You are browsing the archive for 2013 May.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 212 – Isaiah 63-64, Psalm 107, John 2

May 31, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.” ~John 2:23-25

Observation:
The Gospels say on several occasions that Jesus knows what is in people’s hearts. He uses this in arguing against the pharisees, for instance, to show their hypocrisy.

Application:
Jesus didn’t fully trust even many of those who believed in and followed them. He was on mission and couldn’t be swayed by people who might attempt to derail Him. In the same way, I shouldn’t fully care about the thoughts of people. My primary concern should be the same as Jesus’: to fulfill the mission God has for me.

Prayer:
Father, I don’t want to be too concerned about what others think. I don’t want to cause needless offense, but I know that Your plan will offend some people. Help me to know if it is I who is causing offense or if it is not. I want to do what You ask of me and leave the rest up to You. Guide me in speaking and showing Grace and Truth.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 211 – Isaiah 60-62, John 1

May 30, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’

‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked.

‘Come and see,’ said Philip.” ~John 1:45-46

Observation:
Nathanael is skeptical, but instead of trying to convince him, Philip merely said, “come and see.”

Application:
In my evangelistic efforts, am I trying to argue with people or convince them, or should I be more willing to just say, “see for yourself.” But, since Jesus isn’t physically walking around today, what am I asking them to see? A church service? A sermon? Christians serving? Read the Bible for themselves? All of the above? Should different people be invited to see different things according to their personality? I suspect so, since people have different values and would perceive certain things differently.

Prayer:
Father, what should I be inviting people to come and see? Where are You working most clearly today? I want to be able to invite people to see for themselves, but I am not sure what that means. Does “seeing” mean different things to different people? If so, please give me guidance as I am inviting others, so that I might know what avenue of “seeing” would most speak to them. Help me to grow Your kingdom by showing others the side of Your love and plan that would most appeal to them.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 210 – Isaiah 57-59, Psalm 103, 2 Peter 3

May 29, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.” ~Isaiah 58:11

Observation:
This is what the Lord will do when people not only call on His name, but abide by his commands to clothe the naked, provide shelter to the wanderer, set the oppressed free, and loose the chains of injustice.

Application:
I wonder if this is part of why first-world Christians and churches seem to lack God’s guidance. Is it because we are not doing these things? Does the individual Christian who tries to do these things get God’s guidance as a result?

Prayer:
Father, there are many who are hungry, naked, homeless, oppressed, and falsely imprisoned in our country and world. I will serve where I can and ask that You show me other opportunities to do so. I require Your guidance and will do my best to follow Your commands.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 209 – Isaiah 53-56, 2 Peter 2

May 28, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” ~2 Peter 2:1-3

Observation:
Peter follows these verses with the point that God did not even spare the angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell. The same awaits the false prophets.

Application:
I’d like to think that I’d be good at spotting the false prophets. However, while I’ve had some discernment regarding some people who have tried to take positions of leadership and later turned out to be self-serving, I don’t know that I’ve ever pegged someone as a literal false prophet. There are certainly some nationally recognized pastors who I think are probably false prophets, in that they deny basic teachings of Jesus or barely teach the Word at all, choosing instead to give motivational speeches with a little “God” thrown in.

Prayer:
Father, I’m sure that false prophets must exist in the church today. Not only the obvious, but also the more subtle. Help me to discern false teaching and respond as You would want me to. Keep me learning and growing and continue to lead me by Your Spirit that I might never spread false teaching.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 208 – Isaiah 50-52, Psalm 92, 2 Peter 1

May 27, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” ~2 Peter 1:5-9

Observation:
Peter gives us a list of qualities to add to our faith “so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (verse 4). I don’t know if the order of the qualities is important, but it is interesting that goodness is first. It makes sense that faith is first, since that is how one becomes a follower. The order then implies that we should begin doing good even as we are gaining knowledge.

Application:
Am I growing in goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love? I know that I am growing in knowledge and trying to grow in self-control, but what about the others? I feel like there are so many things to keep in mind that I’m having trouble remembering them all.

