I really can change (part two)

Because each person is unique, God’s formative process is unique for each. And though the Spirit of God is the One who transforms souls, each individual has personal responsibility in the process. Many spiritual disciplines can contribute, yet God is primarily concerned with transforming the whole person, not just patterns of behavior. For this reason, no one method (be it a traditional spiritual discipline or another method) is the single critical component.

To understand our need for transformation, we must understand who we are currently, both as individuals and as members of the body of Christ. Who we are has undoubtedly been shaped by our past. Therefore, we explore various aspects of our identity, such as our heritage and temperament. What do these tell us about who we are and what we value? The interaction during this study bonds us and builds trust among us. Our goal is not to analyze, criticize, or control each other, but it is to grow and affirm what God is doing in and through one another.

In Identity, we ultimately want group members to see themselves in light of their identity in Christ. However, many of the values we actually live out stem from such influences as temperament, family background, and culture. Not all of those values are contrary to our new identity in Christ. For example, the value one person places on honesty, which he learned from his parents, is affirmed by his identity in Christ.

It can take a long time––more than a lifetime allows––for the Spirit of God to transform our values to line up with our new identity in Christ. We cooperate with the Spirit when we reflect on what our values are and how well they line up with our identity in Christ as described in Scripture.

One of the most significant characteristics of our identity in Christ is that we are now part of the body of Christ. The Christian life cannot be lived in isolation.

(I want to say this to all the door kickers, snake eaters, LEO’s and others, in the call of duty you may have “seen the elephant,” combat, war, taking a life. It is never an easy thing to live with. Isolation and “manning-up” doing it solo, is not the answer. Find a support group, talk it out, find other veteran’s, retired cops, talk it out). And Jesus love even you.

In order to experience intimate community in the biblical sense, we must learn to reveal ourselves to others. We need to honestly, freely, and thoughtfully tell our stories. Our modern culture makes it easy for people to live isolated and anonymous lives. Because we and others move frequently, we may feel it’s not worth the effort to be vulnerable in shortlived relationships. However, we desperately need to keep intentionally investing in significant relationships.

Real involvement in others’ lives requires more than what the term fellowship has too often come to mean. Real involvement includes holding certain values in common and practicing a lifestyle we believe is noble, while appreciating that this lifestyle doesn’t make us perfect. Rather, this lifestyle is a commitment to let God continue to spiritually form us.

Share your stories, the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t get a good reaction when you’re candid, find another group, talk to the pastor, your counselor, mentor, sober companion. But you will only find healing in the community of others who have made it through and out the other side. And it is a continuous daily struggle and renewal. One time isn’t enough, it’s not ‘one and done’ it takes being will to share.

Well that’s it for today.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

THE CROSS

January 15, 2018

The Cross of Jesus Christ exposes me before the eyes of other people, informing them of the depth of my depravity. If I wanted others to think highly of me, I would conceal the fact that a shameful slaughter of the perfect Son of God was required that I might be saved. But when I stand at the foot of the Cross and am seen by others under the light of that Cross, I am left uncomfortably exposed before their eyes. Indeed, the most humiliating gossip that could ever be whispered about me is blared from Golgotha’s hill; and my self-righteous reputation is left in ruins in the wake of its revelations. With the worst facts about me thus exposed to the view of others, I find myself feeling that I truly have nothing left to hide.

Thankfully, the more exposed I see that I am by the Cross, the more I find myself opening up to others about ongoing issues of sin in my life. (Why would anyone be shocked to hear of my struggles with past and present sin when the Cross already told them I am a desperately sinful person?) And the more open I am in confessing my sins to fellow-Christians, the more I enjoy the healing of the Lord in response to their grace -filled counsel and prayers.  Experiencing richer levels of Christ’s love in companionship with such saints, I give thanks for the gospel’s role in forcing my hand toward self-disclosure and the freedom that follows.

Scriptures used for the above conclusions, (our action plan, to read and know the scripture, to practice and believe and apply them to our thinking).

