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Daily Bible Podcast Day 250 – 2 Kings 25, 2 Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 40-41, Revelation 12

July 8, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’” ~2 Chronicles 36:23

Observation:
At this point, most of the Hebrews are in exile in Babylon, sent their by God for their evil and disobedience. After the time God chose was fulfilled, God began to use the pagan king of Babylon to do His will. God is able to use those who appear to be the enemies of His people to do His work and to benefit His people.

Application:
Just because someone appears to be an enemy of God or His people, it does not mean they are not doing God’s will. Does this mean that the outcome of an action should be examined as well as the heart of the actor? Bad actors can produce benefits to God’s kingdom and His people.

Prayer:
Father, I know that You are able to make all things work together for the good of those who love You and are called by You. I know, as Cyrus proves, that even some who appear to be against You are actually fulfilling Your purposes. Help me to be wise enough to see what is really going on and what I should do. Help me not to worry about those who seem to be working against You. Most of all, accomplish Your will on earth using whatever means and whoever You choose and help me to trust You enough not to worry about the “bumps in the road” if indeed they are bumps at all.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 216 – 2 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 34, John 6

June 4, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, ‘Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.’
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” ~John 6:14-15

Observation:
This follows the miracle where Jesus fed the 5,000 with just 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus, specifically avoids political power. In fact, his ultimate goal is to become the victim of political power.

Application:
Jesus’ goals are often opposite of what would seem to make sense. Even though He could have made himself King at any point, he refuses to even allow this to happen. Jesus’ kingdom is not a political one. Government is about using force to demand obedience. God, who desires love, knows that true love cannot be coerced. I am susceptible to getting wrapped up in politics. Jesus avoids them because they cannot fulfill His wishes.

Prayer:
Father, so much of Your attitude seems strange to us. Your desire for love from us prevents politics and force from even working to meet your goal of a relationship. A coerced relationship is not a real one. Help me also to see love as the goal and always realize that coercion has no place in the life of someone trying to follow Christ.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 214 – 2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33, John 4

June 2, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Meanwhile his disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’

But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’

Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’

‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.'” ~John 4:31-34

Observation:
Jesus then goes on to talk about how the harvest is ready for a crop of eternal life. It is interesting that Jesus is less interested in food than he is in saving souls.

Application:
Jesus’ attitude is that a harvest of believers is more important to Him than food. I should at least be willing to suffer a little discomfort for the sake of the same, yet I usually care more about my own nourishment and enjoyment than the very souls of others.

Prayer:
Father, as is always my prayer, continue to move me in the direction of Jesus’ attitude. Start creating in me His willingness to suffer, in both great and small ways, not for the mere sake of suffering, but for the sake of others that You love also and who are far from You.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 202 – 2 Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 32, James 5

May 21, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” ~James 5:16

Observation:
James encourages the believer to approach God in accordance with his mood. If in trouble, pray. If happy, sing praise. The prayers and anointing of the elders will heal those who are sick.

Application:
Confession is the road to healing, but it’s also hard to confess your failings to others. This is certainly true in my experience, although recently seems to be bearing fruit.

Prayer:
Father, thank You for bringing people into my life for mutual confession and prayer. Please continue to strengthen those ties and further heal both them and me. I want to be a righteous person and one who is effective and powerful in prayer. Keep working in me.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 201 – 2 Chronicles 29-31, James 4

May 20, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” ~James 4:7-8

Observation:
The preceding verse tells us that “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” We are instructed not to be a “friend of the world” lest we become an enemy of God.

Application:
Submission to God for the purpose of nearness to Him, resisting sin, and purifying my heart has to be a daily thing. It seems that when I’m not in submission, that’s when temptation creeps back in.

Prayer:
Father, I submit to Your will once again. Help me to resist the devil and all his temptations. Purify my mind so that my thoughts will be Yours, leading to actions that reflect Your will as well. I will continue to do my best to flee the desires of the world.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 200 – 2 Kings 17, 2 Chronicles 28, Psalm 46, James 3

May 19, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” ~James 3:9-12

Observation:
James can usually be counted on to press me where I need pressed. James is saying here that cursing should be nearly impossible from a mouth that praises. How can one both praise God and curse others? It reveals that the one cursing does not really know how to love God.

