Saturday, September 13, 2014

Open the Ears of Your Heart

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 Have you ever complained that you can’t hear the voice of God?

In a nutshell, God speaks to us from the inside. If you don’t hear from Him, is it because you never invited Him in? If you’re one of God’s own, you’ve heard His voice.

Jesus tells the Pharisees, and each one of us, The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (John 10:3-4 NIV)

The other day someone shared a quote with me about salvation through Christ. I don’t recall where the line originated, but it stuck with me. The idea that we’re all sinners, always falling short of the high standard of God on our own, ruffles some feathers. “I’m a pretty good guy, why would a loving God send me to a place of torment? I’ve never killed anyone, I don’t steal, I’ve never committed adultery. I’d say I’m an alright kinda guy….” This is one person comparing himself to the unrighteous people he perceives around him. God does not compare us to each other. We stand before His Son, Jesus, who was completely without sin, though tempted in every way we are.

With God’s grace freely available to all of us, we’re invited to put on His righteousness in exchange for our own filthy, sinfulness. The wages of sin have already been paid by our Redeemer. Once we recognize this truth, that’s one sure way of knowing we’ve heard His voice.

Oh, that quote? - “It’s not about being good or bad, but about being dead or alive!”

We can’t impart this truth to one another without the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…..” (John 6:44 NIV) In Acts 1:4-5 Jesus told His disciples, “…Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” He goes on in verse 8 to say, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses ….to the ends of the earth.” So, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, from the Father, poured out on believers after Jesus ascended into the heavens, we can share the good news of salvation through grace. Our words and actions can present the gospel, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit do we perceive Truth.

Remember when Jesus asked of Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter declared that Jesus is the Son of the Living God. And how did Jesus respond? Yes, He no doubt grinned from ear to ear when He said to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17 NIV)
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Flesh and blood cannot prove or reveal God’s Truth in any meaningful way without the Holy Spirit. God’s Truth is not a doctrine or a line from the “Good Book” – God’s Truth is a person, the person of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.

To be drawn to God is to hear His voice. Listen not with your ears, but with your heart. The ears of our heart hear music. “….Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” – Hebrews 4:7 (NIV)

What have you heard God speak to your heart?

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