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The first time I heard God speak I was about 4 minutes old as a Christian. I had just got saved, in a shearing shed, and had gone back to my seat. I was all of a sudden filled with a warmth and a peace that i had never felt before. I felt God speak to me. It was amazing. and i was 4 minutes old, brand new.
But it’s also a learning process. We practice hearing His voice and recognising what He is saying and what He is leading us to do. Sometimes its not as easy and clear cut as it sounds like it should be, sometimes we can be distracted by our emotions and circumstances.
Each of us needs to learn from personal experience what it means to hear God given our unique background, personality, and life situation. They way that you hear God is likely to be somewhat different from how I hear God. But the beautiful amazing thing is that God speaks to us.
The God that created the universe, breathed the stars out, is eternal and unshakable, all powerful and glorious – that He speaks to us, that He is near and personal, interested in our lives and doing life with us.
How did Hosea know he was to marry a prostitute?
How did Isaiah know he was to be a naked prophet – for three whole naked cold years?
How did Paul face the storm and shipwreck without fear?
How did Joshua know the walls would fall down?
How did Elijah know to go to zarapeth?
These are all out there examples of people who did radical out there things when they heard from God.
David fought the giant with faith and the Word of God.
Yes, he used stones but his primary weapon was his confidence in God’s Words.
This attitude and faith is evident when he gets an audience with the king.
1 Sam 17:32 – 37 David said to Saul, Let no-one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him. Saul replied, You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth. But David said to Saul, Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, Go, and the LORD be with you.
To David, the Word of God was that God was always with him to deliver him and overcome.
God had delivered him from the bear and the lion and God would deliver him from the giant. There was no second guessing God. No but if. No doubt. David was unshakable in his faith in God. He had built up a history of seeing God at work in his life and a history of believing and trusting in God. He had a holy confidence because knew God was faithful.
In our lives we can look back at all that God has done beginning with the most significant and life changing : Jesus died on the cross to rescue us and save us.
In this reality and truth we can have faith that because of salvation that Jesus has defeated all the giants we face.
Jesus is the ultimate David. The ultimate David who had faith in the Word of God and faced the giant and defeated him, not with stones but with faith and the cross.
Today our victory comes not in what we can do but in what Jesus has done.
Faith is in a person. It is a WHO thing not a WHAT thing.
We can have faith in the promises and purposes of God because Jesus is the YES to God’s promises.
The Bible is amazing… did you know that the gospel is found in “code as it were” in the name meanings of the men in the lineage of Jesus in Genesis 5. if you look at the meanings and then put them in a fluid sentence you get the gospel. seriously.
Adam – Man
Seth – Appointed
Enosh – Mortal
Kenan – Sorrow
Mahalalel – The blessed God
Jared – Shall come down
Enoch – Teaching
Methuselah – His death shall bring
Lamech – Despairing
Noah – Comfort and rest
if you put those those meanings into a complete sentence and you get: Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow, (but) the blessed God shall come down teaching. His death shall bring (the) despairing comfort and rest.
And there you have it, in the names of Adam to Noah, a summary of the New Testament message – the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
For Jesus is Himself God, who came to down to Earth to teach. His sacrificial death on the cross washed away the sins of despairing man, and gave them comfort and rest.
“There are four principles we need to maintain:
First, read the Word of God.
Second, consume the Word of God until it consumes you.
Third believe the Word of God.
Fourth, act on the Word.” Smith Wigglesworth
Before you get started, think through the following:
- When will you read? Do you have a consistent time?
- Where will you read? Do you have a consistent place?
- What will you read? Do you have a plan?
- What do you need? Do you have a Bible, journal, pen and highlighter?
You should always approach the Scriptures in a posture of prayerful humility and longing. Ask God to:
- Incline you entirely to His Word.
- Open your eyes to see the beautiful wonders of Christ and the glories of the gospel.
- Unite your heart to fear His name, knowing that your desires are ever divided.
- Satisfy you with His steadfast and unfailing love.
