Hearing God

Hearing God

“My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27

He knows our name, our nature

“Usually, when someone says, “God has been speaking to me lately,” we get a little suspicious (justly so, in many cases). Many who say God speaks to them are far too often what I describe as a few clowns short of a circus.

Yet as our Good Shepherd, Jesus promises that we can hear and know His voice. This does not, however, need to be some mysterious, mystical process. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that God speaks to you quite often.

You see, the Good Shepherd knows not only your name (John 10:3), but your nature.

Yes, God speaks—but we do not always like what He says. Have you sensed the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you were in a relationship or a place you did not belong? At times, God’s Holy Spirit whispers in the stillness of your heart, “What are you doing here?” How else can we know when God is speaking to us?

God speaks to us through His word. (Psalm 119:105)

God speaks to us through circumstances (Psalm 119:67)

God speaks to through His peace (Colossians 3:15)

And once we have heard God’s voice, what should we do? We must follow. Jesus calls, we responds. He whispers, we move. We follow—and then we keep on listening.

from the Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie (Tyndale) pp 243-45

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


 

Nathan- God Provides

God helps those who help the poor

 

Why should I help the poor?

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor. The Lord rescues them in times of trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity and rescues them from their enemies. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and eases their pain and discomfort.

Psalm 41:1-3

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him, he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him.

Psalm 72:12-14
A greedy person tries to get rich quick, but it only leads to poverty. Greed causes fighting; trusting in the Lord leads to prosperity. Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. But a curse will come upon those who close their eyes to poverty.
Proverbs 28:22,25,27

About this week’s promise

To be poor means that something is lacking from our life.

The Bible focuses primarily on two kinds of poverty — people who are in need of basic necessities (like food and clothing) and people who are in need of God (for they lack the Holy Spirit’s presence in their life). We are called — commanded — to help both of these kinds of people as much as we possibly can.

From the TouchPoint Bible (Tyndale House) p1244

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


Word Study:  Hebrew “Nathan’

Nathan

(1), provide (1), provided (2), provides

Source


 

Good News

The whole earth will hear

To those who have not heard

My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.” Romans 15:20-21 

Under a haystack

John 6-51 – Harvest Time

Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, was just twelve years old in 1805 when the Second Great Awakening reached the school. In the spring of 1806 Samuel Mills joined the freshman class with a passion to spread the gospel around the world. He began leading a group of four other students, who met three afternoons a week in a nearby maple grove.

One sultry day in August 1806 a violent thunderstorm interrupted their prayer time, and they took refuge on the sheltered side of a large haystack. God spoke to them as they prayed, and four of the five committed themselves to serving God overseas if he so led. The Haystack Prayer Meeting was not only the beginning of the first American student mission society but also the beginning of the American foreign missionary movement itself.

Two years later many of the group enrolled at Andover Seminary where they were joined by Adoniram Judson and others interested in foreign missions, but there was no foreign missions board in America to send them. Acting on the advice of a teacher, the students wrote a letter to the General Association of the Congregational Church. Two days later, on June 29, 1810, the association responded by forming the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

From that humble beginning the foreign missions force of the United States has grown to over sixty thousand missionaries sent out by hundreds of mission boards.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003), entry for June 29.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

God is our security

God is our security

Trusting in God’s promises

I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.

Psalm 138:2 

God makes a promise, faith believes it, hope anticipates it, patience quietly awaits it.

unknown

Precious promises

When David Livingstone had to pass through the most dangerous country of the fierce native chief Mburuma and decide whether to furtively sneak through at night or go by day and risk being killed, he staked his life on the promise of Jesus’ presence in Matthew 29:19-20: “Go and make disciples of all nations.…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He wrote in his journal, “t is the word of a Gentleman of the most sacred and strictest honor, so there’s an end on it!” Livingstone knew that God backs up his promises with all the honor of his name, so he proceeded in broad daylight, trusting in his Savior’s promise. God fulfilled his Word, and Livingstone made the crossing safely because the Lord Jesus was beside him, just as he said he would be. God’s promises are just as true and alive today for those who will pray them, trust them, stand on them, and walk in them.

