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 79:8-13 Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!
10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!
11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die!
12 Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!
13 But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
Read the Entire Psalm
Let your compassion come speedily to meet us. Can you picture this happening? The compassion of God rushing into your life, meeting you there in your struggle or suffering. Picture this compassion as a medic rushing onto the battlefield meeting the wounded. Picture a mom rushing to the aid of a child who is hurt. These people provide care and compassion in a hurry. Compassionate is one of the ways that God describes Himself. He is compassionate. Praise Him for His compassion. Pray that His compassion would come speedily to meet those who are brought low.
1 John 2:18-27 – New Living Translation
18 Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.
20 But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. 21 So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. 22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. 23 Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.
26 I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
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 as they meet tonight at River. Ask God to speak through the message and the worship time.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
When we turn from our sin and trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, God, Himself, takes up permanent residence inside of us by His Spirit. We become “anointed by the Holy One.” The Holy Spirit serves as our “helper” (John 14:5, 26, 15:26). He is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17, 15:26) who teaches us in ways of Christ and reminds us of Jesus’ Word (John 14:26, 15:26). He gives us victory over the sins of the flesh and creates in us the fruit of righteousness (Gal. 5:16-26).
Even so, we must continually position ourselves so as to “abide in him” (v. 27). He is not forceful and we can and often do push Him to the side and override Him by the force of our own will. In order to abide in Him, we must consistently work to posture our hearts in a place of surrender. Like the dog before the owner it loves and trusts, we must go belly up before God – a position of complete vulnerability – so as to invite and receive the gift of our Master: His power at work in us.
This is as ongoing, internal process. It can be helpful to attach this internal process to an external action or to vocalize it in some way. You might get on your knees, lie down on your face, or open your palms and simply say, “Holy Spirit, empty me of myself and fill me with your presence. Help me to abide in you.” Try this practice today, repeating it throughout the day as you have opportunity (walking to your next meeting, driving home from work, before you eat lunch, etc.).