You’ve seen the commercial, “Can you hear me now? Good!” 34 year old Paul Marcarelli of New York City got the nod to represent 50 people who drive 100,000 miles a year to test the reliability of the cellular network. Yes, those are his own glasses, too!But now the phrase, “Can you hear me now?” has become part of our vocabulary.
And its certainly a phrase that God could ask of us. Do you hear God talking? This is a question that is so often abused and mis-used “God told me” I am al-ways so leery and reluctant to say, “God told me” I don’t want to put words into God’s mouth.
But this is an important question. How does God talk to us to-day, and what does He want us to do? We’re going to spend two separate weeks on it, in fact. Our Key Verse for today: “Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say.” — Isaiah 28.23
I. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH CREATION
A. God reveals Himself in a gen-eral way through what He has made.
1. “For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his in-visible qualities¡Xhis eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.” — Romans 1.19-20 (NLT)
2. “The heavens de-clare the glory of God; the skies pro-claim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” — Psalm 19.1-3
B. Show photos of cosmos
1. And what do learned people say? “Wow! How cool that all this just happened like this!”
2. “Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies.
So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever — Romans 1.25 (NLT)
3. Grand Canyon: “Nice job, God”
II. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH EVENTS
A. The Bible says that there is a reason for everything un-der the sun
1. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” — Ro-mans 8.28
2. If He works all things for good, then there is purpose behind all things!
B. We don’t want to over-analyze every single thing that happens in our lives, but rather to be more sensitized to the work of God in our lives.
1. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” — Proverbs 16.9
2. “That’s a God thing”
3. Is God trying to tell me something?
III. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH BLESSING
A. We are a blessed people.
1. The poorest among us are so much better off than in other parts of the world
2. What we consider ne-cessities are considered luxuries elsewhere
3. That leads to “taking it for granted”
B. Job’s experience
1. “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: Na-ked I came from my mother womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”Job 1.20-21 What we have is from God
2.Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? Job 2.10
3. Deuteronomy 8 from out-line
C. When good things happen to us, when God blesses us, we need to train ourselves to go to God and say,
a. “Thank you”
b. “What do You want me to do with this?”
IV. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH TRIALS
A. Trials happen. They are a part of life, not an aberration in life.
1. 1 Peter 1.6-7 on outline
2. Hebrews 12.11 on outline
B. What is God saying to us when trials come into our lives?
1. “I love you right where I found you; but I love you too much to leave you there!”
2. SHOW BASEBALL BAT — It takes a lot of planning, sanding, cutting, carving and shaping to make this (BAT) from a tree.
3. How much molding and shaping is it going to take to make you into Jesus Christ?
„« “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son– Romans 1.29 (NLT)
V. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH PAIN
A. CS Lewis called pain, “the megaphone of God”
1. When we hurt, it directs our attention to God
2. Psalm 69.1-3, 13, 16 on outline
„« see also Psalm 77
B. We try and drown out, dull down and hide from pain
1. God sometimes has to turn up the heat, turn down the screws, or lay us out flat on our backs to get us to listen
2. We can complain, yell, get angry but ultimately, eventually, we need to ask, “what is it, Lord?”
3. And remember, our great-est source of pain, may be our biggest opportunity for service
VI. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH STILLNESS
A. We live in a noisy world
1. The quietness of Arizona; Grand Canyon
2. “I can’t hear myself think!”
B. God sometimes speaks softly so we have to listen intently
1. “I wait quietly before God, for my salvation comes from him… I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.”– Psalm 62.1, 5 (NLT)
2. Sometimes we just need to “shhhh. Be quiet.”
3. “Then Job answered the LORD: ¡§I am unwor-thy how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer twice, but I will say no more.¡¨” — Job 40.3-5
4. Elijah and the gentle whisper (1 Kings 19)
„« not the wind, earth-quake, fire
5. God sometimes speaks to us with a gentle nudging, persistent prodding, quiet urging do you hear Him?
VII. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HIS WORD
A. God has spoken. Verbally. Audibly.
1. God’s Words were codified.
“can I get that in writ-ing?”
2. They were written down, collected, preserved and passed down, so we have an inerrant, infallible rec-ord of what God said.
3.teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” — Hebrews 8.3
B. God often warns us and pleads with us not to forget His statutes, His law, His words.
1. “All Scripture is God-breathed — 2 Timothy 3.16
2. This Word we take so granted; we ignore; we use as a leather-bound paper-weight, is the breath of God.
3. Are you listening?
VIII. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HIS SON
A. But the Word is not the final goal.
1. The written Word leads us to the living Word (not to make us Bible scholars)
2. Hebrews 11.1-3 on outline
3. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus often says, “but I say to you”
4. Jesus shows us God.
“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father¡¦s side, has made him known.” — John 1.18
If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.
B. “The Spirit of God, takes the Word of God, applies it to the Child of God, to make us more like the Son of God.”
God is still speaking today. Ultimately, God is driving every-thing toward His Son, Jesus Christ.
1. Do you hear His voice? “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” — Mark 4.23
2. Don’t harden your heart. “That is why the Holy Spirit says, ¡§Today you must listen to his voice. Don¡¦t harden your hearts against him — Hebrews 3.7-8 (NLT)
Listen for God.
Listen to God.
We need to learn to:
a. See God’s fingerprints
b. Read God’s handwriting
c. Hear God’s voice
Can you hear Him now?
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