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Daily Bible Podcast Day 308 – Job 26-27, Mark 15-16

September 4, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.’ Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.” ~Mark 15:31-32

Observation:
In a way, the chief priests and teachers of the law are right. Jesus couldn’t save himself. Not if he wanted to be obedient and provide the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. Besides, assuming he did save himself, it’s not likely that they would have believed as they claimed. They’d seen him heal many people and his Biblical authority was well-established. If that wasn’t enough, neither would saving himself have been.

Application:
Sometimes I hope and pray for a sign of confirmation, but do I really need one? Like the chief priests, I have enough information to have faith, but I’m sometimes just being stubborn. Not as stubborn as the chief priests, but stubborn nonetheless. I have the faith that says that Jesus is the Messiah, but I don’t always have the faith to trust and follow Him.

Prayer:
Father, give me greater faith so that I might not be even a little bit as stubborn as those who heaped insults on Jesus. I know enough, now help me to have faith that things will turn out as You have promised. Help me also to follow Jesus better, with or without “signs and wonders”.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 307 – Job 25, Mark 13-14

September 3, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.'” ~Mark 13:32-33

Observation:
Jesus is telling the disciples about the Second Coming. He stresses several times that no one knows when this will happen, but many will be deceived by those claiming to know.

Application:
Am I living my life as if Jesus could come back any moment? Who do I know that is not prepared for that to happen? Do I have a sense of urgency about reaching these people?

Prayer:
Jesus, Your disciples clearly had a sense of urgency about Your return. They wanted as many as possible to be ready for You. Give me their same view. Help me to remember and live in a way that acknowledges that You could come back at any moment. Help me to fill up name cards at Your banquet table.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 306 – Job 23-24, Mark 11-12

September 2, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.'” ~Mark 12:41-44

Observation:
Jesus is saying that, even though the monetary value is small, the spiritual value is high, because she gave all she possibly could have. The value of the gift is a result of the depth of the sacrifice.

Application:
One of the things I have the most trouble with is giving. I’m just not good at it. Money is a little tight for us right now and I feel like every dollar is important. But, like most people, we have things we don’t need and expenses that aren’t completely necessary.

Prayer:
Father, I want to be a better giver, but I don’t seem to be making much progress on my own. Give me Your heart for giving and give me the assurance that I will, in fact, be blessed when I give. I know Your blessing might or might not be monetary, but I know that You promise to give when we do. Help me to be obedient and to trust You with my riches.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 305 – Psalm 121, Mark 9-10

September 1, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’

The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’

The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who then can be saved?’

Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.'” ~Mark 10:23-27

Observation:
The disciples are quite surprised. Evidently people in that day believed the rich the more likely to be saved. But, even though Jesus says it is impossible for man, nothing is impossible for God. Again, Jesus is alluding to God’s grace.

Application:
I’m glad that it is possible for rich people to enter the kingdom of God due to His grace. See, anyone living in America is already likely to be in the richest 95% of the planet. So, I’m rich and often I am caught up in my material things or the pursuit of more material things. But with God, even my participation in His kingdom is possible.

Prayer:
Father, I know that I am rich and I know that I have trouble being preoccupied with my riches and obtaining more. Help me to be content with what I have and live within my means. If giving me more would help me further Your kingdom, give me more. If not, don’t. Help me to be preoccupied only with Your kingdom coming to earth and help me to trust You to take of the things that I and my family need.

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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 068 – Deuteronomy 10-12, Mark 16

January 7, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” ~Mark 16:6-7

Observation:
Mary and Mary show up to the tomb with the intention of completing Jesus’ preparation for burial. They are surprised and alarmed that He isn’t there, despite the fact that Jesus had told them and the disciples what was going to happen; that He would be killed and rise from the dead. They didn’t remember what He had told them.

Application:
Over my life Jesus has “told” me various things through His word. Yet, I forget them and then am occasionally surprised when what He said would happen happens.

Prayer:
Jesus, help me to better remember and internalize Your word. Not just so that I will be prepared for life’s happenings, but also that I will be more the man that You would have me be.

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Daily Bible Podcast Day 067 – Deuteronomy 7-9, Mark 15

January 6, 2013 in Podcasts

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Scripture:
“After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, ‘The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.’ No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.” ~Deuteronomy 9:4-6

Observation:
One of the hard things about the Old Testament is knowing when something applies to the modern Christian. Things like animal sacrifices clearly do not, but other things are not so clear. I think it is safe to say that this passage still applies on a personal level. For instance, I did nothing to deserve being born where I was. How could I have deserved it? Because of this, it makes no sense for me to gloat about my nationality, since I had no part in it.

This also makes me wonder if our country is blessed due to our righteousness (I suspect not since we have relatively little), or if other countries are merely being punished for their wickedness. Or is God even in that business of using nations to punish wicked nations any longer?

Application:
Whatever the case is on the level of international relations, clearly I have no business being proud of where I was born. I had nothing to do with it. I can give thanks to God for the undeserved blessing he has shown by having me born where I was, but I certainly don’t deserve to be prideful. If there’s anything that this last year has taught me, it’s that no one deserves any good thing they have.

Prayer:
Father, thank you that for some reason you allowed me to be born where I was. So many people have it worse than I do and they didn’t deserve that either. I pray that I will never be prideful of my circumstances or my geographical location. I also pray that I will be merciful to others who find themselves in worse circumstances.

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