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Hebrews 1:1-3. Hearing the Voice of God

by Julia Bruce

Do you ever feel that God is silent? That He has nothing to say to you? If you do, know this: God, throughout history, has always been in communication with His people. The writer of Hebrews tells us that God spoke in times past in various ways. With Adam and Eve, he came in the cool of the evening to walk and talk with them. To Abraham, he stopped by to visit along with a couple of angels and had a meal with him and told him that he would make him a father of many nations. We know God told Noah to build an ark and gave him all the instructions for doing so, but the Bible doesn’t say “how” God spoke to him. For Moses, God spoke from a burning bush. (Exodus 3)  Joseph and Jacob talked with God in dreams. Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-7) and Ezekiel had “visions.” God sent angels to Gideon and Daniel. Samuel heard God call his name when he was trying to get to sleep one night. (1 Samuel 3) Elijah heard a “still, small voice.” (1 Kings 19) To speak to the entire nation of His chosen people, could communicated through his prophets that he appointed – people like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and more. God used a donkey to speak to Balaam  (Numbers 22). He spoke to Jonah while he was sitting under a tree (Jonah 4:6).

Today, God still speaks to us, only it looks a little different. Psalms 119:105 tells that He speaks to us through His Word. Paul tells us that because nature itself tells us about God and His eternal power and divine nature, no one has an excuse, (Romans 1:20). God speaks to us in church through the music, sermons, and small group Bible study. He speaks to us deep in our inner most human spirit. And, as the writer of Hebrews tells us, he speaks to us through His Son, Jesus. While Jesus lived on earth, God spoke to us through Him and as we read the words spoken by Jesus in our Bible, He continues to speak to us through Jesus. After Jesus returned to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. He is our “communicator” from God.

God wants to reveal Himself to us so that we can know Him. Just as we get to know other people through conversations, we get to know our heavenly Father as He speaks to us and reveals something new about Himself as we worship and read His Word. The reason He wants to reveal himself to us is so we might know Him because He want us to fellowship with Him. He created us just for this purpose. If we are not seeking Him and developing our relationship with Him, then there is a void and we desperately seek to fill it – sometimes with all the wrong things  – but the only possible, satisfying why to fill the void, is to fill it with the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, each and every one of us has a problem – a sin problem. Sin will always stand in the way like a giant bully, blocking our way to God and hindering our fellowship with Him. Man’s fellowship with God was originally broken in the Garden of Eden and man has been breaking it every since. But God told Adam and Eve that He had a plan – a way to restore the broken fellowship. That plan was His own Son who would come to earth, born as a baby to a young virgin woman, grow up, teach His disciples the gospel message, die on a cross in our place as the payment for our sin – even though he knew no sin – was buried, and then rose again conquering death, hell, and the grave. This is why Jesus is the perfect voice of God.

Not only is Jesus our Redeemer and Savior, but the writer of Hebrews gives us seven attributes that details why He is superior to all that had come before and all that will come after Him.  1) He is the heir of creation for whom all thing have been made. 2) He is the Creator through whom all things have come into existence. 3) He is the radiance of the divine glory toward which all of creation looks for fulfillment. 4) He is the exact image of the person of God the Father. 5) He is the word of God, the only prophet of God who is also God Himself. 6) He is the priest of God who has provided the perfect sacrifice for all human sins. 7) He is the king who sits on the throne at the right hand of the Father. For all of these reasons, the writer of Hebrews acknowledges that Jesus is higher, superior, and above the angels.

Yet, still he longs to fellowship with us and communicate with us – as our Creator, Redeemer, Savior, and joint heir with Him. Any relationship must be nurtured for it to grow and our relationship with Christ and our heavenly Father is no different. If you struggle with hearing from God, you can learn how to be attentive to His voice as you grow in faith and spiritually mature by digging into God’s Word and praying – not just when something goes wrong in life – but every day. In John 10:27, Jesus said, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” You can know and recognize His voice. I can be in a crowded room of children, but when one of my children say, “Mom!” I can zero in on that one word and know my children are speaking to me. Why? Because I know them. I know their voice. I not only know and recognize their voice, but I can tell by the tone of their voice if something is wrong or if all is okay with them. Why can I pick their voice out of a noisy crowded room? How can I tell just by hearing their voice that something is wrong? Because I have been there every day of their lives. My son is now almost 24 years old and has his own place to live, but I still know his voice because even if I’m not with him every day, we talk on the phone. The point is, if you want to know the voice of God, you have to spend time with Him every day. If you are not willing to do so, you will not be able to recognize His voice in the chaotic world we live in. You won’t be able to tell if that voice you think you hear is His, Satan’s, or your own thoughts.

To be able to hear the voice of God, we have to first quieten our spirits. If you’ve ever tried to do that then you know it can be difficult. It’s like if I say to you, “I do not want you to think about the word ‘cookie’. All of a sudden cookies are all you can think about. When you try to quiet you spirit – all of a sudden everything you didn’t get done today comes rushing into your mind. Paul told us to “take every thought captive” and we can do it. Sometimes it takes several attempts – so don’t give up. As my piano teacher used to say, “Practice makes perfect.” And so does patience. Sometimes those distractions when you are trying to quiet your spirit are Satan trying to interrupt the voice of God from reaching you. So if you struggle with getting quiet, as the Holy Spirit to bind up Satan and empower you to get quiet so you can hear from God.

