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 107:1-3 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;his faithful love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim that he has redeemed them from the power of the foe 3 and has gathered them from the lands—from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
Read the Entire Psalm
Give Thanks – He is Good. Begin bringing to mind all the good things in your life. Which of those good things would you have without God? We have no good thing apart from Him. Give thanks to Him. He is Good. His faithful love endures.
1 John 4:7-21 – Christian Standard Bible
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.
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 the war in Israel. Ask God to bring an end to that war.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
The Bible most clearly defines both the love of God and the love required of us as his followers by the cross of Christ. This is how we know whether we are measuring up to what God wants from us. Okay, think about that clearly for a moment. Your standard for loving the people you live with, work with, walk around in stores, is the cross of Christ. That is a really high bar. How is it going for you? If you say, “great,” I would have to question either your honesty or your sanity. Of course, none of us are measuring up to that standard, but it is the mark to aim for nonetheless. Is the point to be demoralized? Not at all; the point is to stop relying on self to reach God’s goal for our lives. To live this kind of cross-like lifestyle will require the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. To unleash the power of the Spirit, we must live holy lives. Our sin quenches the Spirit; we need to release him. We must seek continual forgiveness to live in the ongoing power of the Spirit in order to love people as we should. We cannot afford to spend time wallowing in sin and guilt. That is precious time that could be spent loving people. Far from being demoralizing, this marvelous challenge to live a cross centric life is a gift from God. You must not see this as “I have to,” but rather “I get to.” We will not clear this high bar, but at least we know what the bar is. Many are wasting their lives clearing low bars that mean nothing in the end. Living for self is a very low bar indeed. Many are achieving that goal to their own despair.