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God Speaking to Us Clearly

As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 8:20 (KJV)

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Do you not hear, O peoples created by God?  He is speaking now.  His voice is loud. His voice is clear!


God does not engage in aimless chatter.  The Old Testament, especially, gives example after example of this.  Nor does he whisper. He leaves no doubt about what he is saying.  When God speaks, those to whom he speaks face a decision. "Do this and I will do this.  Don't do this and I will do this."  This means God always will respond appropriately to the decisions made by those to whom he speaks.

 

Nor can the voice of God be denied with excuses:  “I didn’t hear.”  “I didn’t understand.”  “I don’t believe in God.”  This perhaps is the worst of sins. David tells us, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 53:1 (KJV)  First, a person is lying to himself, placing his soul in jeopardy and participating in the devil’s scheme to deceive  as many as possible to rob heaven of souls and stoke the fires of hell with rebellious fools.


There is a reason why this is so. People do not want to hear God because they know he is calling them to a higher moral standard than they want.  Heaven on Earth is living in and loving our sin, with permission granted by the Lord. It will never happen, consequently the decision to ignore God and do ones own thing.

 

The Old Testament shows God spoke to and through prophets and specific individuals for specific purposes. When the people didn't like what God was telling them, they claimed the messengers were not credible.  Not much has changed.  Even when a preacher's sermons are dead-on and faithful to God's Word, the messenger's credibility is challenged.  "Well, that's his opinion.  I'm entitled to mine, too."


 Often we hear that the voice of the Holy Spirit is a wee nudging of a person's reasoning and conscience.  Yes, that's true sometimes. However, the voice of God can be resoundingly clear and loud!  

Today, I believe, God is shouting so as not to be ignored. When storms -- hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, natural disaster of many kinds and manmade mayhem, listen. God is speaking.  It happened in ancient times, and people looked for a divine link.  They were more religious than we, I suggest – their theology wrong but they took it seriously.

Today we educated people to turn to science and find natural reasons for these things. Global warming, they yell.  Or "fracking," they argue.  It's just Mother Nature being herself, and the involvement of God is denied. Facebook has become a “bible” to many, as they seek the counsel of like sinners to determine what is the “right thing to do.”

Shame on our foolishness.

Hardships hit everyone.  Sin is powerful, hurting the innocent as well as the guilty.  Matthew 5:45b (KJV) declares  ". . . he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." This tells me believers often bear the consequences of the judgment of the unrighteousness, and the unrighteous are benefactors of faithful of believers.

 

Indeed, God works in strange ways, but only for a season. Matthew 13:24ff reminds us to leave judgment to God.  It will come at the harvest. Mercy will be rightly bestowed in heaven.

 

This requires faith.  The cruelties of the moment will not prevail.  God will deliver those who will be delivered.  With sadness, he will leave to themselves those who refuse to heed his invitation.

 

A police chief in Florida during the approaching storm Irma implored the people to get to assured safety.  "When the storm hits, we won't be able to get to you," he said.  "You will be on your own."

 

Jesus reveals that reality every moment of a person's life.  Rev. 3:20 (KJV): Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” There is a deadline for the offer of grace and mercy.  Death ends forever the offer of salvation; death makes permanent the gift of salvation or the curse of damnation.

 

God is speaking. Hear ye him?  What is your reply?

 

God speaks so all will hear

His plea to you, “Come here;

From life’s storms you shall be

Safe with me through eternity.


Don Meadows

9/14/2017

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‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice’
 – Philippians 4:4 (KJV)
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Listen, Learn Quickly

If you keep watch over your hearts, and listen for the voice of God and learn of him, in one short hour you can learn more from him than you could learn from man in a thousand years. --  Johann Tauler (C. 1300-1361)


Friendly Voice Unless . . .

The voice of God is a friendly voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it. -- A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)


God Doesn’t Argue; He Just Speaks

The voice of the subconscious argues with you, tries to convince you; but the inner voice of God does not argue, does not try to convince you. It just speaks and it is self-authenticating. -- E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973)


Absolutes And Relativity Not Compatible

So long as the church pretends or assumes to preach absolute values, but actually preaches relative and secondary values, it will merely hasten the process of disintegration.  We are asked to turn to the church for our enlightenment, but when we do so we find that the voice of the church is not inspired.  The voice of the church today, we find, is the echo of our own voices.  When we consult the church we hear only what we ourselves have said. There is only one way out of the spiral, and the way out is the sound of a voice, not our voice, but a voice coming from something beyond ourselves, in the existence of which we cannot disbelieve.  It is the duty of the pastors to hear this voice, to cause us to hear it, and to tell us what it says.  -- Fortune Magazine, January 1940.  Leadership, Vol. 10, no. 4. See: Eze 1:28, Jn 5:37-38, Ac 26:14.


Prayer Is Not Format But A Focus

In George Bernard Shaw's play Saint Joan, Joan of Arc is always hearing voices from God, and the king is angered by this. He complains to her, "Oh, your voices! Your voices! Why don't your voices come to me? I'm the king, not you."  "They do come," she replied. "But you do not hear them. You've not sat in the field in the evening listening for them. When the Angelus rings, you cross yourself and have done with it. But if you prayed from your heart and listened to the trilling of the bells in the air after they stopped ringing, you would hear the voices as well as I do."  -- Ben Patterson, "A Faith Like Mary's," Preaching Today, Tape No. 87. See: Pr 8:34; Jer 6:10; Eze 12:2; Jas 1:19.


Louder, God, Louder!