 Golgotha was the place where Jesus was crucified. John 19.” … and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. (18) There they crucified Him . . . . ” James 5:16. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. . . . .” Ephesians 3. “( 14) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, . . . (17) . . . that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) may be able to comprehend Ephesians 1:4. “. . . He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,” (NKJV)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Praise report from Olivia, her health has been really good now for over a year, she’s gone from bedridden most days for weeks at a time to healthy productive, happy and married. God bless

 

RESOLVE

January 11, 2018

RESOLVE

R=reach the lost

E=edify the saints

S=study the word

O=obey His commandments

L=live for eternity

V=visualize the future

E=expect great things

You may have seen this acrostic before, but this is the first time for me (I think).

There is a basic and yet often overlooked principle: a leader cannot deal with problems that he is not aware of. Sometimes he cannot deal with problems even when he is aware of them, of course. But without exception, it is impossible to deal with problems when you do not know about them.

To resolve conflicts or problems biblically, go directly to the person responsible and talk about the problem. If someone comes to you with a complaint, ask if he has talked to one of the pastors or elders. If not, direct him to do so before he talks to anyone else. Many misunderstandings can be resolved at this level without causing larger problems in the church.

It’s easy to get angry but then to cool off and do nothing. After all, it is difficult and uncomfortable to confront those who are causing a problem. It is especially difficult to confront those who happen to be rich and powerful.

I had a young pastor travel all the way across the U.S. to ask me how to solve a problem. He was pastoring a very rich congregation, every one was at least a millionaire. Everytime there was a problem they tried money first. When he complained they bought him a Cadillac. They wanted to have coffee during the service, they bought fine china and some waiters to serve. Then they bought him a bigger house. My advice to him was to resign. He had already quit leading.

It doesn’t matter what job you’re in, but if you are the leader you’re going to get shot, wounded and hurt, attacked and smeared. How you respond is the mark of what kind of leader you are going to be.

Many Christian leaders fall into the trap of thinking that their position gives them certain rights and power. We should follow the example of the Lord Jesus, who laid aside His rights to take on the form of a servant and be obedient even to death on a cross. Pastors can never (or should never) be dictators. But church is also not a democracy. A two headed goat is never going to go anywhere.

Leaders need to hold people accountable to their promises before God and others. If there has been marital unfaithfulness or financial misdeeds, the guilty party needs to reestablish trust. The only way to do that is through very close accountability.

Thus to resolve conflicts biblically, people must air complaints to the proper authorities. Leaders must deal with those complaints in a biblical manner.

Sadly, when leaders confront people with wrongdoing, all too often the people either react with anger and defensiveness, or they just move on to another church or drop out of church altogether without dealing with their sin.

 From 40 years as a pastor, I can say that to see people respond readily to correction is rare! But it shouldn’t be. Hebrews 13:17 gives an exhortation that sounds strange in our day when people have no concept of being under spiritual authority: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”

What a foreign concept that is today.

Someone has said that in a church quarrel, Satan remains neutral and supplies ammunition to both sides. That may not always be true, but he does like to divide God’s people by getting them to wrong one another and then not to deal biblically with problems. We must be committed to resolve conflicts God’s way. Then His work will go forward.

Pray for those in authority over you, (first admit there are people in authority over you.) and accountability breeds responsibility.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

HANG IN THERE

December 28, 2017

Hang in there

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations” (1 Peter 1:6).

We have our troubles. My dear friend, this world is not our home. We’re just passing through. We’ve got a home laid up somewhere beyond the blue. And, down here we have troubles and trials. You say, “Well, if I weren’t saved, maybe I wouldn’t have these trials.” Ok, listen up you’d have them anyway. “Man that is born of a woman… is full of trouble” (Job 14:1). But, listen what he says here, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Now, what does that mean? It means that living for Jesus is not all honey and no bees. It means that there’s going to be heartaches and tears. But, it means though our trials are many and though they are heavy, they are all under God’s control. And, notice he says, “But for a season.” Now, the idea here in verse 7, is of a goldsmith, who puts gold in a furnace. And, the idea is that he’s purifying the gold. And, they say that the goldsmith can know the gold is pure when he can see his face in it.