The first step of study is to simply read the passage a few times to get an idea of the content, context and flow. Highlight particular sections that stand out so that you can come back to them later.
What do you see?
Observation lays the groundwork for all subsequent study. Cutting corners in this step can cause the entire process to unravel.
What are you observing? Everything. Your goal is not to determine what is and is not significant. Everything is significant. Observation is kind of like panning for gold. Your goal is to dig up as much as possible and allow the later processes to sift the gold.
- Mark up the passage. Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible. Circle, underline and highlight. Write in the margins. Get creative.
- List 2-3 overarching themes you see in the passage.
- List at least two observations per verse. The more the merrier.
- Write down questions to think through in the step of interpretation.
What does it mean?
Your observations will most likely lead to interesting and challenging questions about the text. The step of interpretation allows you to sift through the various observations in order to provide answers.
…accomplishing the action?
…the action taking place?
What is the…
…meaning of this word?
…significance of this phrase?
…implication of this statement?
Why did the author…
…choose this word?
…include this phrase?
…use this command?
…connect these ideas?
…not say ____?
- Consider the context.
- Compare multiple translations (ESV, NASB, NIV, HCSB).
- Look up key words.
- Check out cross-references to see how this passage relates to others.
- When stumped, list out all the various options and pros and cons of each. After due consideration, use supplemental resources such as the ESV Study Bible or commentaries for helpful insights and background information.
- Don’t stop until you have considered how this passage fits into the overarching redemptive plan of God – the gospel. How does this passage relate to the person and work of Christ?
- Make sure to discuss insights and questions with your spouse and gospel-centered community.
What do I do with it?
Bible study is incomplete until you have thought through how to apply the particular passage to your life. Some passages will be more readily applicable than others, but all Scripture is useful and helpful (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
- List out a number of potential applications. To get started, here are a few questions to consider:
- Is there an example for you to follow?
- Is there a sin to repent of and/or avoid?
- Is there a promise to trust?
- Is there a prayer to repeat?
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there a condition to meet?
- Is there a verse to memorize?
- Is there an erroneous view exposed?
- What else is the Lord pressing upon you?
- Choose one or two particular applications and prayerfully consider how you might pursue greater faithfulness in them. Be specific about what you will do (or not do) and whom you will ask (in addition to the Lord) to help you.
from The Village Church HERE
1. Take a passage or paragraph and read it 3-4 times.
2. Then make a list of every thing it says about God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)
3. List anything that it tells you about yourself
4. List example to be followed, commands to obey or things that need to be avoided.
Then choose one or two thing that you think were most important or the best thing that you learned from the reading. Keller says that mediation is talking to yourself about God, in the presence of God (Psalm 103).
Keller recommends 2 ways to meditate upon the passage:
- The Shorter Way
Ask yourself how you would be different if this truth was explosively alive in my inner being? Secondly, ask why is God showing me this passage today? What is going on in my life that i need to learn this truth?
- The Deeper Way
ACTS= Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving & Supplication
Adoration: What can I praise God for in this truth?
Confession: What false attitudes, behaviour emotions or idols come alive in me whenever I forget it?
Thanksgiving: How is Jesus Christ or the grace that I have in Jesus Christ the key to help me overcome the sin that I have just confessed?
Supplication: What do I need to do or become in light of this?
“Read a text and begin to mediate on it until the Holy Spirit starts to preach to you” Tim Keller
There are so many ways to read the Word of God. Plans. Studies. Commentaries. Surface. Depth. Paper or digital?
Despite the options and the styles important thing is that your find your own rhythm and that you JUST DO IT. That you read it, not to check off a tick box or get a gold star, but that you read it to hear the voice and words of God.
The Bible is God breathed, God written, God inspired. His words to you are life, breath, hope, peace, guidance, challenge, personal.
Recently I finished reading Louie Giglio’s book, I am not but I know I am.
i adore Louie, he is a master wordsmith and his evident love for Jesus so radiates through every word, written or spoken.
