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 45:6-7 Your throne, God, is forever and ever; the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy more than your companions.
Read the entire Psalm
God’s throne is forever and ever. Praise Him because His rule will never end. Praise Him because He is just. He loves what is right and hates what is wicked. He is God.
1 Peter 2:13-25 – New International Version
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Express thanks 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 Amelia. Ask God to encourage her, guide her, and help her as she serve overseas.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
What does it mean to be free? Is freedom the ability (power) to do whatever I want? Some believe so, and if what they want is not what God calls good, then they believe they will always lose freedom. You see this play out over and over. People who want to “freely” jump from relationship to relationship will find themselves all alone. They will not be free to live in long term loving relationships with others. People who want to “freely” indulge whatever desires their physical bodies crave will find themselves not free to experience health and the joy of self-control. No one is free from life under authority. If a person throws off the authority of God, then they live under the authority of self. Self is a terrible tyrant; it cannot be pleased no matter what you give it. God is a loving Father who is pleased to give us everything in Christ. “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” (John 8:36).
Application: What “limits” do you believe God is putting on you? Maybe limits in time use, or the words you use, or how you respond to others. Ask him to help you see these limits as pathways to increased freedom to live a thriving life.