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 said, “I will guard my ways so that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
2 I was speechless and quiet; I kept silent, even from speaking good,
and my pain intensified.
3 My heart grew hot within me; as I mused, a fire burned. I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Lord, make me aware of my end and the number of my days
so that I will know how short-lived I am.
5 In fact, you have made my days just inches long, and my life span is as nothing to you.
Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor.Selah
6 Yes, a person goes about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they rush around in vain,
gathering possessions without knowing who will get them.
Read the Entire Psalm
Make me aware of my end – This is David’s prayer to God. Make me aware of my end. Remind me that my life is short-live. Remind me that everyone’s life is short. Ask God to remind you that your life is short-lived. Praise him that he is aware of every moment of your short lived life.
Daniel 1 – English Standard Version
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. 3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, 4 youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. 6 Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. 7 And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. 9 And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. 16 So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
17 As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
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 today for Youth Horizons. Ask God to encourage the staff at the boys and girls home. Pray for the kids living in the residential programs.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Jupiter has four moons. One of those moons, named “Io,” is slightly larger than our moon. Its surface has over 400 active volcanoes. Some are taller than Mount Everest and produce plumes that climb 300 miles above the surface. Imagine if you could stand before a volcano that is over 50,000 feet tall with a sulfur plume that goes up 300 miles into space. Our minds could not take it in. This is one moon, for one planet, in one solar system, in one galaxy. There are billions of galaxies, each filled with billions of solar systems and planets and moons. There you sit in one small room, in one city, on our small planet. You are not special. God does not need you for anything, let alone to change the world. Relax. Be grateful. Rejoice that you are not special, no human can bear that burden well. You are not special, but you are loved. The God of the cosmos has the capacity to know each of the billions of humans who live on this planet in a cosmos of billions of galaxies. You are known by him; he is special. We are not special, and for that we should be grateful. Jesus bore the sins of the world, he changed the world, and he is special. We are grateful that, though we are not special, we know Jesus– the truly special one. Better still, he knows us.