2.4 God Speaks to His People

If you’ve been attending church and in fellowship regularly, mainly an evangelical Christian church, you’ll hear people say things like they felt led by the Lord, or God told me…”

Often times Christians who have not been in God’s Word regularly and don’t take the time to study the Word, or non-believers just plainly don’t know what it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ think, “how does God talk to these people?”  How do you know it’s really God speaking. Or, “Does God just come to you in some spiritual form and sit at your dining room table and say, “We should talk?”

In the scriptures below you’ll find that many ears will hear, but many will not understand.  Today’s devotion touches on how God speaks to His people, in the past and now in the present.  If you desire to learn more about how to hear from the Lord, start writing a daily devotional journal.  (Click here or see the link on the right).  You’ll be glad you did.

S – Scripture:

Hebrews 1:1 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.”

John 14:26 “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 8:47 “He who belongs to God hears what God says.  The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

O – Obeservation:

In today Experiencing God workbook – Blackaby reminds us that in the Old Testament God spoke in a variety of ways.  During Jesus’ time, God spoke through Jesus.  Now God speaks through the Holy Spirit. “The Holy Spirit will teach you all things, will call to your memory the things Jesus said, will guide you into the truth, will speak what He hears from the Father, will tell you what is yet to come, and glorify Christ as He reveals Christ to you.”

The key words to look at here and in the Bible is that through the Holy Spirit, God will speak by:

-teaching

-recalling to your memory

-guidance in truth (His Word)

-speak, tell, glorify.

A – Application:

The main thing people say is, “How Do I Know When God Speaks?”

The four ways that God speaks is through:

The Bible, Prayer, Circumstance, Church

Writing a Devotional Journal is key in my hearing from the Lord.  I can pray, read my Bible, attend church, observe circumstances – all of which need to be done and we need to participate in, however it’s when I journal (to learn more about journaling with your devotions, click on the link about Journaling) I hear most clearly from the Lord.  Through the Word of God I learn, and when I write the SOAP method of what I learn, along with prayer – confirmation of God’s teaching is from circumstances and the Word and fellowship through the church.

Personally I notice that if I lack direction, or I feel that I haven’t heard from the Lord – it’s usually because I’ve been robbing my time with the Lord to listen to Him during devotions and I haven’t made the time to stop and wait for guidance.  When we do everything we can in “our power” – based on our education, our finances, our work, our families – sure we are being resourceful – but why do we wait until we can’t fathom anymore and we surrender to the Lord saying, “I give up, Lord help me!”  Why did we not go to Him from the very beginning?

P – Prayer:

Life would be so much easier if we remember to go to our Lord from the beginning and say, “Father, I can’t do this on my own, please help me, guide me and allow me to know your will.”

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1.5 Accepting Gods Invitation

O – Observation: The first three realities of the “Seven Realities of God – are about what God is doing around us; God pursuing us; and inviting us to become involved with him and his work.  The other four realties are what are we going to do – how do we react or respond to God’s invitation?

 Reality number four: God speaking and revealing his purpose and his ways, this is the invitation to join him in his work.

 Reality number five: a ‘crisis of belief’ in the example of God inviting Moses to get involved. Moses’ first reaction was to say, “Who am I” and can’t you send someone else to do your work? – Ex. 3:11, 13, 4:1, 10, 13) – this seems to be the common response from a large group of Christians who are not doing as Matthew 6:33, Seeking God First.

Reality number six: We need to make major adjustments to our life to join God in what he is doing.  All too often we find ourselves very comfortable in our daily routine, even if that routine has nothing to do with God’s work. It’s a safe life to stay within the boundaries that we feel no one will reject us nor judge us.  However, the Lord may have other plans and he may be calling you out of your comfort zone to get involved in his work. Will you obey?

Realty number seven: We as children of God come to know God by experience as we obey God and see how God can accomplish his work through our obedience.  This of course is where the life lessons are learned and imprinted into our hearts and minds. These are the experiences that increase our faith and our walk with the Lord becomes stronger.

 Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 1 – Day 5: God Works Through His Servants, Part 2

S – Scripture: Exodus 3:2-8 and Numbers 12:6-8

 A – Application:

Don’t allow fear, laziness, or the unknown – hinder my ability to step out in faith when I feel that God is calling me to get involved with the work that he is doing around me. It is my responsibility to see what God is doing and get take action and accept the invitation. I cannot wait for God to use me; his work is already being done, waiting for me to accept the call.

P – Prayer:

Father forgive me for the times that I have not paid attention to your voice, your direction. Help me to see and hear where you are working and receive the invitation to be used for your glory. Help me to move quickly through the “crisis of belief” and to know that I can do nothing alone, only through Christ – all things are possible. In Jesus name, amen.

Date: 24 March 2010

©   @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved

Greatness Comes from Serving Others

1.3  Learning to Be a Servant of God;    O – ObservationThrough the example of Jesus, we should not expect others to serve us, in the sense that we are always receiving and never giving.  There are some cultures in our society that expect others to take care of them, ask for hand-outs instead of working, if we are physically and mentally able to care for ourselves and help others then we should.  Even with limitations, we should still serve as we are able.   A good example is my brother who was born with cerebral palsy. Paralyzed on his left side, challenged by a speech impediment, balance, and developmentally delayed; he has the spirit of a servant.  He tries his best to help those who are both able and less able than he. If the simplest things like pushing someone in a wheelchair, even though his left hand doesn’t open completely, he will try to push the other person who has no use of their feet. I can and still learn much from my brother.

S – Scripture:  Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 1 – Day 3

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt 20:26-28

A – Application:

I can apply this scripture to my life by thinking first how can I help others before I can think what’s in it for me.  There is always a way to give back. When someone wants to bless me by doing things or giving me something, I can receive it by God’s grace and blessing and if the person has no “needs”, I can share a blessing to another person. Service doesn’t need to be to the same person who blesses you, we are all to share our gifts and talents with one another and then give to those who maybe in need of what we have or can do for them.

P – Prayer:

Father thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for giving us your Son who died on the cross for our sins. Thank you for Jesus, who with a servant’s attitude, came to serve us, your children, and to give us the ultimate gift. In Jesus name, amen.

Date: 22 March 2010

©   @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved

Gods Will – Not Our Own

Date: February 09, 2010

God’s Will – Not Our Own


Scripture Readings: Exodus 29:1-30:10 ~ Matthew 26:14-46 ~ Psalm 31:19-24 ~ Proverbs 8:14-26  : OYBB

S – Scripture:

Matt 26:39 “Jesus went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”

O – Observation:

Today’s scripture reading in Matthew talks about Jesus’ talking to the disciples about one of them betraying him, communion, and his death.

The scripture that stand out for me is where Jesus knew why his Father sent him on this earth, to die for the sins of the world; and that he would take on God’s wrath for everyone’s sins – Jesus knew that he would receive pain and suffering; as his son, Jesus “fell face down on the ground” and asked his Father in prayer, “If it is possible” don’t let this happen to me, yet humbly and out of obedience Jesus also said, “Yet I want your will, not mine.”

How much of a sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. That is why he is the Savior of this world. He is the mediator between God the Father and us. The Word of God says that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one, yet all fulfilled a different purpose at a different time – the Trinity – yet all represent the same consistent message – God is love. He came and spoke to his people that he created. People sinned, so God said he would send His son as Savior among the people. When Jesus was to leave this earth, he told the people that he would leave the Holy Spirit, which would live within you as a counselor, guidance, and the Word of God which is living. All these things worked hand in hand so that we would understand who God is and know that he wants his will to be done and we may not know all the “why” questions, but if we are obedient and wish to be followers – we pray, Let your will be done, not my own. Jesus is our greatest example of doing God’s will.