And, if you’re going through heaviness and heartache here don’t let that discourage you. The Lord is just simply working on you. For your good and his glory. Job said, in Job 23:10, “… when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). And, the trials are for his purpose and in his time and when he’s finished you’re coming through.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Lisa and Ty, been married 13 months and she walks out and says she wants a divorce. Ty is a wonderful guy, great husband. This is where a good guy marries a bad girl and thinks it will all work. She’s already out of town and waiting to party hard this New Year.

Pray for Lyle, great guy, has throat cancer,

 

The Crown

December 27, 2017

  “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect (mature), establish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Pet. 5:10).

  At first, the old nature hides from us. Then, we try to hide from it. But when we begin to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, we are able to face up to the awful facts concerning the old man and his condemnation at the Cross. As the Holy Spirit reveals the old man (Col. 3:9), we count upon death; as He reveals the new man (Col. 3:10), we count upon life (Rom. 6:11).

The believer, at the opening of his new course of life, never knows his own heart; indeed, he could not bear the full knowledge of it; he would be overwhelmed thereby. He graciously leads us by a circuitous route, like Moses in the wilderness, we are on a journey of self discovery. And because of His grace we are led slowly into the understanding of how great our sin and fallen nature as corrupted, in order that our apprehension of His grace may keep pace with our growing self-knowledge.

It was not for nothing that God let Satan loose upon His dear servant, Job. God loved Job with a perfect love; a love that could take account of everything, and, looking below the surface, could see the deep moral roots in the heart of His servant—roots which Job had never seen, and, therefore, never judged. What a mercy to have to do with such a God!

To be in the hands of One who will spare no pains in order to subdue everything in us which is contrary to Himself, and to bring out in us His own blessed image!

  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (1 Pet. 5:6, 7).

We to shall wear a crown of sorrows before we wear a crown of joy. Like Job we will all be tested, bear up under it because it is the mark of kinship with Christ.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Thank you with all my heart those that comment,, hit the like button and pray. Thank you for all the bibles donated for our bible quizzes.

We have so many people emailing to be put on our prayer list, sometimes I can’t list them all. We had one guy that drove over 900 miles to hand us his prayer request, so he could be prayed over before surgery. I wept so deeply that this guy was so disconnected from any sort of community. God not only healed him but blessed him with a new heart and he is getting “plugged in” here in our little town. He’s now the unofficial greeter at Denny’s, handing out tracts and bibles and asking people if they need prayer.

God bless you all so much.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 25, 2017

bad santa

WELL THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME IN 6 YEARS THAT I’M NOT POSTING MY ANNUAL GRUMPY CHRISTMAS LETTER.

The truth is, this is probably the best Christmas ever for me mentally and health wise. For 7 months I have had the opportunity to do nothing but spend every day in bible study, prayer worship and devotion.

Second for the first time in 5 years I almost have my IBS and Barrett’s disease under control (almost). It has been debilitating and a huge drain on me mentally and spiritually. But the last 4 weeks have been great.

Spiritually it has been amazing in spite of all the other problems. I really praise God for the trial and tribulation and without going into detail the comfort and peace of God have been a blessing.

I’m actually enjoying Christmas, which if you’ve ever read my past “I hate Christmas” rants you’d know it was a miracle.

I have one prayer for all of you, a closer walk to the Lord and growing in knowledge, wisdom, and peace.

To the all the encouragers, God bless you greatly.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

HUSBAND’S

December 13, 2017

Instead of using his leadership to control or dominate his wife, God calls the husband to use his leadership to love his wife. God planned this from the beginning. The husband would lead through loving his wife. What should this love look like? Paul teaches that the husband’s love should mirror Christ’s love for the church. In Ephesians 5:25-28, he says:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

What can we learn about a husband’s love from Christ’s example?1

  1. The husband’s love must be realistic.

The husband should have no fantasies about the woman he is marrying (v. 25). Christ loved the church, but he knew she was sinful and disobedient. Christ gave his life for the church while knowing her faults. His love was realistic.

