In this week’s episode we are continuing our discussion on prayer that we began last week. We’ll spend time in the following scriptures:
James 4:2b (WEB) You don’t have, because you don’t ask. 3 You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures.
1 John 5:14 (WEB) This is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us. 15 And if we know that he listens to us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (WEB) Pray without ceasing. 18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.
Does God Answer Prayer? This is a question many Christians ask, and today we’ll start to uncover the answer.
Genesis 25:21 (WEB) Isaac entreated Yahweh for his wife, because she was barren. Yahweh was entreated by him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her. She said, “If it is so, why do I live?” She went to inquire of Yahweh. 23 Yahweh said to her, “Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body. The one people will be stronger than the other people. The elder will serve the younger.”
James 5:16b (WEB) The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.
In the podcast this past week, we talked about how it is of greater value to stand at the threshold of the house of the Lord than to live in the tents of the wicked. While this is such a powerful visual, the entire passage I quoted in this podcast, Psalms 84, speaks to the greatness of dwelling in the house of the Lord. Look at the first few verses:
Psalms 84:1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God. 4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah.
This psalm is not written by David, but the sons of Korah. In it, the author seems to be speaking to the difference of a world without YHWH as our God and world with Him as our God.
Our hearts yearn for Him, even before we know what they are yearning for. Birds find their house and swallows their nest, and in those places they are happy, but for us, there is no true happiness until we find our God. And then, and only then, we are blessed as we will dwell with Him forever.
I am amazed at how much I am getting from this one psalm, and perhaps it is speaking to me because I need to be reading it right now. I’m not sure what God is trying to tell me, but my ears are open and ready to hear Him.
Psalms 84 has come to my attention more than once lately, and I am finding a real richness in one verse in particular. In verse ten we are reminded how much better it is to be in the presence of the Lord than anything else out there.
Psalms 84:1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God. 4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah. 5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! 6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. 7 They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah. 9 Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Your anointed. 10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!
In 1 John 2:3-11, we learn of a commandment that is not new, but it is a bit different.
1 John 2:3 (NASB) By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. 8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining. 9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
* Some of you noticed that an episode didn’t get published last week. Consider that a lesson learned on my part! I was traveling for business, and I found out what didn’t work well on the road. Hopefully that won’t happen again.
In today’s episode of Noble Bereans we are talking about sharing the faith.
Our key scriptures are:
Romans 10:5 (NET) For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.
Romans 10:14 (NET) How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.”
In today’s episode we explore what the root meaning of the word ‘worship’ is in Hebrew. Fascinating!
Our key verse today is:
Exodus 3:12 (NASB) And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”
Listen to today’s micro-podcast on Prioritizing God.
The key verses for today come from Colossians 3:
Colossians 3: 1 (NET) Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3 for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 5 So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 7 You also lived your lives in this way at one time, when you used to live among them. 8 But now, put off all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 10 and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it.
Listen to today’s micro-podcast: Flee From Idolatry.
The focus verses for this episode are from 1 Corinthians 10:
1 Corinthians 10:6 (NASB) Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
Welcome to Season 2 of Noble Bereans! While it means we’ve started a new year of podcasts, it also means we are past the initial episodes that were describing what it meant to be a Noble Berean.
Today’s micro-podcast episode is on The Little Sins.
The key scripture for the day comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NET) No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.