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10 September 2012

Listening to God - 10 September

We’ve spent the last few days talking about the ways that God chooses to communicate with His people. We’ll finish that list today by talking about the other two members of the Trinity – Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

God’s most personal revelation and communication to us is through His Son. God proved His love to us by sending Jesus to suffer and die on that cross to save each one of us. Jesus said of Himself:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (ESV)

We’ve all seen the initial WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? We can find out what Jesus would have done by reading the record of His life in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). We can imitate everything Jesus did except one. We cannot die to bring salvation to anyone. Jesus invites us to:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matt 16:24 (ESV)

We can follow Jesus down the road of loving, listening, helping. We can teach others to be more like Jesus by reading God’s Word and applying it to our lives. When in doubt, we can stop and read about what Jesus would have done. We can pray and communicate with our Father because of the price Jesus paid for our sins. Jesus was the perfect fulfillment of all of God’s laws and commandments. And who IS this Jesus?

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. 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. 16 And 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. John 1:1-5; 10-14; 16-17 (ESV)  

What does John mean when he says “the Word became flesh”? How does this help us to understand the way God communicates with us? How does this impact your prayer life?

When Jesus was with His disciples, He told them about His death. Their personal conduit to the Father would soon leave them, like a father leaving his children orphans. But God loves us so much that once we’ve accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus we receive a comforter – the Holy Spirit.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19  Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20  In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21  Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:15-21 (ESV)

Why did Jesus say that we would not be left orphans? Is the Holy Spirit available to everyone in the world, or just to believers?

The God Who created the universe, created grains of sand and lobsters and flowers and spiders and … everything … loves the human race so much that He provides methods of communication for us. Sometimes I have to just stop and think of how amazing that is. Humans barely want to deal with each other when we’ve been “offended”, yet since Adam and Eve, the human race has lived offensively toward God. Even though we offend God every day, He still loves us enough not to turn His back on us. He provided the ultimate gift so we could become His children. He even left us a Manual for living AND a helper and comforter. Indeed, Lord, HOW GREAT THOU ART!

I pray that you will take some time in worship of the One Who breathes life into each of us. If you need clarification, or prayer, or if you’ve seen something that you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment or email me.

See you Wednesday.

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