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
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?
3 Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death. 4 My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance. 6 I will sing to the Lord because he has treated me generously.
Psalm of Lament: This Psalm is a short model Psalm of Lament. The Psalmist turns to God, then complains to God, then asks God to intervene, and finally he turns to God’s faithful love. His rejoicing does not come because circumstances change but because of God’s faithful love. If you feel forgotten, you can follow the example of this Psalm. Praise God because he hears and his love is faithful.
John 1:1-18 – English Standard Version
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
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 Embrace. Ask God to use their ministry to be bring the gospel hope to men and women considering abortion. Pray for the fundraising efforts for their new clinic in Derby.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
I have found that young children, even early grade school, have the same basic questions that much older people do. The questions can be very theologically astute and philosophically deep. This has been a bit of a surprise to me. What has been even more surprising is that I have many “old” friends, people in their sixties and beyond, who no longer struggle with the mysteries of God. It’s not that they have figured it all out or have become cynical, it is that they have just learned to trust God. They are okay with mystery. These men and women have not “thrown away reason.” They have not become people of “blind faith.” They are very intelligent, thinking people who have learned through long relationship with God to simply trust him with mystery. I have found that very young children sometimes have more difficulty accepting that there are things they cannot know than do my older friends. This seems, at first, counter intuitive. You might believe that children more quickly trust and just believe the answer of “we don’t know, we can’t know.” I have not found this to be the case. Children do learn to trust certain adults who prove trustworthy, but they have not lived long enough to learn to NOT trust themselves. They often struggle with “because I said so” or “It’s just the way it is” or “trust me, I have lived longer than you.” What I think is happening with my older friends is that they have learned to trust God more than themselves. They have seen God proven true over and over, and they have seen the consequences of people “over trusting” themselves. So, when I asked a very intelligent, older man, “What questions do you struggle with?” his response was, “None.” He was not lying, he was not naive, he had simply learned by experience to trust God.