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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 228 – 2 Kings 24, Jeremiah 22, Psalm 112, John 18

June 16, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate.

Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’

‘What is truth?’ retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, ‘I find no basis for a charge against him. ‘” ~John 18:37-38

Observation:
Jesus has an interesting discussion with Pilate, where Pilate tries to get Jesus to admit to being a King. Pilate ends this conversation with the question, “what is truth?” Pilate doesn’t seem to be asking this question in any honest way, since he doesn’t wait for Jesus’ answer. This is a question that people still ask today and it’s likely that Pilate had frist encountered this question during some study of philosophy. The implication may be that Pilate rejects any claims that a “Truth” exists.

Application:
Many in today’s world also reject that there is any such thing as a moral or spiritual Truth that holds for all people at all times. Jesus never got a chance to answer Pilate’s retort (Pilate didn’t want an answer), but I have had this discussion before and had a chance to respond. This exchange is a reminder to be prepared with answers to the hard questions that others might ask.

Prayer:
Father, give me wisdom through Your Spirit to know how to answer those who question me about Jesus. Help me to respond in the way that best reaches each person. Also, if You desire, put me into contact with more people asking these questions. As it is now, I don’t often have these conversations. Loving You is a mind activity as well and I pray for opportunities to engage the minds of others with Your Truth.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 217 – 2 Kings 23, 2 Chronicles 35, John 7

June 5, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, ‘Where is he?’

Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, ‘He is a good man.’

Others replied, ‘No, he deceives the people.’ But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.” ~John 7:11-13

Observation:
The Jewish leaders were looking for a way to kill Jesus. The people obviously knew this and many were hesitant to say anything about him for fear of sharing this fate. Even those who believed in him were unwilling to do so publicly out of fear of retribution.

Application:
How often in my own life am I unwilling to acknowledge Jesus because I fear some form of consequence? I am very unlikely to face death, but certainly ostracism or judgment from non-believers or various “authorities” is possible. By not invoking Jesus at these times, perhaps I avoid possible “problems” but I also might miss out on God’s blessing in the form of obedience or of seeing someone else acknowledge Jesus.

Prayer:
Father, I don’t ever want to fail to acknowledge Jesus out of fear of earthly consequences. While such consequences are possible, so are positive outcomes. Help me to know when and what to speak. Help me to never fear what scoffers might say, but only be concerned with what You want and with helping others draw nearer to You. “How will they believe in the one they have not heard about?”

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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 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 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 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 185 – 2 Kings 15-16, Hosea 1, Hebrews 1

May 4, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” Hosea 1:10

Observation:
Israel has greatly angered God. They have turned from Him, so He is preparing to punish them. Yet, at the same time, God states that they will still be able to find forgiveness and be welcomed back into His family. It was true in Hosea’s time and it is even more true now.

Application:
Even though I have angered God in the past, He welcomed me back into His family. Even though we are distant from God, He has made a way for us to come home.

Prayer:
Father, thank You that in Your love, You do not let Your justified anger have the last word. Certainly I deserve Your wrath, yet You will withhold it. Thank you for Your Son who provides the way back into Your family.

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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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