My five-year-old daughter, Barbara, had disobeyed me and had been sent to her room. After a few minutes, I went in to talk with her about what she had done. Teary-eyed, she asked, "Why do we do wrong things, Mommy?" "Well," I replied, "sometimes the devil tells us to do something wrong and we listen to him. We need to listen to God instead."  To which she sobbed, "But God doesn't talk loud enough!"  -- Jo M. Guerrero, Joplin, Missouri. Christian Reader, "Kids of the Kingdom." See: 1 Sa 12:15; Mt 7:21; Eph 5:6.


Innocent Expectation

I neglected to tell my new patient, a little boy, how his hospital room intercom worked. Soon his light flashed. I called his name and asked what he wanted. There was complete silence. I repeated myself. After a long pause he said, "Jesus, I hear you but I don't see you. Where are you?" I couldn't wait to get to his room and give him a hug. -- Mary Williamson, Kirbyville, TX, Today's Christian Woman, "Heart to Heart."  See: 1 Sa 3:4-9; 1 Ki 19:12; Mt 17:5.


Often, God’s Voice Is Familiar   

My 3-year-old son, Ian, enjoys the Bible story about Samuel hearing God's voice at night. One evening after reading the story to Ian, I asked him if God had ever spoken to him.

   To my surprise, he answered, "Yes."

   "What did God say to you?" I asked.

   Ian thought and then said in his deepest voice, "Ian! Go to bed!"

   That explained why Ian settles down more quickly when I'm outside his room and tell him to go to bed. -- Deborah Hough, Auburn, Wash.  Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."  See: 1 Sa 3:4; Eze 43:2; Mt 17:5.


Two-Tone Answers

God whispers to us in our well-being; he shouts to us in our suffering. -- C.S. Lewis, Preaching Today. See: 1 Ki 19:12; Pr 8:34; Lk 8:15.


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Hear Our Prayer, O Lord

  God’s Mysterious Patience

Don Meadows

10/37/17


More Churches Favor Funding

For Planned Parenthood Abortions

More than a dozen religious groups joined national organizations this week in opposing a U.S. Senate bill to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Claiming the legislation would be “devastating” to millions of Americans, the groups sent a lengthy letter outlining their opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill. The legislation would repeal parts of Obamacare and defund the top abortion business in the nation.the top abortion business in the nation.

Approximately 200 groups signed the letter, delivered Monday, including religious groups that identify as Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, United Church of Christ, Jewish and African Episcopal Methodist, according to the Atlanta Daily World.

Read the Report in Full

3 Come to Christ

At Frederick FWB

Heaven came down and glory filled our souls, Sunday, Sept. 24, when three souls came to the altar and asked Jesus to save them.

Frederick Free Will Baptist Church is celebrating the victory and the church’s evangelism.  Pray for these new converts and the Frederick FWB Family.

Rusty Larter is pastor.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 (KJV)

Your compassion and patience are far greater than my understanding, loving God.  I am speechless, unable to comprehend how you, even God, can do it.

The tortures of this world and constant bursts of pleading for help and rescue bombard you from hundreds of millions of hurting people every day.

Do the cries and pleas ever stop, Lord?  

They aren’t always easy to hear, but all through man’s time on the Earth you created, he has cried to you.  It’s our basic theological understanding, omniscient God, that you give attention to everyone.  How is that possible?

Do you not tire of the constant intrusions and criticism?

People in a crowd cry out because a hail of bullets tear into their flesh and buzz around them.  Thirty-two stories above them a man cries in a terrifying way. Yes, it’s a cry as he pulls a trigger, a heart is crying in a pitiful way because something inside him is tormenting him with a pain we can’t even imagine. We judge him so quickly and so harshly, but as horrible is his act he, too, is your child whom you love.

Another man cries out to you because his life has been turned upside down by his own or someone else’s choice.  Everything he thought was so secure is gone, and a pain of abandonment shoots through his stomach and heart.  A mother cries out because her child has chosen to take a crooked path follow dangerous people. She knows pain will come if her child is fortunate and worse if he is not.  Death is a constant threat – eternal death, too. O God, comfort those facing these realities.

People – good people, sincere people, intelligent people – say some of the silliest things, create horrible and hostile divisions with their brothers and sisters in families, even the world. People lust for power over others, doing what we once never thought about.  Jealousies, envy, hatred, insatiable hunger for vengeance all consume your people.

Lord, why do you allow us to be this way? Why do you not strike down all of us?  At least, the worst of us?

I know the answer, of course.  You love all of us! You want to rescue all your children from Satan.  Your Word says so. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)

You want so much for us “to come to repentance.”  You want us to come to you -- to be made new.  You want to heap upon us your salvation.  Some do come. The angels rejoice.  Most people don’t come– and won’t! Heaven weeps, and all of us hurt.  Our sins cause hurt, the sins of others bring hurt -- heart hurt, emotional hurt, relational hurt, physical hurt and social hurt.

Many times people cry out, “Oh, God, help!”  They really mean it – then.  They want the hurt to go away, so they cry out.

But, do they really scream out to you or only mouth words that are so casually invoked in so many ways and times? Jesus, is this not the same as taking your name in vain? Most of us go back to reengage the cause of our hurt.  Some don’t.  Thank you, Lord, for these who sincerely seek you and accept the change you offer. Don’t give up on those who continue to be ignorant of your goodness and offered grace.

Please don’t give up on us.  Try as we do, still we miss the mark you set for us.  Forgive us, we plead, in the name and in the way of Jesus.  Guide us so we are and do better, hate less and love more – for our sake and for yours.  Amen!


1:5,6 A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.


3:5, 6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.


4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.


5:7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.


8:34 Blessed [is] the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

10:8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

13:1 A wise son [heareth] his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

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