Do We Have Ears that Hear?

Do We Have Ears that Hear?

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. (Mk 4:23 NKJV)

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!  (Mt 11:15 NKJV)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  (Rev 2:29 NKJV)

The Scriptures talk about people having “ears to hear” quite a bit.  What can that mean to us as believers?

Do you know that God is always speaking to His people?  And our relationship with our Savior is based, as any true relationship is, upon communication! 

To quote Kris Vallotton (Bethel Church, Redding, CA), “Communication is probably the single greatest vehicle of any relationship.”  Prayer is part of our communication with God and listening for His voice is the other part of that two-way communication.  It is our responsibility to do the listening!  Pay attention because the Lord’s voice will often be quiet and unobtrusive. And He may speak to you in ways that you don’t recognize.

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.  (1 Kgs 19:11-12 NKJV, emphasis added) 

The wonderful thing about God is that He may use various ways to communicate with us.  He uses the Scriptures to communicate clearly with us, but he may also use any of these other methods as well. 

  • Visions:  The Lord may give us visions which are simply images and concepts that play upon the screen of our imagination within our minds.  Visions frequently require interpretation.  So, when the Holy Spirit uses this method to communicate, we need to ask Him to clarify the meaning of the vision.  (See Acts 2:17-18)
  • The still, small voice of the Lord:  This can be perceived as a transient thought, an abrupt but strong impression, or an inner perception of a message from the Lord.  (See 1 Kgs 19:11-13)
  • Creation:  The very creation that God made speaks to us of His power, strength, creativity, provision, and beauty.  Pay attention to any message that the Lord may give you through His creation.  For me, when I was a brand-new believer, I was asking the Lord to show me His love.  I was out with my fiancé driving on a country road.  I kept looking at the beautiful sky above me that was just full of large, puffy, billowy clouds as far as the eye could see in EVERY direction.  As I was observing those clouds, a church song came into my heart in which the chorus includes the phrase:  Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray, in fathomless billows of love!  (Song Wonderful Peace, lyrics by Warren D. Cornell, music by W. George Cooper – 1889) 
    The Lord used nature to communicate His great love for me with the image of fathomless billows of love that were demonstrated to me by the huge, billowing clouds before my own eyes—as far as the eye could see in every direction.  To this day, 50 years later, I have never forgotten that message from the Lord that was just for me.  I cherish it.
  • Circumstances:  God is able to speak to us and to direct us through the circumstances of our lives.  He can open doors of opportunity, or close them, as a way of directing us.  However, we can easily misread a blockage that has been erected by the enemy and think that it is God directing us.  But we would be wrong.  Consequently, we should always seek wise counsel from our Pastor and from other mature believers whom we know very well, and who know us.  Also, we must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us about every step we need to take in our lives.

So, look back upon your life and recall the times when God used any of these various methods to speak to you or to direct you.  Or, you may have a new example of how God communicated something to you.  But the important thing to recognize is that there is communication flowing in your relationship with the Lord.  Thank and praise the Lord for it! When you can receive such communication from God and ACT UPON IT, then you can be assured that you DO have ‘hearing ears’!  God bless you.

God Will Save

God Will Save

The Bible tells us again and again and again that God is our Savior.  No one saves but God.  It is He who will save us.

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.  (Isa 33:22 NIV)

Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!  Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God.  He will come and save you.”  (Isa 35:4 ESV)

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.  (Mt 1:21 NKJV)

This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.  (Lk 2:11 CEV)

The definition of savior is “a person who saves someone or something (especially a country or cause) from danger, and who is regarded with the veneration of a religious figure.” 

Another definition is:  “ . . . (in Christianity) God or Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sin and saver of souls.”

God foretold the coming of a Savior, and He has fulfilled His Word.  Let us rely upon, put our faith in, and cherish His holy Word.  God be with you.

Persist in Faith for Christ is our Hope

Persist in Faith for Christ is our Hope

Because we have a living Hope who is Jesus Christ, the righteous One, we need to persevere in our faith.  We should also pray diligently for answers to our needs.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  (Rom 12:12 NIV)

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.  (Ps 62:8 NKJV) 

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing . . .  (1 Thes 5:16-17 NKJV)

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:27 NIV)

Glory to God!  God is our refuge—our safe haven and our protector. 

