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
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
Hallelujah. There are two bookends to the Psalm that are translated here as Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD is a translation of a single Hebrew word. The Hebrew word is where we get the word “Hallelujah” Hallelujah is not an English word. It is a transliteration of the Hebrew word. If you could read Hebrew and you sounded out the letters in Hebrew and spoke the Hebrew word it would be Hallelujah. The idea behind the single Hebrew word is more than just say nice things about God. The thought we find in this single word is that we should Praise Yahweh, the personal involved, responding, faithful, compassionate, and just God. Praise at the beginning and the end and throughout this chapter. Praise Him now. Find time to praise Him the next time you pray and the next and the next. Make praise a habit.
2 Peter 3:12-18 – New Living Translation
12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.
14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.
17 You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. 18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.
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
If you were to rate your level of readiness for Christ’s return or your own death, how would you do so? I’ll give you three levels to consider:
Level A: I don’t really think much about it. It doesn’t seem that real to me.
Level B: I think about it on occasion. I know it is a possibility. It doesn’t dramatically alter the way I live but maybe a bit.
Level C: I think about it every day. The end of time/my life is a settled reality for me and it affects how I live my life day to day.
Now rate yourself on another scale.
Level 1: I have mostly fear when I think about the end of time or my life.
Level 2: I have some fear but also some hope when I think about the end of time or my life.
Level 3: I have mostly faith when I think of the end. I may have concerns about how I die, but the reality of the end empowers me to live well today.
Wherever you are on those scales is okay. It’s important to at least do honest refection. Now consider what growth might look like for you. What could you do to more regularly consider the reality of the end in a way that positively shaped your life? Maybe memorizing or regularly reading certain Scripture that inspires hope? Maybe praying about this more consistently? How about talking to friends in ways that are hopeful and helpful? Whatever you do, be proactive in doing something. Don’t wait for wisdom to “fall on you”…do what Proverbs says we are to do…”go get wisdom!”