A – Application:

It’s easy to pray this prayer, yet as many things in live and in learning God’s word, how to be obedient. Wanting to please the Lord, placing Christ first in all things (Mt 6:33). Like Simon Peter who told Jesus, we would never betray you – if our lives were on the line could we still declare Jesus as our God? We won’t know until we are put in that situation. This scripture goes along with the threads in my mind that say, “What is my purpose on earth?”  Is the answer as simple as to love God and his people? There’s all this “other stuff” that God commands us to do – basically it’s about our relationship with God and our relationship with those around us.  We then get bogged down with the day to day living, working, temptations, conflicts, actions and reactions – why would God allow such complexity?  I ask myself this as I’m busy doing one thing after another, stressed by finances, relationships, commitments, etc  – and I have to stop and pray, like yesterday’s devo – God doesn’t want us to be anxious for anything – the resolution is prayer – and he promises us peace.

P – Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we thank you for your word. I’m thinking your word is simply put in the bible, with our Father’s history, guidance, instructions, resolutions, and predictions – yet we make our lives complicated and because we have choices – we sometimes tend to go in a different direction then where we should be going. Lord I ask for your forgiveness. Correct me and show me my wrong doings – help me to be less oppositional when it’s not your way and I’m trying to do my own way – help me to know your will and do it with a joyful heart. Help me to love others as you have called me to, even when others don’t know you and/or don’t want to follow your ways – help me to love them they way you need me to and your will be done. In Jesus name, amen.

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Gods Instructions

Today’s Date: February 04, 2010

Are the Ten Commandments for us Today?

Reading: Exodus 19:16-21:21 ~ Matthew 23:13-39 ~ Psalm 28:1-9 ~ Proverbs 7:1-5

S – Scripture:

Exodus 20:19 “And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

O – Observation:

Exodus 19-21 tells the message of God speaking directly to Moses and giving Moses the commandments for his people to follow. When Moses came back down from Mt. Sinai, (after the skies were filled with clouds and lightning, the Lord had descended on the mountain – which filled it with smoke and loud blast noise from the ram’s horn blowing) – God’s instruction to the people were the ten commandments: the first five are instructions between the people and God and the second five are instructions between themselves.  The people were so afraid of the thunder, lightning, blast from the ram’s horn, and the smoke from the mountain they told Moses they didn’t want to speak to God directly because they didn’t want to die – so they asked Moses to be their intermediary or mediator between themselves and God.

Now our mediator is Jesus Christ.

If you’d like to read (the bible.org) more about the Overview of the Ten Commandments click on the link here.

A – Application:

Some might ask are the ten commandments still relevant in today’s society.

Here’s an excerpt from GotQuestions.org

Question: “Do Christians have to obey the Old Testament law?

Answer: The key to understanding this issue is knowing that the Old Testament law was given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians. Some of the laws were to reveal to the Israelites how to obey and please God (the Ten Commandments, for example). Some of the laws were to show the Israelites how to worship God and atone for sin (the sacrificial system). Some of the laws were intended to make the Israelites distinct from other nations (the food and clothing rules). None of the Old Testament law is binding on us today. When Jesus died on the cross, He put an end to the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15).

In place of the Old Testament law, we are under the law of Christ ( Galatians 6:2), which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). If we obey those two commands, we will be fulfilling all that Christ requires of us: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40). Now, this does not mean the Old Testament law is irrelevant today. Many of the commands in the Old Testament law fall into the categories of “loving God” and “loving your neighbor.” The Old Testament law can be a good guidepost for knowing how to love God and knowing what goes into loving your neighbor. At the same time, to say that the Old Testament law applies to Christians today is incorrect. The Old Testament law is a unit (James 2:10). Either all of it applies, or none of it applies. If Christ fulfilled some it, such as the sacrificial system, He fulfilled all of it.

“This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” ( 1 John 5:3). The Ten Commandments were essentially a summary of the entire Old Testament law. Nine of the Ten Commandments are clearly repeated in the New Testament (all except the command to observe the Sabbath day). Obviously, if we are loving God, we will not be worshipping false gods or bowing down before idols. If we are loving our neighbors, we will not be murdering them, lying to them, committing adultery against them, or coveting what belongs to them. The purpose of the Old Testament law is to convict people of our inability to keep the law and point us to our need for Jesus Christ as Savior (Romans 7:7-9; Galatians 3:24). The Old Testament law was never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time. We are to love God and love our neighbors. If we obey those two commands faithfully, we will be upholding all that God requires of us. (end of GotQuestions.org commentary)
P – Prayer:

Father thank you for sending your Son Jesus to die for my sins. Lord Jesus thank you for being our mediator between us and your Father. Lord I’m thankful that I am able to live in today’s time, where we have life simply, compared to God’s people of the Old Testament. I pray that I will be able to share God’s love and be able to follow the law of Christ, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). In Jesus name, amen.