In marriage, both mates must grasp this reality. In fact, much of pre-marital counseling is destroying the false expectations set up through romantic comedies and Hollywood. The husband must love realistically. This woman does not walk on water; she has been infected by sin just as he has. She must be reformed daily by God’s grace, and she must be loved through her faults. Scripture says, “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Having a realistic love is important for both mates because if they don’t have it, they will become disillusioned. No doubt, one of the reasons for such a high number of divorces in the first year of marriage is because most love is not realistic.

  1. The husband’s love must be sacrificial.

He is to love her as Christ loved the church and be willing to die for her (v. 25). It should be understood that if anybody feels like the wife’s role is unfair, they should give more thought to the man’s. It is much easier to submit to someone than to give one’s life for that person. This love that the husband is supposed to embody is impossible apart from the grace of God. To love sacrificially means the husband must often give up other things in order to serve and please his wife. He must sacrifice for her. He must sacrifice time, friendships, career, entertainment, hobbies, etc., in order to love his wife like Christ.

  1. The husband’s love must be purposeful.

The purpose of Christ’s love is to make the church holy, cleansing her by washing with the Word (v. 26-27). Christ’s purpose is to make the church a perfect bride. Similarly, the husband must love his wife through teaching her Scripture, getting her involved in a Bible preaching church, and encouraging her to get involved with the ministries of the church.

He must seek to cultivate not only her character but also her calling, so she can fulfill God’s plans for her life. He must help her discern her gifts and talents and encourage her in the use of them for the glory of God. This purposeful love also means at times admonishing her to help her know Christ more. Every man should consider if he is ready and willing to love a woman in this way even before getting married. Is he ready to be a spiritual leader? Is he ready to be devoted to the spiritual development of his wife?

  1. The husband’s love must be personal.

He must love her as his own body (v. 28). Every day the husband brushes his teeth, combs his hair, and clothes himself. Every day he maintains his body. Sadly, husbands often go weeks without ministering to their wives. It is very easy to get so busy with life, work, and ministry that one inadvertently allows weeds to grow in his marriage. Love must be personal. He must love her like his own body. He must daily take time to cultivate a happy home.

When the world hears the phrase “male leadership,” it often has negative connotations, but it should not if properly understood. Consider what Christ taught his disciples about leadership in Luke 22:25-27.

Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.’

First Corinthians 11:3 says: “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

In this verse, we see the divine prerogative: Christ submits to God, the man submits to Christ, and the woman submits to man. If the husband is going to lead his wife according to God’s design, he must first submit to Christ. It is for this reason that a wife must submit to her husband, for when she is following her husband, she is really submitting to Christ’s delegated authority.

This brings a grave responsibility to each husband to know Christ’s leading. He must truly be somebody who abides in God’s Word and prayer so that he can discern God’s voice. The man considering marriage should ask himself, “Am I pursuing the Lord in such a way that I can know his voice in order to lovingly lead a wife and a family?” It has commonly been said, “Only those who are near, hear.” The husband must be near Christ, his head, to hear his voice. Only the husband who is near Christ will be able to model Christ and lead properly.

This is also important for single women to hear and consider because not every man is spiritually fit for leadership. They should ask themselves about a potential husband, “Does this man love Christ? Is this man following Christ? Is he spiritually fit to lead?” One can be sure that if a single man is not faithful in following Christ, he will not be faithful when married. Scripture says that he who is unfaithful with little, will be unfaithful with much (Luke 16:10, paraphrase). Husbands must continually be submitting to the leadership of Christ in order to properly lead their homes.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

HIJACKED

December 4, 2017

HI-JACKED

Susan Smith drowned her two toddlers by strapping them in their car seats and aiming her driver-less car into a lake. Political cartoonist John Deering drew a cartoon showing her car being hauled out of the lake, complete with a South Carolina license plate, a Baby-on-Board sign in the back window, and a Pro-Choice sticker on the rear bumper. There was no caption; there didn’t need to be. His point was clear: If it is wrong for a mother to choose to kill her toddlers, why is it not wrong to kill them a few months before?