The tomb couldn’t hold the living and victorious body of our Savior.  Jesus lived a holy and sinless life on earth. 

He appeared to many people several days after He had been crucified bearing the wounds of the cross.  When He did, Jesus demonstrated power and victory over death.  Jesus is ALIVE.  Glory to God! Jesus is our hope because He is alive; He is almighty; and He has reconciled us to God the Father.

Set Apart

Set Apart

But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself:  the Lord will hear when I call unto Him.  (Ps 4:3 KJV)  We have been “set apart” by God.

Moreover, when you divide the land by lot into inheritance, you shall set apart a district for the Lord, a holy section of the land; its length shall be twenty-five thousand cubits, and the width ten thousand. It shall be holy throughout its territory all around.  (Ezek 45:1)  God instructed the Israelites to “set apart” land for Him that would be considered holy.  In present times, we believers have become His dwelling place—the “land” set apart for God!  (1 Cor 3:16, 17; 6:19)

What does it mean to be set apart for God? 

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light . . . (1 Pet 2:9)

It means that we who have accepted Jesus as our Savior are God’s special people, and we are called to proclaim His praises and His good news of salvation to all people, everywhere.  We are Christ’s ambassadors on the earth.  (2 Cor 5:20)

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3)  This is a promise of God to His chosen people—those who are set apart for Him.  Every promise in the Bible is for us!  These promises are our inheritance. (Ps 119:111)

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  (2 Cor 7:1)  We who have Jesus as our Savior—and are set apart—are called to holiness.  (1 Pet 1:15, 16)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  (Eph 2:10)  What constitutes “good works”?  Good works are actions which are pleasing to the Lord.  Because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior (we are set apart), He becomes the origin or source of our actions.  Christ is the root cause of everything, and good works are the fruit!

In conclusion, we are set apart as special to God.  Because we are, we walk in holiness and good works to the glory of God.

Note:  This is a reprint of our blog article dated 03/20/2017.

Self-Control

Self-Control

Welcome!  The fruit of the Spirit includes self-control.  (Galatians 5:22-24 NIV)  Isn’t that wonderful?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV)

When we accepted Christ as Savior, the Spirit of God made His home in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit is the One who enables us to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Our responsibility is to yield to the Spirit of God and to actually manifest this fruit!  It is quite exhilarating to do.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)  Consider the ways that you exercise the spiritual fruit of self-control.  Then praise the Lord for them!

Note:  This is a reprint of our blog article dated 08/20/2016.

Carrying Out the Will of God

Carrying Out the Will of God

Do you think that carrying out the will of God is very important to Jesus, our Savior?  Yes, indeed, it is!  The Bible has quite a bit to say on this subject. 

For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.  (Mt 12:50, underscoring added)  Accomplishing the will of God on this earth qualifies us to be members of the family of God.

But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”  (Lk 8:21)  Those who are members of the family of God, not only hear the word of God but we perform it.  Jesus says so.

You are my friends if you do what I command you.  (Joh 15:14)  I want to be a friend of Jesus and a friend of God.  There is only one way to be God’s friend, and that is to carry out the will of God.

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.  (1 Joh 2:17)  One of God’s precious promises to us is that all who do the will of God will live forever. 

Meditating upon the Bible, honoring the Word of God, and continuously executing the instructions found within its pages will make us people who “do the will of God” and earn God’s favor and His blessings.  Hallelujah!

Sweet Meditations on Scriptures

Sweet Meditations on Scriptures

It is a blessing of our salvation that we may have sweet meditations using the promises of God. 

The Bible says:  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  (Pro 23:7a)  Our very thoughts govern our actions, according to the Bible.  So if we meditate upon Scriptures and the promises found therein, we can write God’s laws and blessings into our hearts and even into our lives!

My meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.  (Ps 104:34 KJ21)  We have the privilege to think about all of the beautiful and precious attributes that belong to our Savior and God.  And doing so will cause us to praise and worship and rejoice in the Him.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.  (Ps 19:14 KJ21)  If we would like our words to be acceptable to God, we will memorize Bible passages, because our words flow from our hearts and thoughts.  And meditating upon the promises of God will always be acceptable to God, for it is one of the purposes for which He gave us His written Word.

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation.  (Ps 119:99 KJ21)  This Scripture communicates to us that we can be wiser than our teachers by making Bible passages our frequent meditation, and by obeying and honoring God’s Word. Why is that?  Because the wisdom of God is found within the Word of God, and He is willing and happy to share His wisdom with us.  Blessings upon you!

Saved, Sanctified, Justified

Saved, Sanctified, Justified

We, who believe in Jesus Christ, have been saved through God’s mercy.  We have been cleansed, sanctified, and justified in and through Jesus, our Savior.

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.  (Tit 3:5 NIV)

The indwelling Holy Spirit is constantly cleansing us and renewing our minds. One tool that is helpful is the Word of God.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.  (1 Cor 6:11)

. . . that he might sanctify her [the Church], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word . . .  (Eph 5:26 ESV, words in brackets added)  Another way that we are continuously cleansed and sanctified is through a daily reading of the Scriptures as well as constant meditation upon them.  This is what we may choose to do in order to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, our teacher.

. . . knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.  (Gal 2:16)  This Bible verse reiterates the truth that no one is justified by fulfilling the law but rather through an ongoing faith in and relationship with Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind.  Praise God!

Taught by God

Taught by God

As followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t forget that Jesus came, in obedience to His Father, in order to save people and to reconcile them back to our Heavenly Father.  God is constantly ready to forgive and to save all who believe in Jesus.

Today we’re concentrating on Scriptures that tell us that all of our children shall be taught by the Lord. 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  (Isa 54:13)  We are drawn closer to the Lord by submitting to His teachings.  Our relationship grows deeper and stronger the more we read, meditate upon, and study the teachings of the Bible.

It is written in the Prophets, and they will all be taught by God.  Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from Him comes to Me.  (Joh 6:45 CEB)  All who receive the internal, spiritual illumination concerning Jesus Christ, the Savior, is drawn to God and to the teaching that comes from God through His Word, His Spirit, and His ministers.

The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.  (Joh 16:14-15 CEV)  The Holy Spirit is our helper and our teacher.  He gives us wisdom, insight, and illumination into the teachings of the Bible.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another . . .  (1 Thes 4:9 ESV)  This is a confirmation by the Scriptures that those who belong to the Lord are taught by the Lord and are influenced daily by what they have learned.

All those who are taught by God (those who accept and act upon what they learn) will always turn to Jesus and receive Him as their Savior and Lord.  And once they have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, they will continue serving Him and obeying His leading and guiding through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.  We are not only the servants of God, but we are the children of God. All glory to God most High!

Worthy to Be Praised

Worthy to Be Praised

My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.  (Ps 71:15 NKJV)

I will praise you every day; I will praise you forever and ever.  (Ps 145:2 NCV)

On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.  People will speak of the power of Your awesome acts, and I will tell of Your greatness.  They will burst forth in speaking of Your abundant goodness, and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.  (Ps 145:5-7 NASB)

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.  (Ps 18:3 NKJV)

These passages from the Bible remind us of one vital truth: 

That God is worthy to be praised!

Worthy means commendable, admirable, exemplary, and excellent!  God is the model of who is eligible for praise and what sort of being has earned praise.  He is the standard against whom all persons will be compared and judged!

When we meditate upon God’s glory, splendor, majesty, and His works, we cannot PREVENT ourselves from breaking into spontaneous praise and adoration.  It bursts from us in an unstoppable flow, and causes us to shout joyfully praising God’s righteousness.  Hallelujah!

And this is the same God who has provided salvation as a free gift to all of mankind.  All He asks in return is that we place all of our faith, hope and trust in His Son, Jesus, who is our Savior and Redeemer.  What a deal!