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Daily Bible Podcast Day 304 – Job 22, Mark 7-8

August 31, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.'” ~Mark 7:20-23

Observation:
Jesus is telling the people that ceremonial hand-washing or eating only kosher food doesn’t prevent them from being defiled. It isn’t what we consume that defiles us, it’s what we produce as are result of our hearts.

Application:
It isn’t a certain type of music or the wrong books or the wrong food or any of that stuff that produces sin in my life. It’s my heart. Certainly negative inputs can impact my heart, but they aren’t what causes those things to manifest in my actions.

Prayer:
Father, if my heart is where sin comes from, change my heart. If my heart is where all those things reside, rip them out. Help me to continue putting good things into my heart to counteract the evil already there, but do what only You can do and give me a new heart.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 303 – Job 21, Mark 5-6

August 30, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Why do the wicked live on,
growing old and increasing in power?
They see their children established around them,
their offspring before their eyes.
Their homes are safe and free from fear;
the rod of God is not on them.
Their bulls never fail to breed;
their cows calve and do not miscarry.
They send forth their children as a flock;
their little ones dance about.
They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre;
they make merry to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their years in prosperity
and go down to the grave in peace.” ~Job 21:7-13

Observation:
Job has observed what many of us have observed as well. Very often the wicked prosper on Earth. The righteous often suffer, but the wicked often thrive. Job asks that they be punished for their own sin, just as we might like to see those who do wrong reap their punishment now.

Application:
Job is a reminder that it doesn’t always make sense to us what happens and to whom. My own wife has had to endure un-earned hardship, while many who are just evil do just fine here. God does have a plan, though, and our earthly lives are nothing compared to our eternal reward.

Prayer:
Father, so much of life on earth is just wrong. Good, humble people hurt while proud, evil people grow wealthy and powerful. Help me to have an eternal perspective, that even though they prosper now, it will mean nothing compared to the rewards and punishments of eternity. Help me to stay focused on Your mission, not my own feelings of unfairness and help me to weather the storms.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 302 – Job 20, Mark 3-4

August 29, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.'” ~Mark 3:20-21

Observation:
Jesus’ public ministry has begun and his family has showed up to basically have him committed. Evidently, even Mary, who was told prior to His birth who He would be doesn’t realize who He is. Jesus goes on to basically ignore them. Being right doesn’t mean that people will take your side, even if you’re Jesus.

Application:
Claims to Truth must be humbly and prayerfully considered, but when verified in the scriptures, should be adhered to no matter who opposes you or call your sanity or tolerance into question.

Prayer:
Father, it seems that nearly everyone today has some opposition to the Truth. Even many churches cling to idolatrous and blasphemous ideas. I pray that there might be no error in my theology. I ask for this, even though I know it is unlikely in my imperfect state. Help me to know what is Truth and what is not and to hold to it no matter what outside forces come against it. Mostly, though, help me to bring others to You and allow You to correct their errors.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 301 – Job 19, Mark 1-2

August 28, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.” ~Mark 1:22

Observation:
The people recognized authority in Jesus. I don’t know if the teachers of the law in His day were timid, but however authoritative they could possible have been, it couldn’t compare to The Authority. Paul and the other disciples also seemed to have had some of this authority, because when they spoke many chose to follow Jesus as well.

Application:
do my words carry the authority of Jesus when I am speaking about Him? Do I remember to ask God for His Authority when I am speaking to others?

Prayer:
Father, Jesus and the disciples spoke with authority straight from You and, as a result, were very effective in calling others to repentance and faith. I talk to people about You on a regular basis. Give me not only Your Authority, but also the words You would have me speak. I want Your Authority, but I also want to be communicating a message that is from You.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 300 – Job 18, Psalm 114, Acts 27-28

August 27, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: ‘My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.'” ~Luke 28:17-20

Observation:
It’s interesting that when Paul finally arrives in Rome, the first he does after greeting the local believers is invite the local Jewish leaders to his home. In basically every other place Paul has been, the local Jewish leaders have tried to kill him or have him arrested or run him out of town. Yet, despite this, Paul makes no prejudgment against them, as we might expect. Paul has had very negative experiences with this “class” of people, yet he still starts with them.

Application:
How often do I prejudge a group of people based on my past experience? I know that I have held back talking about Jesus based on my preconception of whether a person who belongs to a particular group would be receptive or not.