THANK YOU, FATHER, for backing your promises by all the honor of your name. It is a mighty and powerful and trustworthy name! I give thanks to you for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Help me to move forward under your direction in the light of your unfailing and precious promises.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), entry for June 20.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

No temptation is too great

No temptation is too great

HE BORN THIS FOR US!

Do you deeply mourn your sin, or choose cheap grace—and sin again?

Immediately the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness. He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

Mark 1:12-13

Mourning our sins

Lord, who throughout these forty days
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins,
And close by Thee to stay.

As Thou with Satan didst contend
And didst the victory win,
O give us strength in Thee to fight
In Thee to conquer sin.
Lenten Hymn (v1,2), CLAUDIA FRANCES HERNAMAN (1838-98)

We don’t know a lot about the forty days Jesus spent in the desert before His temptation. We know it was a time of fasting and probably of prayer. When the devil came to Him, the conquering words of Scripture were quick on Jesus’ tongue, so it may have been a time of meditation, a time of special communion with his Father.

This song draws the comparison between Jesus’ forty days in the desert and the forty days of Lent. Traditionally, the Lenten season is a time of fasting. People “give up” something for Lent. The idea is not to punish ourselves, but to put aside something that may distract us from our communion with God. It is a time for special devotion to God, a time when He may “abide with us” in a special way. Lent is a time to refocus on our relationship with Christ.

adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995), entry for February 16


When you flee temptation, leave no forwarding address.
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

God knows your name

He Will Not Forget

1 John 4 11-12
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.


MT 4:19
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

“And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.”

Matthew 6:28


God knows your name

A good friend of mine once went to visit his brother during a time of deep crisis. His marriage was struggling, his business was near collapse, and his money was drying up quickly. He had just sold his home and moved into a one-bedroom apartment and had no idea how he was going to dig himself out of his financial and relational problems.

My friend listened as his brother confided in him about his deep frustration. “Some days you want to go outside and shake your fist at heaven and say, ‘God, why don’t you help me?'” his brother said.

My friend looked at his brother in the eye and said somberly, “That wouldn’t do any good. He doesn’t even know who you are.” The two looked at each other for several seconds then burst out laughing. The two brothers had spent their lives trusting God and studying his Word, and the absurdity of the statement left them both in stitches. Years later, the brother told my friend that his joke had brought him a great deal of comfort during his trying time. Even more, it gave him renewed perspective.

We’ve all felt abandoned by God at one time or another. God cares deeply when we suffer, and he is right there beside us all the time.

At times like these the best thing to do is put your hand in his and trust him with your future. Because he not only knows what you’re going through, he knows exactly who you are.

From Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins and Frank M. Martin (Tyndale) p 166

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

God’s fatherhood

How do you see God as Father?

“To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12

 

God’s fatherhood

Most people in the world would agree with the statement that “we are all God’s children.” It’s a nice sentiment. It just isn’t what the Bible teaches. According to God’s Word, unrepentant sinners are actually God’s enemies (see Romans 5:10 and Colossians 1:21)! It’s only when we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that we are reconciled to God and experience forgiveness and adoption into God’s forever family (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

For a Christian going through hard times, this “adoption” truth is the best of all possible news. God is not just the powerful Creator or a righteous Lord, he is a loving Father. He sees your trials. He listens to your pleas. He cares and protects and supports. He is never harsh or impatient with you. He is never “too busy” for you.

Take all the best qualities of all the best earthly dads you’ve ever seen, add them together, and multiply by infinity. That’s the kind of heavenly Father God is to Christians who hurt.

Lord Jesus, I do believe in you. I have accepted you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for revealing yourself to me. Thank you for saving me! Because of your grace and my faith, I am a child of the living God. I praise you. What a privilege! What joy to know that in every situation I have a loving, wise, and good heavenly Father to counsel and help me.