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Why good things happen to bad people?

January 30, 2010

Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?

Reading: Exodus 12:14-13:16, Mt 20:29-21:22, Psalm 25:16-22, Prov 6:12-15

S:

“May integrity & honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:21

O:

David cried out to the Lord in psalms 25:16-22 – he put his trust and hope in the Lord saying that his character of integrity and honesty would protect him as he followed after the Lord and asked for his protection.

A:

At times it may seem that we are not “rewarded” for our good characteristics – yet others are rewarded and are just evil – see “Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people ~    //www.gotquestions.org/good-things-bad-people.html

Also check out the link on, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people.” http://www.gotquestions.org/bad-things-good-people.html

P:

Father I thank you for your grace and forgiveness. Help me to live a life of integrity and honesty. Let me discern that which is right from wrong. Help me to know you will and do your work. In Jesus name, protect me, guide me, go before me, amen.

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How Many Times Must I Forgive?

How Many Times Must I Forgive?


S – Scripture:

Matt 18:21-22 – Then Peter came to him (Jesus) and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? – No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” (NLT)

O – Observation:

Matt 18:21-35 first describes the conversation between Peter and Jesus on forgiveness. In vs. 22-34 Jesus tells the parable (story) of a king who wanted to settle debts with his servants, the king forgive his servants debt, yet that same servant found someone who owed him money and demanded the debt be repaid; he did not do the same as the king did for him, which was to have mercy on him and forgive his debt. The master (king) heard what his servant did and said that the servant was wicked and had him put in jail to be tortured, until he could repay his debt to the king.

In v35 Jesus said, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (NIV)

A – Application:

It’s always a challenge to forgive someone who has wronged you. I’ve written on this before in my devotions. I believe that if you are unable to rest, you have no peace about a situation between you and whomever, even if you were not the one that did wrong – you should go to the person and do as it says in Matt 18:15-19 so that nothing comes between you and your relationship with the Lord.

P – Prayer:

Father thank you for giving your Son for my sins. I thank you that I am able to follow your instructions and guidance in following your ways. I am never perfect and am always striving to do what I believe to be your will. There are times when I feel that someone has sinned against me, I need to forgive them. I have felt that people have sinned against those I care about – this seems harder for me to let go, yet I need to. I understand I have the responsibility to make right – many times the people who sin against me or those I care about do not follow your Word, are not your followers, so I must still forgive them and move on, not carry bitterness in my heart and mind, so that there is no interference between you and I. Lord thank you for your grace and mercy in my life. Help me to know and do your will. Help provide for me and my families needs. Thank you, in Jesus name, amen.

Reading: Exodus 5:22-7:25, Matt 18:21-19:12, Psalm 23:1-6, Prov 5:22-23

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Today’s Date:  January 28, 2010

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Share Your Prayer Needs

Today’s Date:  January 27, 2010

Share Your Prayer Needs

Reading: Exodus 4-5:21, Matt 18:1-20, Psalm 22:19-31, Proverbs 5:15-21

S – Scripture:

Matt 18: 20 “for where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”

O – Observation:

Matt 18: 15-20 talks about what to do when a “brother” sins against you. I’ve often prayed v20 when praying with others as we are taught that if there’s more of us praying, not that the Lord doesn’t hear us when we pray individually, but that he wants us to be one, together, “bound on earth will be bound in heaven” v18. We fellowship in good times and bad, we need to share with one another so that we can continue to pray when the other person cannot and lift each other up in prayer as that is what Jesus instructs us to do.