Prayer:
Father, Paul seems to have had fresh eyes for people. He didn’t see them only as members of a group, even when he’d had bad experiences with that group. Give me Paul’s eyes and heart for people, especially people that I have preconceived ideas about. Someone in every group is receptive to the gospel; give me opportunities to share and see Your work in the hearts of others.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 299 – Job 17, Acts 24-26

August 26, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?’

Paul replied, ‘Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.'” ~Luke 26:28-29

Observation:
Paul has been in prison for 2 years. When he gets a chance to argue his case before someone who can set him free, he not only defends himself, but also lays out the evidence for Jesus’ being the Messiah. He is actually trying to win converts in the midst of his trial. That we know so much about the conversation in the room suggests that he was successful. Again, Paul is an example of selfless devotion to Christ’s cause.

Application:
What is my first motivation? To save myself or bring honor to Jesus?

Prayer:
Father, Paul’s first thought never seems to be for himself. In all his trials, he always tries to do what will bring Jesus the most fame. Help me to have the same attitude as Paul. Help me to stop worrying about myself and do what it takes to bring honor to Jesus.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 298 – Job 16, Acts 21-23

August 25, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, ‘The Lord’s will be done.'”

Observation:
A prophet has told Paul that if he goes to Jerusalem, he will be arrested and handed over to the Romans. The leaders and the church in Caesarea beg Paul not to go. Paul will not be stopped. He knows that the mission will be advanced by his being in Jerusalem, so he goes with no concern for his own earthly well-being. Paul is courageous. Death doesn’t seem to phase him.

Application:
I could only hope for even a tenth of Paul’s courage. Paul clearly had assurance that walking in God’s will was more important than life itself. I want that same courage and assurance.

Prayer:
Father, You gave Paul the courage to face death for the sake of Jesus. He was willing to walk into certain imprisonment and death to be obedient to You. As hard as it is to ask, because of what it might cost me, give me the same faith that Paul had. Give me a mission like he had. Help me to konw what it is and be faithful in carrying it out.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 297 – Job 15, Acts 19-20

August 24, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“‘All his days the wicked man suffers torment,
the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.'” ~Job 15:20

Observation:
Job is a tough book. Several of the chapters are spoken by characters that we are lead to believe don’t know what they are talking about. So, there are literally verses in Job that the speaker regards as fact that I believe we are not supposed to. Certainly this would seem to be one of them. In today’s world the wicked and the ruthless do not always suffer. In fact, it seems that the most wicked and the most ruthless are elevated to the highest places.

Application:
Following God does not mean success or peace, despite what some would have us believe. Anyone who says that the Christian life is about comfort is getting it wrong. At the same time, it hardly does me any good to be upset that the wicked prosper. It is only temporary.

Prayer:
Father, things are so messed up here. The evil and unscrupulous are in charge of this world and they experience plenty and riches and comfort while the innocent, the poor, and often the righteous suffer. Bring Your kingdom. I know that this world is only temporary, that someday everything will be made right. This is, to me, the only thing that makes any of this worth it. Help me to endure and do my small part in seeing Your kingdom come.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 296 – Job 13-14, Acts 17-18

August 23, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” ~Acts 18:4

Observation:
In each new town Paul visits, he spends the Sabbath in the synagogue, trying to convince his fellow Jews, and those familiar with Judaism, that Jesus is the Messiah. He wins converts, but he also wins enemies. Paul identified his audience and then went where they were.

Application:
Who is my audience as an individual? Who is my audience as a church leader? More and more I’m beginning to think that trying to convince visitors to the church isn’t enough. I’m not sure what would be the modern equivalents of the synagogue, but I’m sure we’re supposed to be going there.

Prayer:
Father, where is my audience? Paul’s was in the synagogue, but where is mine? Is it enough to do a good job of attracting people to church or must we also go where the unchurched are. Where is that? Help us to go; help me to go and help me to know where to find those I’m supposed to be talking to.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 295 – Job 11-12, Acts 15-16

August 22, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“‘God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.'” ~Acts 15:8-11

Observation:
Peter is addressing those who are telling the Gentiles that they must be circumcised in order to be saved. He actually refers to circumcision as a yoke, a burden, and that it is only by grace that anyone is saved, not by following a law that has proved problematic.

Application:
I try very hard not to expect that people will clean up before they come to faith in Christ. I expect that new Christians will be “unclean”, messy, troubled people. This passage is a reminder of this.

Prayer:
Father, help me to welcome new believers and not try to saddle them with rules that will just bog them down. As the apostles and early church did, help me to know what few commands they (and I!) are to keep. Most of all, help me to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and help others to do the same, so that those who are new will start right and not fall away.

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