Adapted from Praying God’s Promises in Tough Times by Len Woods, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), pp 68-9


As a substitute father for hundreds of youth over the past thirteen years, I’ve yet to encounter a young person in trouble whose difficulty could be traced to the lack of a strong father image in the home.
PAUL ANDERSONA child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father.
AUSTIN L. SORENSEN

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Who’s Your Safety Net?

God will catch you

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1

There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.

Deuteronomy 33:26-27 NLT

When you are at the end of your rope, God is there to catch you — but not before.

Erwin W. Lutzer

God’s everlasting arms

Our world seemed to be falling apart. My husband was severely depressed, and his business was crumbling. As I tried to support and nurture our children, help my husband, and take up the slack financially, I became drained physically, spiritually, and mentally. I cried out to God in exhaustion, and I felt his everlasting arms underneath me. Quieting my racing heart, the Lord reminded me that although my own resources might be exhausted, his resources were limitless.

During that difficult season I experienced God as my refuge when there was nowhere else to turn, and I felt his security in the middle of a very uncertain, insecure time.

In today’s passage Moses praises the Lord and assures the Israelites that God will be with them no matter what adversity or trial they encounter — that he is their refuge and underneath them are his everlasting arms. Do you need to feel God’s everlasting arms carrying you today because your strength is exhausted? Do you know someone who is in desperate straits and needs God’s help? Pray these verses for yourself or for someone else, and proclaim God’s faithfulness.

LORD, there is no one like you! You ride across the heavens in majestic splendor to help us when we cry out to you. May we experience you today as our refuge and sense your everlasting arms of protection and love holding us. I praise you for your faithfulness and unparalleled power!

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), entry for April 9.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Do We Please the Lord?

How can I please the Lord?

But Samuel replied [to Saul], “What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebelling is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT

If you love me, obey my commandments.… You are my friends if you obey me.

John 14:15; 15:14 NLT

True Friends of Jesus Obey Him

How do we demonstrate our friendship with Jesus? Quite simply, we do what he says. If we refuse, we have no right to call ourselves his friends.

In 1 Samuel 15 the Bible tells how King Saul disobeyed the Lord’s command to completely destroy the enemies and their livestock. When Samuel asked the king why he heard the bleating of sheep and the lowing of cattle, Saul basically replied, “Oh, right, thanks for reminding me. We’re saving those to offer to the Lord later!”

Samuel recognized a lie when he heard one and replied, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV). God wants the same from us, not some great annual recommitment that we soon break. He wants consistency. Regularity. Faithfulness. He wants our obedience.

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie,
(Tyndale House) p 162

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Rewards on Earth or Eternal?

Are you looking for rewards on earth?

“…we who are still alive and remain on earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17 NLT

Awaiting our day

The story is told of an old missionary couple returning to the States after many years of thankless service in Africa. They happened to be on the same ship to New York as President Theodore Roosevelt, who was returning from a big game hunt in Africa. As the ship pulled past the Statue of Liberty and into the dock, huge crowds were gathered to welcome him home. The press was out in full force, and thousands of people had come to get a glimpse of the president.

In the middle of the chaos, the aged missionary couple fought their way through the crowds with their large suitcases in tow. Silently they hailed a cab and made their way to a cheap hotel. The missionary sat on the bed and said to his wife, “It just doesn’t seem right. We gave our lives to Christ to win souls for the Kingdom in Africa, and when we arrive home there is no one here to meet us. The president shoots a few animals and receives a royal welcome.”

His wife sat beside him on the bed and said softly, “That’s because we’re not home yet, dear.”

It may seem at times as if our work for Christ is going unnoticed. Faith doesn’t bring a lot of praise on this earth. But that’s only because our trip is not yet over.

Our day will come, you can be sure. And when it does, the ceremony will last for an eternity.

From Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins and Frank M. Martin (Tyndale) p 346

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House