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Living the Bible

Author: David Murray

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A short daily podcast for learning, loving, and living the Bible. Grow your faith in five minutes a day.
285 Episodes
When people ask me, “What’s the biggest difference between the United Kingdom and the United States of America?” I answer, “The American flag is everywhere in the USA but the British flag is virtually nowhere in the UK.” I can’t go through a day without seeing the American flag multiple times in multiple places. I can go weeks and months and not see the Union Jack, the British flag, anywhere. Why such a big difference? The American people are more patriotic than the Brits. They’re proud of their flag because they’re proud of their country and they’re not ashamed to show it. But it works the other way too. It’s not just that the flag reflects patriotism, it also stirs it up. The omnipresence of the Stars and Stripes stirs up patriotism too. Which raises a spiritual question: How do we express and revive the patriotism of God’s people? Let’s hear David’s answer in Psalm 60.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
“I want to be weak,” said no one ever. Why? Because weakness is a horrible experience. When we’re weak, we can’t do the things we want to do. Weakness means saying “I can’t,” and “Can you help me?” Words of only one syllable, yet the hardest words to say in the English language.  But, in the spiritual realm, weakness is strength. “I can’t” and “Can you help me?” are the most powerful words in our spiritual vocabulary. That’s why, in Psalm 59, David invites us to The Weakness Gym, whose tagline is, Our Strength is Weakness. Why would I want to get weaker? Let’s hear David’s answer.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
What’s the worst pain in the world? Physical pain (toothache, childbirth, kidney stones)? Emotional pains (bereavement, depression, fear)? Relational pains (betrayal, unfaithfulness, abandonment). All of these are great pains, but they are not the greatest pain. I believe the greatest pain in the world is the pain of injustice: seeing the wicked get off, seeing the righteous condemned, especially when we’re one of the victims. I’ve been one of these victims and no doubt many of you have too. We’ve seen wicked people defended, protected, and promoted; and we’ve seen good people accused, condemned, and punished. That pain goes really deep and really long. How do we deal with these wounds? How do we heal them? Psalm 58 offers some truth stitches to sew them together. Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
Human love is shaky. It’s weak and wavering, soft and unreliable. As David discovered yesterday, the best of friends can quickly become the worst of enemies. Our best buddy can become the worst betrayer, as most High School students can testify. So much of the teen depression and anxiety epidemic is spread through the unfaithfulness and unreliability of friends. Shaky friendships produce shaky hearts. Is there a steady love that can give us steady hearts? David answers that question in Psalm 57.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
Many Christians have tried journaling as a spiritual discipline to strengthen their faith. A spiritual journal is a daily record of the ups and downs of our spiritual journey. Those who keep it up, testify to the huge benefit, especially looking back on it in later years. Most of us, though, can’t keep it up. Like many good habits, it’s just so hard to stick with it. We stop and start, stop and start, resulting in big blanks between the bursts of journaling. We’ve got pages of nothing, especially during hard times, the very times when journaling would be the most encouraging. Fear gives us writer’s block. Tears erase our text. What can encourage us when times are black and our pages blank? David points us to another journal in Psalm 56, a journal with no blanks.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
I’ve always wanted to fly. I don’t mean fly in a plane; I mean fly myself. When I was very young, I made wings of various shapes, sizes, and materials. But, despite furious flapping of my wings, every time I tried to lift-off, I landed on my face.   My fantasy revived recently with the development of jet-suits. I’ve watched numerous videos of people flying across lakes and up mountains wearing these jet-packs. I’ve even made enquiries, but can’t persuade my wife that $500,000 is a bargain. I’m still hopeful that I’ll live long enough for the prices to come down enough for me to fly in one of them.  “Why, David? Why do you want to fly in the sky—without a plane?” Freedom! When life is stressful and sad, it would be just amazing to take off, get away from everything and everyone, and just fly around like a bird. I suppose it’s really escapism. It’s wanting to escape this world of weighty worries and enter a better one, a lighter one, even for a short time. You might think I’m weird. So did I, until I came across another David with a similar flying fantasy in Psalm 55. He helped me answer the question, “What should I do when I’m crushed with heavy burdens?” Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
“I need help. Can you help me?” Aren’t these some of the hardest words to say? To admit we need help is hard enough, but to actually ask for help is even harder. We like to help ourselves, and we may like to help others, but we hate asking for help for ourselves. Sometimes we’ll go to enormous lengths to avoid admitting and asking for help. We may risk even our health and happiness rather than reach out for help. “I can do it myself” we insist. “I don’t need help” we protest, as everyone around us sees us sinking and failing. We may want to ask for help but we won’t ask for help. Why is H…E…L…P the hardest word to say and how do we learn to say it? Psalm 54 comes alongside to help us say “Help” and get help.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
Do you ever feel that the Christian church is encircled and under siege? That Christians are hated more than another group in society? While the church was never popular, we’re now experiencing unprecedented animosity, enmity, hatred, and malice. David describes this terrifying Satanic venom in Psalm 54:1-5. Is there an antidote that neutralizes Satanic venom and re-starts our hearts?  Verse six describes and prescribes the antidote. Let’s give God our forearms and ask him to inject his vaccine into our spiritual veins.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
“A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on,” said Charles Spurgeon from bitter personal experience. Most Christians experience this pain at some point in their lives. Damaging lies get told about us and sprint way ahead of the truth. We try to help the truth catch up but the lies are out of sight and running in every direction, with damaging and sometimes deadly consequences. What do we do when lies are winning and truth is defeated? Psalm 52 helps us answer that question about the biggest race of all time and eternity.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
A few days ago, I re-visited a house that a team in our church is renovating for a low-income family. I was stunned at the end result. I had seen it a few months ago and, I must admit, I was not hopeful our team could make anything of it. I looked at it and thought, “How did it ever get like this?” This week, I was looking at the restored house, and I was asking the same question, though in a different spirit, “How did it ever get like this?” It wasn’t quite Chip and Joanna Gaines but it was still a beautiful transformation.  Sometimes we look at a life wrecked by sin and ask, “How did it ever get like this?” Then, “Can this ever be restored?” Psalm 51 answers both questions as we view the wreckage of David’s sin-ruined life.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
I write this just days after yet another evangelical celebrity has been exposed as a wickedly immoral man. How could he dupe so many for so long? The problem is we can’t see a person’s heart but only what’s on the outside. That’s why in Psalm 50, God calls us into his court to scan our hearts and issue his interim judgment before we face his final judgment (1-6). Although everyone looks very similar on the outside, God sees three types of heart. What are these hearts and which one do we have?Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
Who’s the richest man in the world? This question fascinates people as they follow Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos jockeying for first place. Why so much interest? People like to imagine the kind of life that kind of money would give them. The weekly TV series, The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, tapped into this fantasy. Now, there’s the multiple daily updates on massively popular social media accounts like Rich Kids of Instagram and the Kardashian reality show. They all invite us to imagine, “If I were rich, I could live like that.” Psalm 49 blows up such fantasies and shows us reality. Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together! My mouth shall speak wisdom (1-3). Once he’s got our attention, the Psalmist says to us, Riches may help us to live but they cannot help us to die. Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
If you were to ask people to describe the church in three words, what three words would top the poll? Here’s my guess: divided, dying, judgmental. That’s a PR disaster isn’t it. With such a poor public image, no wonder it’s so hard to get people interested in coming to church. Many of the young who grow up in the church eventually leave it because they’re ashamed of being associated with such a ‘brand.’ Even those who stay are sometimes embarrassed about being part of it. In Psalm 48, God re-brands the church. He doesn’t do anything innovative, but simply supplies his three words for the church: beautiful, forever, and loved. The Psalm says to the church: Wear God’s brand with confidence and joy.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
Why do sports fans shout, cheer, and clap for their team? It’s to inspire them to win, isn’t it? We believe that our hands and our mouths we can inject energy and endurance into our team and fuel another victory. Our volume helps their victory.  Psalm 47 tells us that God has chosen to connect the volume of our praises with the victories of his power. It says, Increase the volume of your praise to increase the victories of God’s power. Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
Since coming to America thirteen years ago, I’ve fallen in love with College Football. I still don’t understand all the jargon and all the tactics, but I do understand that the best teams need both a great defense and a great offense. One without the other is not a championship team. But when both are in place, it gives the whole team confidence that they’ll have a winning season.Psalm 46 describes the Christian’s awesome defense and offense. It’s God. He’s our defense and offense. He’s a team of one, but gives us complete confidence that we’ll have a winning season. The Psalm says Be still and watch God win for you.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
Growing up in the UK, royal weddings were a big deal. The one I remember most was the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981. A national holiday was declared and all-day street parties around the country celebrated this fairytale marriage. TV networks even employed lip readers to guess what the happy couple were saying to each other. The joy of the day lifted the spirits of the whole nation for months. In Psalm 45, David reports on an even happier royal wedding, the marriage of Christ and the Christian. We don’t need lip-readers to guess their words because they wrote them down here. Use these loving words to remember your marriage and revive your joy.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
We Lost! (Psalm 44)