A – Application:

I will ask my brothers and sisters in Christ if they have any prayer requests. I will direct them to pray on their own to our Lord Jesus and to share with their Christian family who are near – and if they feel that they are not able to ask others for prayer because they fear they will lose confidentiality, I pray that they are able to go to the many online prayer sites and prayer partners in their church and small group, so that they know that there is strength in numbers. God will answer; it may not be the answer you want; however we are called to pray together.

P – Prayer:

Father thank you for your love, understanding, grace, mercy, forgiveness. Thank you for hearing our cry, even when we think you have not heard us – you have answered, it just may not be the answer we were hoping for, or it may not be your will or your timing. I pray that your will be done. Amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Today’s Date:  January 22, 2010

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

 

Reading: Gen 44-45:28, Mt 14:13-36, Psalm 18:37-50, Proverbs 4:11-13; Our Daily Bread (ODB): Luke 10:27-37

 S – Scripture:

You shall love the Lord your God . . . and your neighbor as yourself. —Luke 10:27

O – Observation:

This is a simple scripture, but very challenging to obey. Here’s an excerpt from ODB, ‘To love “your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27) requires the same (read example) urgent kind of love. It’s a love that notices the need of another person and won’t rest until it’s been met. It’s a gentle, tender love that thinks and acts carefully. It’s the sacrificial and compassionate love that a nameless Samaritan had for a fallen traveler. It’s the kind of love God wants to share with your neighbors through you.  — Joe Stowell

A – Application:

I’m challenged to do this, not just for my neighbor, but for my family and friends, people who I love and already care about. It’s easy to say that we’ll love others as we love ourselves, but when push comes to shove, will we really put other’s needs before our own. I see this more so with parents and their children. Parents will often sacrifice their own life and needs to satisfy the safety, well-being, and happiness of their children. Yet even it that type of sacrificial love – I see parents who “choose” one child over another – favoritism. We’ve seen this even in the bible. But that’s another topic. I’ll say that to apply this scripture to my life; I need to ask myself, do I love myself? Do I love God? Do I want to be pleasing to God? Then I need to look at the scriptures after 10:27 – 10:29-37 talks about the Parable of the Good Samaritan, I believe that’s what this devotion is really talking about – being kind and having compassion for those around us – vs 36 Jesus asked, ‘who do you think was a neighbor to the man?’ – And vs 37 ‘the expert replied, “The one who had mercy on him (the man who fell to robbers).

P – Prayer:

Father thank you for your grace. Thank you for treating me better than as your neighbor. Thank you for your love and kindness. I pray that I will be able to do what is right and have mercy on my neighbor. In Jesus name, Amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Prophets, Wisdom, and Application

Today’s Date:  January 21, 2010

   Prophets, Wisdom & Application

 

Reading:Gen 42:18-43:34, Mt 13:47-14:12, Psalm 18:16-36, Proverbs 4:7-10

S – Scripture:

Matt 13:57  “… then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.”

O – Observation:

Prophet: I always heard this verse in reference to people who became Christians and then were disregarded or chastised by their family and friends from where they originally came. Many times it’s because these same people “knew” our past sins and don’t like to be “preached” at or feel their own condemnation shouldn’t come from someone who may have sinned against them.  Click here for a definition of what a prophet is and does.

In reading the biblical definition and searching the commentaries it’s interesting to note what the website gotguestions.org states, here’s an excerpt:

Are there true prophets today? If the purpose of a prophet was to reveal truth from God, why would we need prophets if we have the completed revelation from God in the Bible? If prophets were the “foundation” of the early church, are we still building the “foundation” today? Can God give someone a message to deliver to someone else? Absolutely! Does God reveal truth to someone in a supernatural way and enable that person to deliver that message to others? Absolutely! But is this the biblical gift of prophecy? No.

(Click here to read the rest of GotQuestions.org)

A – Application:

I will apply this to my life by living these words, “4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Jn 4:1; Compare what is said to what the Word of God says. If it contradicts the Bible, throw it out. If it agrees with the Bible, pray for wisdom and discernment as to how to apply the message (2 Tim 3:16-17; James 1:5).

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you that you have given me your Word to know the truth and teachers and prophets for us to understand. I pray that I would always remember to pray for wisdom and discernment in how to apply your message. In Jesus name, amen.

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