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 144:5-8 Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down!
Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
6 Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them!
7 Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,from the hand of foreigners, 8 whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
Read the Entire Psalm
God is involved. Look at the first line of David’s prayer. Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! David is asking God to intervene to involve Himself in the affairs of the earth. God is involved. He is no spectator watching events unfold. He is sovereign over all the universe and He works providentially in human history. Thank Him for taking interest in humanity. Praise Him for being personally involved in all of life.
2 Peter 3:1-13 – The Message
3 1-2 My dear friends, this is now the second time I’ve written to you, both letters reminders to hold your minds in a state of undistracted attention. Keep in mind what the holy prophets said, and the command of our Master and Savior that was passed on by your apostles.
3-4 First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their petty feelings, they’ll mock, “So what’s happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed.”
5-7 They conveniently forget that long ago all the galaxies and this very planet were brought into existence out of watery chaos by God’s word. Then God’s word brought the chaos back in a flood that destroyed the world. The current galaxies and earth are fuel for the final fire. God is poised, ready to speak his word again, ready to give the signal for the judgment and destruction of the desecrating skeptics.
8-9 Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.
10 But when the Day of God’s Judgment does come, it will be unannounced, like a thief. The sky will collapse with a thunderous bang, everything disintegrating in a raging inferno, earth and all its works exposed to the scrutiny of Judgment.
11-13 Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.
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 Christian Challenge. Tonight is “The Launch”. This is an event held at Wichita State to kick off the semester for Christian Challenge. Pray that students would connect to the ministry and come to Christ this semester. Pray that believing students would grow in the faith.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Lots of books have been written on the “end times.” They are mostly ridiculous speculation that draw in those who are over curious about things they cannot know and under curious about the things they can know. We cannot know when Christ will return, but we can know what it means to become more like Christ. We cannot know the timing of the end, but we can know how to use our time in light of the end. Too often people who contemplate the end of time live in increased fear instead of increased faith. Too often people who contemplate the end of time are prone to become less patient and kind with those around them. In the Bible, the truth revealed regarding the second coming of Christ is designed for ethical, not mere intellectual effect. It is meant to change who we are, how we live, and how we love others.