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 96:7-13 Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
bring an offering and enter his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
let the whole earth tremble before him.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.
The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken.
He judges the peoples fairly.”
11 Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and all that fills it resound.
12 Let the fields and everything in them celebrate.
Then all the trees of the forest will shout for joy
13 before the Lord, for he is coming—
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with his faithfulness.
Read the entire Psalm
The Lord Reigns – It is good to proclaim this out loud. The Lord Reigns. He is sovereign over every event in the universe. He permits and He prevents. He acts. He rules over every part of your existence. When you sleep – He reigns. When you are sick – He reigns. He is never not reigning. Praise the Lord who reigns. Tell yourself that the Lord reigns.
1 John 4:1-6 – New International Version
4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
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 Dalton and Hannah. Ask God to use them and guide them as they serve overseas.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
When someone tells you “don’t be surprised if…” it means something you don’t expect is likely going to happen. When John, or others in Scripture, say “don’t be surprised” it is because many things can be very surprising to us. It is surprising when the world hates us (unless we are being hateful). The world hates us because of the Lordship claims of Christ. The world apart from Christ has wrapped its heart around idols. These idols are simultaneously giving them life (a false kind of life) and taking their lives from them (keeping them from what they are made for). Idols are deceptive. They offer us what we want, but they never actually deliver in the long term. When Christ comes along making his rightful claim to be Lord of our lives and demanding that idols be replaced with him on the throne of our hearts, the human heart rises up in rebellion. This hate of us is really directed at the Lordship of Christ. Of course, not everyone will respond with hate. Some who initially respond with hate will eventually come to faith. Jesus was not crucified because of his kindness or even because he performed miracles. He wasn’t killed for being a nice guy, and you won’t be hated for being nice. He was murdered because he claimed his life and his miracles were all “signs” pointing to his divinity. “Before Abraham was born” he said, “I am.” This claim to be God set the world against him. You will be fine if you are content to be nice. By all means you should be nice. But you must be more than that: you must be fully committed to Christ as Lord. This will sometimes not come across as “nice.” This will sometimes bring hatred on you.