A Planned Parenthood newsletter earlier this year ran an article titled, “Help Stop the Violence and Defend the Right to Choose.” The violence referred to was not killing babies, but killing abortion doctors. I’m against killing abortion doctors, but I’m also against Planned Parenthood which kills babies! Pro-choice means the choice to kill children who just aren’t as old as other children. The right to choose to kill your children should not be legal because it is not moral. Let’s drop the rhetoric.

The latest Planned Parenthood brochure says they are a good choice when it’s not convenient for you. Don’t wreck your plans your life call us when it’s inconvenient.

I want to recommend that you listen to Pastor Steven Davies, at Wisdom for the Heart ministries. And today’s sermon. 12/03/2017

He reads a speech by the president of Planned Parenthood, declaring that the services they provide are holy, sacred, and divine. That they are providing a sacred gift.

Ok, right now your blood pressure should have shot up, your fists curled and maybe a little cussing. Really, we can’t talk about our faith at work if you are a Christian, but an abortion clinic is holy, sacred and divine.

Dr. Walter Martin, the excellent author of the book “kingdom of the Cults.” Writes a great thesis in the beginning of his book, “we must agree what words mean.”

It started with Bill Clinton defining what sex meant, and now the language of God, of the Judeo-Christian world is being hijacked by abortionists. Do you want to know why? It because they are defying God, they are reprobates, their minds are darkened and they blaspheme God. It’s not politics it’s about the tower of Babel. What men think in their mind and imagination they will carry out against the wishes of their Creator.

Friends we need to pray for our country like never before and stop these ungodly people and their agenda.

if you have had an abortion, God loves you and forgives you.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the truth about forgivness

November 28, 2017

I am amazed at all the “teachers” out there that say they are “biblical” or I’m a Christian whatever. Unfortunately so many people don’t know what the bible really teaches, so they don’t know they are being duped with distorted truths and just plain nonsense. These new fads come up with “secrets revealed” and yet they either got their so called training off a cereal box or don’t have any discernment at all. And in a bid to be famous or trendy the come up with sayings that really don’t mean anything. But hey put a pretty face on it and a package with great graphics and you have a best selling falsehood.

Which brings us to forgiveness, biblical forgiveness, not some new age, touchy feely nonsense.

Joseph had a solid reason for wanting revenge against his brothers: They planned to kill him but instead sold him into slavery and told his parents he had died. And then, to his surprise, their paths crossed again. Now he was in a position of power and authority; he could have had his brothers executed or sold as slaves. Instead, he forgave them (see Ge 45:4–7).

 Joseph understood that God had used the crime to save the lives of others (v. 5). But knowing God used the situation for good probably didn’t remove all of Joseph’s hurt and pain. Forgiveness is necessary, but it isn’t always easy. Knowing what is and is not required of us can help us through the process of forgiving those who have wronged us.

 Forgiveness requires that:

  ➤ You understand what it is—Forgiveness is a decision and a promise to release a person by canceling the real debt the person has with you. It’s returning to God the right to take care of justice.

 ➤ You focus on how God has forgiven you—The starting point of our willingness and ability to forgive is God’s forgiveness of our sins. Reflect on the many ways you have sinned against your Creator and then think about the price he paid so that you could be forgiven and restored. Focusing on your gratitude for what God has done in forgiving your sins often makes it easier to forgive the hurts caused by others.

 ➤ You accept that it is not optional—Gratitude to God will often motivate us to forgive others. But when the hurt and pain is too deep and forgiveness seems impossible, we might need to remind ourselves that forgiving others is not optional—it’s a prerequisite for our own forgiveness. As Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Mt 6:14–15).

 ➤ You separate your feelings from forgiveness—If you rely on your feelings to let you know when it is “time” to forgive, you might never do it. The time to forgive is always now, not when our feelings catch up or the hurt has passed.

 ➤ You realize psychological relief is not the reason—Often when we forgive someone who has wronged us we will eventually feel a sense of relief or peace. While this is a welcome benefit of forgiveness, it is not the reason we forgive.

 ➤ You know the initiative is on the forgiver—May we wait until someone seeks our forgiveness before we forgive them? No, we may not. Jesus expects us to forgive those who sin against us even before they request it or take responsibility for what they have done (see Mk 11:25).