Application:
I have trouble here. I am often guilty of “cursing” others. I’m usually ready to write off Christians (especially) when they display obvious sin or disobedience to God. Sometimes when people merely drive too slowly it is enough to invoke “cursing” from me, as if that were a great moral failing on their part!

Prayer:
Father, I’m often too critical of others. I’m too quick to become angry over trivial things, like others’ driving habits. Perhaps I’m too quick to anger at those who profess to be Your followers yet don’t, in my estimation, reflect Your desires (as if I reflected Your desires most of the time). Help me to correct myself first. Then, if You would have me to, help me to lovingly correct others. It just seems that, especially in America, there are entirely too many people who profess You with their mouths, and yet their hearts seem far from Yours. Myself included. Work in me to remove everything that doesn’t look like Jesus.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 184 – Isaiah 6-7, 2 Chronicles 26-27, Philemon

May 3, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” ~Isaiah 7:14

Observation:
The setting for Isaiah’s prophesy is war between Israel and her enemies. This verse appears to be completely irrelevant to the problem that Israel thinks it has, a military problem The real problem they have is a sin problem. Immanuel means, “God with us.” Hundreds of years prior to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah predicts it.

Application:
First, I need to remember that God is at work in the world. Whatever is going on, God is shaping history to conclude in favor of Him and those who love Him. Whatever else I may think is happening, Good wins in the end. Also, the thing that I think is the problem is not necessarily the main problem. Clearly, from God’s perspective, the human problem that is at the root of the rest is sin.

Prayer:
Father, You’re in control. No matter that the world really seems to be going to hell or that our country is in a bad place, both a relative financial famine and certainly a moral famine. You win in the end. Help me to remember that and work toward Your goals, not just mine. Thank You for Immanuel, who came to solve the real problem that I have, which is sin. Keep working in me to purge me of the last vestiges of that nature.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 178 – 2 Kings 13-14, 2 Chronicles 25, 2 Timothy 3

April 27, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” ~2 Timothy 3:1-5

Observation:
I feel like verses 2 through 4 pretty well describe modern America in many ways, myself included all-to-often. The thing I’m curious about is the phrase, “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” What does that mean?

Application:
Too often, the adjectives in verses 2-4 describe me. Not all of them, but certainly some of them. I also worry that I might be somehow denying God’s power. Does my doubt about whether God will produce change in my life qualify as a denial of God’s power?

Prayer:
Father, help me to affirm Your power in my life. Work Your power in my life. I sometimes have doubts about whether You will work in my life, even though I have no doubt that You can. Help me to love the things You love and despise what You despise. Help me to know and avoid those You would have me avoid.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 175 – 2 Kings 11-12, 2 Chronicles 24, 1 Timothy 6

April 24, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” ~1 Timothy 6:17-19

Observation:
Nearly everyone alive in the US today is many times richer than nearly anyone alive when Paul was writing these words. Cars, microwaves, fast food, air conditioning, Aspirin, and any number of other things would have been unimaginable luxuries to even the richest people alive at the time.

Application:
Now that I have firmly established that I am incredibly wealthy by Paul’s standards, I need to be sure that I’m not putting my hope in my comfort and wealth, but in God. I also need to work on my generosity with those in our society who do lack basics like food and shelter. I also should better support my church, which exists to serve those who are spiritually poor.

Prayer:
Father, I don’t want all my riches to be here on earth. Help me to be generous and willing to share with the physically and spiritually poor. Help lessen my anxiety about finances, as this is one way of “trusting in money”. Thank You for the many amazing things that You have already provided for my enjoyment. May I be a good steward.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 174 – 2 Kings 10, 2 Chronicles 22-23, 1 Timothy 5

April 23, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.” ~1 Timothy 5:24-25

Observation:
Paul is saying that not all deeds (good or bad) are recognized by others immediately. Some are, but others exist on a time-delay of sorts.

Application:
Reflecting on this verse makes me wonder if my persistent sins are just waiting to catch up with me, like a wave about to crash over my head from behind.

Prayer:
Father, I don’t want to be overtaken by sin. I want them out of my life as much as that is possible this side of heaven. And make my good deeds obvious to others, so that others may see them and praise You, my father in heaven. I want to see Your rewards, not be overtaken by my own failings.

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