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
I will praise the Lord with all my heart
in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
2 The Lord’s works are great,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 All that he does is splendid and majestic;
his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
5 He has provided food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
Read the Entire Psalm
Will God change? No. His righteousness endures. He will remember his covenant forever. He will sustain the earth until He ushers in a new heaven and earth. He will always be gracious and compassionate. He provides. His works are great. How do you respond to the reality of an unchanging compassionate God? Respond as this Psalm began with the word Hallelujah – praise the Lord. Speak words of praise to Him now.
1 John 5:1-13 – English Standard Version
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Give thanks to God for His gifts and His goodness.
- 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 CAYM. Ask God to use Donnovan and his ministry to establish and strengthen mentoring programs for at-risk.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
John wrote his gospel so that non-Christians would believe in Jesus and have eternal life. He wrote this letter to Christians so that having believed, they will know with certainty that they have eternal life. The believers he wrote to were having their certainty undermined by false teachers. This unsettling teaching was mysterious and super-spiritual sounding, based on human ideas and experiences. John was writing to settle down the church. He didn’t want them to have their confidence undermined by nonsense. The three tests were not designed to create anxiety, but rather to give them confidence. You do believe that Jesus is the Christ. You do want to live an obedient life. You do love others in a self-giving way. All this is proof of eternal life in Christ. As you read this devotional today, my suspicion is that you don’t need anyone to point out your failures and imperfections. You are probably very good at doing that all by yourself. The one who might need a rebuke this morning is not reading this right now. Let me presume to speak for John to you on this Thanksgiving weekday. Thanks be to God you have believed in Christ! Well done, you have sought to live an obedient life. Good for you, you have tried to love others even when they are hard to love. You pass the test! Be thankful that you can be certain. I understand that all this is God’s grace, but it is also true that you have sought to know Christ and to love others. Again, praise be to God, and well done! Relax, enjoy God’s favor and certainty today. You can worry about how you are falling short of perfection on some other day!