Hearing God’s Voice from His Word
James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.
Psalm of the Day
Psalm 72:1-4 God, give your justice to the king and your righteousness to the king’s son.
2 He will judge your people with righteousness and your afflicted ones with justice.
3 May the mountains bring well-being to the people and the hills, righteousness.
4 May he vindicate the afflicted among the people, help the poor, and crush the oppressor.
Read the entire Psalm
A Prayer for Israel’s King: This Psalm is a prayer for Israel’s king. Israel’s greatest was King David. The great King David still failed and still lived in need of God’s help. In the Psalm, the writer asks God to give and to bless. God can give. God can bless. We, just like Israel’s king, are people in need. Rest in God’s ability. Acknowledge your need.
1 Peter 1:17-25 – New Living Translation
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.
21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.
22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say,
“People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Express thanksgiving to God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
- Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
(1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
- Bring your personal requests to God.
(Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
- Pray for someone in your small group.
- Join with others from River and pray for those who do not know God. Ask God to help you see the lost people around you and have compassion for them. Ask God for opportunities to build trust. Ask God to give you opportunity to have gospel conversations.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
God is just and God is forgiving. Before the coming of Christ, this great balance was a great mystery. How could God judge sin and yet be forgiving? How could God be forgiving and be just? The answer came in the person of Jesus Christ. He alone is able to reveal God’s justice and mercy in perfection. We call out to a God who is an impartial and perfect judge. Who can stand before this judge and not suffer condemnation? We should fear God because our sins are great. However, we have been ransomed through the precious blood of Christ. The sinless sacrifice of Jesus is able to satisfy God’s perfect justice and our great need for God’s forgiveness and mercy. So, now as redeemed sons and daughters, what is reverent fear to look like, since we are not going to suffer judgment? It means that instead of fearing God’s wrath, we fear his displeasure. We love him, so we want him to be pleased with us. If we truly understand the gospel, then our greatest fear is not that the Judge will condemn us, but that our lives will dishonor him.
Application: Reflect deeply on God’s mercy in your life. Consider what motivates your heart attitudes and life actions. Are you driven by duty, fear, and people pleasing, or by love for God? Be careful, don’t go to guilt. No one has this down perfectly, but we must consider what drives us, so that more and more we can be motivated by love for God.