We Lost! (Psalm 44)


We all want our children to win, don’t we? Whether it’s soccer, basketball, football, or mini-league, we want them to win. That’s why we sometimes get demented on the sidelines. But sometimes, despite our best efforts on the bleachers, they lose—not a good feeling for them or us. We do the post-mortem on the way home and try to find someone to blame—usually the referees—or a lesson to learn. Psalm 44 is a post-mortem after a serious loss for the church. If Psalm 43 was “We Win!”, Psalm 44 is “We Lost!” It’s a painful time for the defeated church as the pathologist performs an autopsy to learn from the loss. Here’s what he comes up with: Learning from losing turns losing into winning.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
We Win! (Psalm 43)

We Win! (Psalm 43)


Even if we haven’t been victims of lies personally, all Christians are victims of group slander. Every day, Hollywood, the music industry, the mainstream media, Madison Avenue, and corporate HQ’s churn out movies, shows, songs, articles, commercials, and HR policies that soil, smear, and slander Christians. Misrepresentations, caricatures, distortions, and outright falsehoods darken our days and our hearts, distance us from God, and dampen our prayers and praise. In Psalm 43, a fellow-victim of slanderous lies guides us out of the darkness of lies and into the light of truth. He says, When lies get you down use God’s truth to lift you up.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the famous British medical doctor turned preacher, asked: ‘Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?’ Our own thoughts—influenced by the world, our sin, or our enemy—can undermine our identity and joy in Christ.” But he didn’t just diagnose the disease, Dr Lloyd-Jones also prescribed the medicine of preaching to yourself as demonstrated in Psalm 42. Here’s the prescription: Listen less to yourself and preach more to yourself.Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
We live in an increasingly merciless society. Make one mistake and the social media mobs will come for you and cancel you in seconds. There’s no forgiveness, no second chances. Numerous actors, singers, CEOs, politicians, professors, students, and employees have been cancelled for one misstep, even from their dim and distant past. When this scares us, we need to use Psalm 41 to remind us that the merciful get mercy but the merciless get justice. Instagraphics.Website.iTunes.Spotify.
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