In the book, Louie Giglio shares something called the One Word Bible Study method. It is an intriguing way to look at verses in the Bible in which you prayerfully meditate over ONE word of a verse each day (yes, just ONE word for a day) until God reveals His message and power through that ONE word.
Louie demonstrates by using John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and WOW i loved every perspective and revelation.
At our church, The River, last night our speaker Thomas Adams challenged us to take Psalm 34 and read a verse every day.
Just one verse.
To READ IT, CHEW IT, PRAY IT, DO IT.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:1-3 #Ps34Challenge
I’ll be ONE WORDing my way through my daily verse, ears open to hear God’s personal words to me.
Watch over the next few days for other ways to read the Word of God and hear His voice…
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23
God with us.
in the good times, and the hard times.
in the day and the night.
today and tomorrow.
yesterday, in the past and in our future.
in the valley and on the mountaintops.
God, with us.
near, personal, close. with us.
The Word became flesh and dwelled with humanity. He was with us in body.
He is always with us because now He dwells within us, the Holy Spirit.
with us. always.
Immanuel, the promise of good news, that God would draw near and dwell with us.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread ~ Matthew 6:9-11
Give us today our daily bread – we need to have our bread fresh every day – just as the israelites had mana, every day, fresh, from heaven.
Perhaps Jesus isnt talking so much about kai on the table but kai for our hearts – soul food – spiritual nourishment.
My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 ~ Give me today my daily portion / God is my portion
*** kai = food /
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:1-3
in the beginning.
the before time.
in the eternity.
in the beginning was God and was Jesus, The Word.
Jesus was with God. they were together. with each other.
and Jesus IS God.
Through Jesus all things were created. All the universe. All the sky. All the plants and animals and angels and amazing things we see and dont see.
Jesus made them all.
There was nothing made that He did not make.
There was nothing made without Him.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3
In the beginning. I’m sure John is intentional in his choice of words, in the beginning. linking Genesis and Jesus together.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
John 1 says The Word became flesh and dwelled with man. Jesus came and lived with normal humans, as a human himself. The Word became flesh… and moved into the neighbourhood. One of the wonders of what Christmas really means is the reminder that Jesus demonstrates who God is to us. If we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father. Jesus made God real and real personal. He came and dwelled with His creation, He loved and touched and felt and lived.
there’s just something about Jesus.
when He walks into a room people take notice.
He captivates attention.
People of every age and every stage want to be with Him. near Him.
King of the Universe. Lord of Lords.
This is extraordinary! God, creator of the universe, namer of the stars, who spoke and formed the world from nothing, became one of the very creatures He created. He became a man. A human!
I’ve been reading Philip Yancey’s THE JESUS I NEVER KNEW so reading John 1 again with fresh eyes makes me fall in love with Jesus even more, makes me more awed by His actions and His coming. The King of Glory, born. a child. a baby. crying. breastfed. nappies. then childhood and adolescence. into manhood. Jesus. our Lord. touching people. healing people. walking with people. living life. the glorious and the mundane.
God so loved the world that He stepped down from a holy throne and became human so that you might touch, see and absorb His grace and, in turn, reflect His glory. So compelled by our imperfection, perfection became human. @stickyjesus
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14 MSG
And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honour, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favour, loving-kindness) and truth. John 1:14 AMP
3. I overcome my fear and anxiety; I trust in the Lord with all my heart. God is with me (Proverbs 3:5-6, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, Isaiah 41:10)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
i can trust in God.
He is trustworthy.
though sometimes things dont go to MY plan, HE has a plan and is at work on my behalf.
i am confident of His love and goodness.
i am confident that He is my Father.
when faced with fear i CHOOSE to trust God.
i STOP, BREATHE and REMIND MYSELF OF THE PROMISES OF GOD.
His Word is faithful.
His promises can be trusted.
He is always at work.
i counter FEAR with faith.
faith that is grounded in the Word of God and His promises. not blind faith but faith that has facts and basis.
i live not by sight but by faith in God.