 ➤ You realize it is an ongoing process—We tend to want a “once and for all” forgiveness event, but Jesus reminds us that with some people or situations, we will need to forgive over and over and over again (see Mt 18:21–22).

  Forgiveness does not require that:

  ➤ You forget—We can forgive without forgetting the situation that caused the debt. For instance, if someone has physically abused you in the past, you can forgive them without putting yourself into a situation where they can continue to harm you. Forgiveness might lead us to seek reconciliation, but we are not required to put ourselves in danger. While God commands us to forgive others, he never told us to keep trusting those who violated our trust or even to like being around those who hurt us.

 ➤ You necessarily have a face-to-face meeting or restoration of relationship with the offender—(you do not)

  Though we are called to forgive those who sin against us, and we must be ready and willing to do so (attitudinal forgiveness), pursuing relational reconciliation is complex and not automatic. As a general rule, if the offender has not repented, has not acknowledged the sin, and does not ask for forgiveness (transactional forgiveness), reconciliation is not warranted. The decision to reconcile is also impacted by the duration and severity of the sin involved.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

HE LISTENS

November 15, 2017

I have not heard this song before, mainly because I only listen to old classic Christian hymns, but the lyrics will get our devotion off to a good start.

“Can Anybody Hear Me”

I’m staring at these empty walls

Wondering when You’ll visit me again

When will You come?

If there is anything at all

Coming in between our love

Please show me, ’cause I am barely hanging on

Can anybody hear me?

The silence is deafening

Why do You feel so far away?

When I know You’re here with me

But I just need the faith to see

Nothing can separate me from Your love

From Your love

Believing what I can’t see

Has never come naturally to me

And I’ve got questions

But I am certain of a love

Strong enough to hold me when I’m doubting

You’ll never let go of my hand

Can anybody hear me?

The silence is deafening

Why do You feel so far away?

When I know You’re here with me

But I just need the faith to see

Nothing can separate me from Your love

From Your love

I will trust in You

Even in the moments I can’t find you

And I will hold onto your promises of love

You’ve never failed before

I know You can hear me

When the silence is deafening

Even though You seem far away

And I know You’re here with me

But I just need the faith to see

Nothing can separate me from Your love

Can anybody hear me?

The silence is deafening

Why do You feel so far away?

When I know You’re here with me

But I just need the faith to see

Nothing can separate me from Your love

From Your love

(by Meredith Andrews 2010)

God listens to his people all the time. “He hears their cry for help,” David tells us (Ps. 34:15b), he hears their petitions, and he understands their needs before they ask. References to the ears of God and the ears of people—those who believe and those who do not believe—recur throughout the Bible, telling us about God’s power and love on the one hand and his judgment on the other. Believers are “the sheep of his pasture” (Ps. 100:3), and they listen to the good shepherd’s voice, for “he calls his own sheep by name” (Jn. 10:3). The image of God’s ear indicates his attention to everything, good and evil alike.

“My Cry For Help Came Before Him (lit., His Face), Into His Ears” (Ps. 18:6).

Paul reminds us, “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17), emphasizing the hearing of the word in salvation. Again, Paul emphasizes the need for the preaching of the word if people are to hear and respond in faith to the gospel (Rom. 10:14). David underscores the significant difference between the general revelation of God in nature and his special revelation in the Scriptures (Ps. 19) and dedicates himself to use words that would please the Lord. He concludes his psalm with the prayer, “May my words and my thoughts be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my sheltering rock and my redeemer” (Ps. 19:14).

God takes the initiative in approaching man and speaking to him. God is of course the one who created the ear. He has a right to ask us to hear him when he speaks. The psalmist writes, “Does the one who makes the human ear not hear? Does the one who forms the human eye not see?” (Ps. 94:9). God made the ear of man to hear his word, and it is as if God has an ear to hear man’s prayers to him in turn. From the beginning God calls man to hear him. It is God’s call that inaugurates salvation history, for he takes the initiative in calling Adam (Gen. 3:8),

God speaks; man listens.

Hopefully we listen.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com