Prayer:
Father, I have learned a lot through studying Your Word these last months. Every day there is some other tidbit of knowledge or encouragement that I know that I need, but that I have trouble remembering the next day, especially as I read more and more of them. So, my prayer is that You would work in me each day to bring me closer to who You want me to be. Bring to mind what I need that day to get better and I will try to do a better job of listening for Your voice. I won’t be able to remember everything I have read, so I’ll need Your help.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 207 – Isaiah 46-49, 1 Peter 5

May 26, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

‘God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.'” ~1 Peter 5:8-9

Observation:
Peter gives instructions to the elders and the young in how to behave.

Application:
I suppose that I am a combination of these groups. I am an “elder” to those I lead in ministry and certainly “younger” to those who lead me. I must show a proper attitude in both roles.

Prayer:
Father, thank You for the leadership You have entrusted me with. May I shepherd wisely and well, leading those in my charge into a deeper relationship with You and greater responsibility in Your body. I also pray that I will maintain proper deference and respect for those in authority over me, that I will make their burden easier as well as earn greater responsibility for myself as You will it. Help me to ever become the kind of leader that You desire.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 206 – Isaiah 43-45, 1 Peter 4

May 25, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” ~1 Peter 4:1-2

Observation:
The “therefore” in this case refers to the previous chapter, where Peter talks about suffering and being persecuted for doing good. We are to have the same attitude about suffering that Jesus did.

Application:
If those who suffer in their bodies are done with sin, then I wonder if I shouldn’t just say, “bring on the suffering.” This is a very nervous-making thing to say though, since suffering is certainly not fun.

Prayer:
Father, if suffering is the cost of being done with sin, then I guess I have to be ready to pay it. This is a difficult surrender, to be ready to suffer for the sake of being free from sin. Or is it the willingness alone that helps set me free? I know that cause and effect isn’t always obvious in this life, but please keep working in my life.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 205 – Isaiah 40-42, 1 Peter 3

May 24, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” ~1 Peter 3:9

Observation:
God repaid our evil with the blessing of salvation through His son, so if we want to be like God, we should also repay evil with blessing.

Application:
This, of course, goes against my natural tendencies and desires. I want to seek revenge for those who have wronged me. God’s way makes perfect sense from His perspective of wanting to save, though. Repaying good for evil creates a situation where reconciliation is possible. Repaying evil for evil does not.

Prayer:
Father, I don’t usually feel like repaying evil with good. Please work in my heart so that I have Your motivations in mind. My seeking revenge or restitution is not likely to inspire anyone to repentance. Help me to always pay out good, no matter what is paid to me, so that others may see and understand Your desire for reconciliation.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 204 – 2 Kings 20, Isaiah 38-39, Psalm 75, 1 Peter 2

May 23, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” ~1 Peter 2:9-10

Observation:
The prior verses talk about how some actually stumble because of Jesus. He causes these unbelievers to fall because of their disobedience.

Application:
Obviously on Sunday mornings I am usually quite busy singing the praises of Him who called me out of darkness, but what about the rest of the week? Do I declare my rescue from sin and membership in God’s family?

Prayer:
Father, I thank You that I am not one of those for whom unbelief in Jesus is a cause for stumbling and that You have called me out of darkness. Continue to root out the residual darkness in my life and help me to shout Your praises to a world that needs You. I want to see your family grow; show me what I should do.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 203 – Isaiah 36-37, Psalm 76, 1 Peter 1

May 22, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” ~1 Peter 1:13

Observation:
There are many things we could (wrongly) set our hope on, but Peter tells us to hope in the grace we’ll receive when Christ comes.

Application:
I don’t usually hope first in the grace of Christ. I tend to place my hope in worldly things, like possessions or money or accomplishments. Next to the grace of Christ, these are not important. As a result of this misplaced hope, I often forget that there is any real hope at all.

Prayer:
Father, help me to not have false hope in perishable things. Help me to always hope only in the grace of Christ, which is the only hope anyone has of avoiding an eternity apart from You. Keep this grace foremost in my mind, so that I do not lose heart at the inability of my worldly hopes to deliver.

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