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 98:1-3 Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God. Read the entire Psalm
Praise God because he reveals himself. This Psalm reminds us that he has made his salvation known. We can know God because he has revealed himself.
1 John 4:1-6 – New Living Translation
4 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
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
In verses four through six, John lists the three main participants in this “drama,” or showdown, between “truth and lies.” He refers to his readers in the church as “you.” He refers to the false teachers are “they or them.” He refers to himself as representative of the apostles who had been given the stewardship of proclaiming the gospel by Christ as “we.” If you were to apply this matrix to your life now, it would look like this: “You” are a follower of Christ. “They” are the many voices out there saying many different things about who Christ is and isn’t. “We” is now the written gospel given by the apostles in the Bible. Do you feel the struggle that John’s original readers felt? Do you feel a solidarity with them? Don’t be tempted to believe that you have it harder than they did. Don’t be fooled into thinking that faith in Christ and avoidance of false teachers was easier in the first century than in the twenty-first; it certainly was not. Don’t look for a reason why it is harder now than then. Believe that just as many then held fast, so too can you. The same Spirit that empowered them, empowers you. The truth is, you have an advantage over them. You have the full word of God right in front of you. They did not. We don’t become more resilient in our faith when we look for reasons to struggle. We become more resilient when we look to the resources God has given us. We will struggle; this is a fact. We can grow and we will “win.” This also is a fact.