turn toward You, Healer.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 142 – 1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5, Psalm 99, Romans 3

March 22, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” ~Romans 3:21-26

Observation:
Paul is saying that righteousness is the result of faith in Jesus, not any adherence to a standard of conduct. In other words, Jesus is the sacrifice that atones for our sin and we need only believe to receive that atonement.

Application:
Sometimes I forget this and worry about my relationship with God in terms of my behavior. I worry that my sin still causes separation or has bearing on my eternal destiny. Paul says that Jesus’ atonement is claimed through belief in him, not by any set of behaviors that I do a good or poor job of maintaining.

Prayer:
Father, thank You that Jesus sacrifice is what makes me righteous because I don’t have such a great track record of living a perfect life. I restate my faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice and resurrection. Thank You for holding back Your judgment and sending Jesus to take care of it. Certainly nothing I did was deserving of that.

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