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Daily Bible Podcast Day 251 – Jeremiah 42-44, Psalm 48, Revelation 13

July 9, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise,
in the city of our God, his holy mountain.” ~Psalm 48:1

Observation:
The Psalm reflects on God’s unfailing love, His power, His judgments.

Application:
As with many of the Psalms of praise, I am reminded to try harder to make my whole life one of praising God, not just my Sundays.

Prayer:
Father, You are worthy of all praise. Help me to worship You always, not just on Sundays. I will try better to praise at all times and in all things, because You are worth it.

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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 239 – Jeremiah 52, Revelation 1, Psalm 143, 144

June 27, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.” ~Psalm 143:10-11

Observation:
David’s request is to be saved, both from without and within. Not only are there those who would destroy him physically, his own tendency to waywardness would destroy him spiritually.

Application:
While I don’t have human enemies who are after my blood, I do have a spiritual enemy who, now that my soul can’t be his, is still out to destroy my spiritual effectiveness. My own natural tendencies also work against my doing God’s will.

Prayer:
Father, teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For Your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 238 – Jeremiah 50-51, 3 John

June 26, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.” ~3 John 1:9-10

Observation:
John doesn’t seem to have any problems calling out someone in the church who is prideful and trying the run the church by his own rules. There are still people like this today, who spread contentiousness in the church and prevent it from doing what it is supposed to do.

Application:
How should I as a church leader deal with those who are prideful and working at cross purposes to the mission of the church? What is the proper response to those within the church who actively oppose the church’s true mission and disciples?

Prayer:
Father, it seems that there are many in the church who don’t actually care about Your mission. They seem prideful and only interested in their own view of things. Help me and other church leaders to know how to confront these people. Also, prevent my own pride from ever taking over, so that I might never become one of these people. My comfort is always much less important than Your mission.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 237 – Jeremiah 37-39, Psalm 79, 2 John

June 25, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” ~2 John 1:6-7

Observation:
Several criteria are given in different places for identifying those who are anti-Christ. Not acknowledging that Jesus came in the flesh is the one given here. The language of these verses seem mean that a denial of Jesus’ physical body isn’t necessary, just a failure to acknowledge it.

Application:
Care must be taken to be certain that nothing I say could be construed to not acknowledge that Jesus had a real, physical, human, earth body. I also must be sure that I don’t take the teaching of anyone who doesn’t acknowledge this as well.

Prayer:
Jesus, I’m not one-hundred percent sure why acknowledging that You had a real body is so important, but I suspect it has to do with the “realness” of the suffering You endured on my behalf. I will never deny and will do my best to always affirm my belief that You physically existed as a human. Help me through Your Spirit to obey Your commands and walk in love.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 236 – Jeremiah 33-34, Psalm 74, 1 John 5

June 24, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” ~1 John 5:1-5

Observation:
Everyone who believes Jesus is the Messiah is born of God and everyone born of God overcomes the world. Sounds simple enough.

Application:
But it doesn’t seem to be so easy. Keeping God’s commands seems difficult at times. I want to overcome the world and its issues, but it believing really enough? Does having difficulty mean that I need to work on my belief?

Prayer:
Father, if my belief is lacking, help me strengthen it. I want to conquer the world and its problems, help me to do so. I do believe, help me to believe more strongly and help me to show You my love by keeping Your commands.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 235 – Jeremiah 31-32, 1 John 4

June 23, 2013 in Podcasts

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“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” ~1 John 4:7-12

Observation:
God showed the example of what love is and we should love in the same way if necessary. Those who do not love do not know God.

Application:
Do I love enough? This chapter is saying that believers should love one another, but doesn’t seem to say much about non-believers. Sometimes believers are just as hard to love as non-believers. Maybe harder.

Prayer:
Father, help me to love. It’s hard to love people with all their “imperfections.” I know that I have my own, but that You loved me anyway. Help me to extend the same to others, who are no worse than I really.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 234 – Jeremiah 28-30, 1 John 3

June 22, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” ~1 John 3:17-18

Observation:
1 John is pretty challenging. This chapter in particular talks about the behavior of the one who is “born of God” vs. the one who is the child of the devil. Those who sin are said to be in the latter group. Yet, if we believe in Jesus resurrection, our sin is no longer held against us, so I’m a little confused. What about the previous chapter’s claim that those who acknowledge the Son have the Father also?

Application:
I still have some sin in my life, does this mean I am not a child of God? Or does Paul’s claim that “everything is lawful” absolve us? I wish I understood the relationship between salvation and being set free from sin.

Prayer:
Father, there is much in Your Word that I don’t understand. Does leftover sin mean that I don’t belong to You? If so, I pray again to remove my sin from me. I acknowledge Christ and ask for wisdom to understand all of this. Help me to love the brothers and sisters and act in a way that is in accordance with Your will and commands.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 233 – Jeremiah 21, 24, 27, Psalm 118, 1 John 2

June 21, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.” ~Psalm 118

Observation:
The rest of the Psalm recounts the ways in which God has come to the aid of the Psalmist. God is on the side of those who believe in Him. I also think the use of the word “endure” is interesting. Endurance is used when one is doing something difficult. I don’t know if God finds it “difficult” exactly (is anything hard for God?) but I suspect that if anything is hard for Him, it’s maintaining love for people who have trouble obeying Him.

Application:
No matter what I have done or will do, God’s love endures forever. In my moments of doubt and feelings of unworthiness, God’s love endures forever.

Prayer:
Father, thank You for Your love and Your patience. Thank You for enduring and not giving up. You could have cut mankind loose and we would have deserved it. Instead, in Your love, You endured the time and the frustration and in Christ endured the cross to bring me back to You. In my self-doubt, I remember Your endurance.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 232 – Jeremiah 48-49, Psalm 67, 1 John 1

June 20, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[ sin.” ~1 John 1:5-7

Observation:
If we are “in” Christ then, there is no way we’d walk in darkness. Those in Christ walk in light.

Application:
Can those who occasionally stumble still be walking in light? How much sin does someone need to have in order to be walking in darkness? I suspect that question misses the point. Fellowship with God is not a numerical proposition, but a spiritual one.

Prayer:
Father God, I still stumble from time to time. Yet I know that I have at least some fellowship with You. Help me to deepen that relationship and therefore walk more in the light than I do now. Thank You for the purification from all sin by the blood of Jesus.

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