Sharing Sunday Service 06/16/13

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Sharing Sunday Service  is a series where I share the Word of God in a relaxed atmosphere, open to questions.  We have a wonderful pastor that inspires my thought processes, and leaves me eager and encouraged to further my knowledge as a child of Christ.  King James Bible is recommended, but if you don’t have one, don’t fret.  Use what you have and follow along.

This is part 2 to Hearing Christ Speak. Part 1 may be found here.

Let’s turn to 1 Samuel in the Old Testament.

1 Samuel

Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah.  Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not, and it seems that Peninnah made it a point to bring this fact to attention when the opportunity presented [1 Samuel 1:61 Samuel 1:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. provoked: Heb. angered  

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].  Hannah, in her despair, prayed and made a vow unto God.

1 Samuel 1:10-111 Samuel 1:10-11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. in...: Heb. bitter of soul 11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. a man...: Heb. seed of men  

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10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

Hannah’s prayers are answered and she has a child and names him Samuel [1 Samuel 1:201 Samuel 1:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD. when...: Heb. in revolution of days Samuel: that is, Asked of God  

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].  Hannah keeps her vow, and gives Samuel to be raised with Eli in the house of the LORD [1 Samuel 1:24-281 Samuel 1:24-28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. 25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. 27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. lent him: or, returned him, whom I have obtained by petition he shall...: or, he whom I have obtained by petition shall be returned  

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We cannot be absolutely sure of the age of Samuel at the time that God first speaks to him, but it is estimated that he is in his early teenage years.  During this time in history, the people of Israel have stopped listening to God, so God is not communicating with them very often [1 Samuel 3:11 Samuel 3:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.  

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].  We see in 1 Samuel 3:4-101 Samuel 3:4-10
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. Now...: or, Thus did Samuel before he knew the LORD, and before the word of the LORD was revealed unto him 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.  

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that God calls Samuel three times before Eli realizes it must be God.  Samuel assumes it was Eli calling him because Samuel did not know the Lord yet [1 Samuel 3:71 Samuel 3:7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. Now...: or, Thus did Samuel before he knew the LORD, and before the word of the LORD was revealed unto him  

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].

1 Samuel 3:11 Samuel 3:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.  

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0

And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel.  Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

listen to God

If we are going to be men and women of God, we must learn how to listen to God.

In Part 1, we discussed how to prepare ourselves to hear God speak.  Now, we need to look at the how and why God speaks to us.

God speaks in His own way:

1.  God speaks personally:

  • According to Oswald Chambers:  “No man by mere high human wisdom would dare undertake a step for Jesus’ sake unless he knows that the Holy Spirit has  directly spoken to him.”
  • Proverbs 15:22Proverbs 15:22
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.  

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     ‘Without counsel (guidance or steering) purposes are disappointed (plans go off course):  but in the multitude of counselors they are established’.
  • Some people will say “if God would just speak to me…”
  • We do not seek God’s voice to prove God is real; as we develop a personal relationship with God, we will hear Him speak to us.

2.  God speaks to His people to reveal His character:

  • God’s Word, the Bible, reveals God to us.
  • In order to know what God has done and what He expects of us, we must know His character through His Word, which speaks to us.

John 1:1John 1:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

<!-- JHN KJV MC 20. Mar. 2001 --> The Gospel According to St. John 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  

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 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

3.  God speaks to define His purposes:

  • If God did not speak to us, no one would be able to understand God’s will for their lives.
  • When we pray for guidance according to His will and when we seek to adjust our lives according to His purposes, we will hear His voice!
  • According to Adrian Rogers:  “Much of God’s will for your life is already found in the Bible”.

4.  God speaks to us to reveal His ways:

  • When God speaks to us it teaches us how to do things according to His ways.
  • God speaks to us only if and when we are ready to listen and obey.

Psalm 25:4Psalm 25:4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.  

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 Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.

5.  When God speaks, it requires faith on our part:

  • Many who believe in God, don’t believe God.
  • Without faith, it is impossible to please Him

Romans 10:17Romans 10:17
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  

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 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

John 6:63John 6:63
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  

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 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:  the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Hebrews 11:6Hebrews 11:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  

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 But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

  • “The measure for determining if someone really loves Jesus is the way that person receives God’s Word”.

John 14:23-24John 14:23-24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.  

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:

23 ‘He that hateth me hateth my Father also.  24 If I had not done among them the works which no other man did, they had not had sin:  but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father’.

  • God doesn’t make salvation hard or impossible.  It’s pretty simple, actually.  If you don’t keep Jesus’ words – you don’t love Jesus!

Luke 11:28Luke 11:28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.  

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 But he said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

John 8:47John 8:47
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.  

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 He that is of God heareth God’s words:  ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

John 14:21John 14:21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.  

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 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:  and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

  • Now, use that to measure your spiritual life.  If we’re not willing to keep God’s words which He has written to us, why do we think that He’s going to speak to us when we are walking in disobedience?
  • Unbelief can make a person spiritually deaf!  We just don’t hear God speak when He is speaking to us.  Consider this story:

A student in college went to the student director and asked for help in finding a job.  She had put in several applications but no one had hired her.  A fellow student walked up at that moment and share with her that his boss had been trying to get in touch with her.  He wanted to talk to her about a job opening.  She thanked the other student, and then turned to the director and asked “so, do you think God will help me find a job?”

If we do not believe we can hear God speak, then we have doubt as well.  We are mentally putting up a barricade and are unable to hear the words that God gives us.

6.  When God speaks, He is specific:

  • Abraham – God didn’t tell him to just go somewhere, He directed him to the place He wanted him to go and what He wanted him to do [Genesis 12-24].
  • Moses – God didn’t tell him to lead the Jews to just some place, but specifically said the Promised Land [Exodus 33].
  • Noah – God didn’t tell him to build a boat with no instructions.  God gave explicit instructions regarding the boat and the animals [Genesis 6:14-22Genesis 6:14-22
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. rooms: Heb. nests 15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. 17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. 18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. 21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.  

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Even when God speaks to us, He may not reveal all of the details at one time.  We must be patient, have faith, and trust in God.

God’s guidance is always clear, if we listen and obey!  Are you listening for the voice of God?

Written by Mary Hudak-Collins

Mary Hudak-Collins

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