When you think you have heard from God, there are some “tests” you can hold against what you think you’ve heard to try to determine if it was indeed from God:

  • Just as Elijah found out in 1 Kings 19, God often speaks in a still, small voice, gently leading us towards His will and His plans for us. When it our self or Satan trying to deceive us, the message looks more like a loud, compulsive, clamoring demand.
  • Matthew 11:28-30 tells us the God’s voice produces freedom. Self and Satan’s voice will often produce bondage.
  • Jeremiah 29:12-13 tells us that God is able to be found (heard) when we are consciously, whole-heartedly seeking Him. Self or Satan will speak with sudden intrusions of thoughts into the mind.
  • Psalms 37:4 teach us that God is always in control, so if He speaks to us, then we should have a sense that everything is under control. If it seem like everything is out of control with the message you have received, then it is probably born within our self or it is from Satan.
  • Just as when God wanted Noah to build the ark, he provided Noah with all the instructions, blueprints, etc. God often gives clear and specific directions. Even when he spoke to Abraham and told him to leave his home but God didn’t give him the directions, he told Abraham that He would lead him. Satan and Self breeds confusion – not certainty
  • When God convicts, He will point out specific sins and extend an invitation for us to confess, repent, and find forgiveness. Self and Satan accuses us in such a way that we are left with guilt and no forgiveness.
  • When God speaks, it is always 100% truth that can be tested by the Word of God. Self and Satan often dish out lies that are laced with half-truths.
  • God’s voice gives us a sense of peace while self or Satan does not.
  • We can also test the Word we receive through the wisdom of many counselors who can help confirm that what we heard was from God or not.

No matter how much we desire to hear the voice of God, there is no shortcuts to learning to recognize when He speaks to us. If you want to hear from him, you must spend time with Him. The more time you spend with Him, the easier it will be for you to recognize His voice. God says in Jeremiah 29:12-13, “You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” — this is the Lord declaration. If you are having trouble with hearing form God, are you seeking and searching for Him with all your heart?

#verseoftheday #hearingGodsvoice #Hebrews #WCM

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This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :

  • How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
  • Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
  • Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
  • How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
  • How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
  • Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.

During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.

Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.

About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage

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T-shirt Fundraiser Event: We have a product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more. Here’s a peek at what’s new:

happy fall yall

hello fall

cutest pumpkin

 
Psalm 33:5

We’ve added a fall line to our Spreadshop Store! Order today because it will be gone soon as we gear up for the upcoming Holidays. Christmas items available soon.

Thanksgiving items will be available on November 1.

All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

Click here to view the Spreadshop Store 

#fundraiser #tshirt #WCM #teespring #spreadshop

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Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.

Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.

Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.

With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.

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To request more information or a booking, 
fill out the online form here.

Or call us at 904.524.8073

#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author

Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:

350034: The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass MarketThe Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market   By Lee Strobel / Zondervan  If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.  
The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo -

The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo

By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC

A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.

Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.

Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.

Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD

Features:

  • “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
  • Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
  • 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
  • Interviews with Lee & Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
  • Deleted Scenes
  • English and Spanish subtitles

Bonus CD included:

  • The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture
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Deuteronomy 11:16. Word of Warning

March 10 Deuteronomy 11 16

Israel seemed stuck in an endless cycle of having peace in the land while serving God, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord when they begin to worship false gods, God punishes Israel through another nation conquering them and enslaving them, Israel finally figures things out and they cry out to God, then God raises up a judge and Israel is delivered. We see this pattern over and over again. It’s no wonder then that our omnipotent God provided a warning to them. God knows just how deceitful the heart is. In Jeremiah 17:9, the prophet wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Solomon advised in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart,     for everything you do flows from it.” The heart is a big problem and Satan knows our weakest spots and that’s where he chooses to tempt us. For Israel, it worshipping false gods. Yet we all have “gods” of some kind that we struggle with. Anything that we make a higher priority than God, becomes a god. It could be money, food, power, position, hobbies, children, careers, possessions, or health. Even sleep could become a god when we choose to sleep in late on Sunday instead of going to church. All these things deceive us into thinking that our “god” will make us happy. But true joy is only found in a right relationship with God and worshipping only Him. Therefore Paul wrote in Romans 13:14, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” The clothes that we choose to wear often reflect our status, our values, and even our priorities. Paul uses a clothing as an imagery to portray the transformation that results from our relationship with Jesus Christ when we accept Him as Savior. From Colossians 3:12, we learn that we are to “put on” certain godly characteristics that are a reflection of Christ himself: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” “Putting on” these godly characteristics is identifies our status as those who are holy, chosen and loved by God. So make sure that you are daily putting these on to guard your heart and that idols do not creep in and tempt you to put them before God.

God, forgive us for when we’ve made things or people more important to us than You. Help us to guard our heart and to not be deceived by them. Help us to keep our focus on you and to daily put on the Lord Jesus Christ and the characteristics that reflect who you are.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) Also available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel. It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel

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Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is booking for 2019 and 2020 events. Book with us now. Click the link and fill out the online form or call us at 904.524.8073.

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Matthew 12:34

Jan 17 Matthew 12 34

It’s true that our words impact those around us – both positively and negatively. Sometimes our words don’t convey exactly what we’re intending to communicate. For example, here are a few announcements found in actual church bulletins:

  • This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Smith to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
  • The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and they may be seen in the church basement on Friday afternoon.
  • This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.

while the above bulletin bloopers are simply poor grammatical and words choices on the part of the writer, sometimes we say critical or unkind things as if they were a joke, but if we are honest with ourselves, usually we feel there is some amount of truth to what we are saying. We just try to cleverly attempt to wrap up harsh words in a pun or some other attempt at humor. Jesus taught that it is from the abundance of our heart that our mouth speaks. If it were not in our heart, it probably would not be coming out of our mouth. Our words shows our character – the character we should be showing is the glory of God in whom we are made in His image. Let’s make sure the words that are spoken come from a heart that is focus and in fellowship with our Savior.

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Cover_mHave you seen Julie’s new book: God, Love and Marshmallow Wars? This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.)

004Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 events. Book with us now.