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Posts Tagged ‘humility’

Listening to God

April 4th, 2011

1 Samuel 3:1-4:1

  • This is a practical message. It shouldn’t freak us out – we were made to hear from God
  • The problem is with us, we have resisted God – we grow complacent and ignore God, which leads us to become deaf. God keeps talking however and is creative with how He speaks
  • This book teaches that listening to God is very important
  • 1 Samuel 3:1 – God rarely spoke as the people had become deaf. This is tragic and dangerous
  • 1 Samuel 3:3 – the lamp was nearly out and Eli the priest was almost blind – situation was very bad
  • God starts speaking again to a little boy – He began with the weakest
  • If it seems that God is speaking we must take it seriously
  • Heb 3:7-11 – challenged to take God seriously
  • Matt 13:9
  • Samuel heard an audible voice – is that normal?
  • In the Bible there are some who uniquely hear God’s voice but there is a hint that we all should – Joel 2
  • It is possible to be a Christian and still live in the Old Testament – saved but not hearing God
  • God expects us to talk and listen to Him – our prayer life should be a 2-way conversation
  • How does hearing God actually work? Are there principles?
  • On the surface there doesn’t seem to be!
  • God spoke to Samuel in a unique way – unlike in Exodus when God’s voice was thunderous God spoke to Samuel like Eli
  • God isn’t predictable! He talks in very different ways
  • God’s style changes but His message is consistent
  • 1 Samuel 3:12 – God is building on what He had already said

 

Keep the Bible central

  • Everything God says matches up to the Bible
  • We test what people say is God by the Bible – the Bible doesn’t have to be tested
  • God speaks through the Bible – it is alive
  • If the Bible doesn’t speak to you, you’re reading it wrong!
  • Preaching is meant to be powerful
  • It is disastrous to wander away from the Bible but still be “spiritual”

 

Serve the Church

  • God speaks for the benefit of everyone
  • When Samuel hears God, he goes to Eli for help and to check out what he’d heard
  • A mistake people can make when God speaks: they get puffed up and start to think they don’t need the church. This is pride and God will stop talking. Be careful and be humble.
  • Hebrews 3: 12-13 – there are two choices: a hardened heart or go to church
  • We need to exhort one another
  • There may be some who feel like they’re in a spiritual desert – this is because they have isolated themselves
  • If God told you something, be humble and submit it to someone
  • If God spoke, it will happen.

 

Accept Pain

  • God will tell you to do something that you’ll not want to do – say something or change something about yourself
  • 1 Samuel 3:15 – Samuel had to tell Eli hard things from God
  • Hearing from God is a privilege but it can bring pain
  • As we learn to walk in obedience God gives opportunities to speak
  • Take risks, sometimes we can be unsure – the more risks we take, the more we grow and learn to discern God’s voice

 

Stay humble

  • Listening to God will be painful and sometimes lonely, but Jesus has been there
  • Matthew 26 – Jesus had to bring awful news
  • We are never forsaken by God and we will never be completely alone

Alternative Security 1 Corinthians 3.18 – 4.5

November 30th, 2009

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Security and Boasting

We can base our value, our worth on things totally inappropriate. But no one should boast in man. Boasting leads to and is caused by insecurity.

Stress seems to be caused by our need to prove our own greatness and we can often evaluate ourselves against others. Any peace we get from this is utterly false. Jesus confronts anxiety in Matthew 11. In this passage Jesus delibertely links freedom from stress to humility. This was the difference between us and Jesus, He really was confident in the God who works it out right in the end 1 Corinithians 3.21 ‘Let no one boast in men. For all things are yours’  This is why we shouldn’t boast – all things are yours.

Security and Faith

Boasting (in ourselves and our own achievements) is the opposite of faith. Boasting in God is faith. God runs everything deliberatley for your good.

All things are yours 1 Corinithians 3.22, including the world, life & death. He has given us everything we need for life. Life can be hard but it’s not supposed to be an enemy but we are to see it as God’s gift. We need faith to keep believing this – If you know Jesus you have all you need for life. Even death is ours, if you belong to Christ death is now defeated and we now have nothing to fear in death, it’s ours. To die is now gain.

To enjoy life we’ll need our character shaping, this will help us enjoy God forever. Can be painful and difficult but God is at work in you. You can’t enjoy God unless you are shaped to enjoy God. We can spoil our appetite on small momentary, passing pleasures but we need to have an eternal perspective. The more you are like Jesus the more you will enjoy heaven.