God Speaks…

How God Speaks to Us, by David Hocking

God speaks to us today through the Bible. Do you believe that?

Can I tell you that God spoke to me this morning? Yes I can. How did He do that? Was it an audible voice? No. Well how did He do that? Through His word, He spoke to my heart this morning. In fact, I’ve noticed He does every day! Sometimes I am more belligerent one day than another, and I don’t see clearly all that God wants me to see, but God does speak every day to me through His word IF I open it!

The essential nature of the Christian life in terms of growth and our salvation is that you have to depend upon the Bible-God’s final, complete, written revelation-to know what He wants you to do. Again, if you want to hear God speak, open His Word, the Bible. That is the way He’s going to speak. And He holds you accountable for it now. All the way through that Bible He holds you accountable for it. You are supposed to listen to what He says in this book.

Psalm 119, all 176 verses, is a testimony as to how God speaks to us through the word. There are 22 sections of 8 verses each, totaling 176 verses. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and every section of eight verses begins with a word whose first letter is that letter of the alphabet in sequential order. For instance, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is aleph. There are 8 verses that begin Psalm 119, verses 1 to 8. Every verse in the Hebrew begins with a word whose first letter is aleph. When you come to the second section, verses 9 to 16, it’s beth. And every verse begins with a word whose first letter is beth. And it goes that way straight through the Hebrew alphabet. Many people who have studied that passage in Hebrew say that if there ever was a reason to believe that the Bible is the word of God, it is because of Psalm 119. Human ingenuity just could not have done that. It is incredible, and God’s ability is beyond fantastic!

Hebrews 9:14…

“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9‬:‭14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I do not work my soul to save—

That work my Lord has done.

But I will work like any slave

For love of God’s dear Son.

—Author unknown.

Hebrews 3: 5-6…

“And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭3‬:‭5‬-‭6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

When the storm is raging high,

When the tempest rends the sky,

When my eyes with tears are dim,

Then, my soul, consider Him.

When my plans are in the dust,

When my dearest hopes are crushed,

When is passed each foolish whim,

Then, my soul, consider Him.

When with dearest friends I part,

When deep sorrow fills my heart,

When pain rocks each weary limb,

Then, my soul, consider Him.

When I track my weary way,

When fresh trials come each day,

When my faith and hope are dim,

Then, my soul, consider Him.

Clouds or sunshine, dark or bright,

Evening shades or morning light,

When my cup flows over the brim,

Then, my soul, consider Him.

“Consider Him”- Author unknown.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…Consider Jesus…

Hebrews 1:1…

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“There is something wrong with you if you can’t walk out and look up at the mountains, or go down to the seashore and look at the sea, or look up into the heavens and recognize that there is a Creator. My friend, if the created universe is not saying something to you about a Creator, there is something radically wrong with your thinking.”

J.Vernon McGee.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭19‬:‭1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭14‬:‭1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Be careful…

“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”
‭‭Titus‬ ‭3‬:‭8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

A believer is saved by the grace of God, but don’t sit down and pat yourself on the back, do some kind of good work. “Be careful to maintain good works.”

Here is your trip planner, get saved, do good works.

Ponder, meditate, ruminate on this verse- Be anxious to do good works for God…

Grow in Grace…

“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
‭‭II Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

We mutter and sputter;

We fume and we spurt;

We mumble and grumble;

Our feelings get hurt.

We can’t understand things;

Our vision grows dim,

When all that we need

Is a moment with Him.

—Mary Helen Anderson.

James 3:4…The Tongue…

“Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.”
‭‭James‬ ‭3‬:‭4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

A careless word may kindle strife;

A cruel word may wreck a life.

A bitter word may hate instill;

A brutal word may smite and kill.

A gracious word may smooth the way;

A joyous word may light the day.

A timely word may lessen stress;

A loving word may heal and bless.

—Author unknown.

Hebrews 11:3

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Life is to be mastered by faith, and not by doubt; it is to be forevermore illuminated by hope, and not darkened by despair; and in its activity love is to be practiced in fellowship.” Dr. G. Campbell Morgan.

Pastor Tom

If you have ever attended a worship service you probably have an opinion about the music.  You may prefer “contemporary” styles over the more “traditional” ones, or vice versa.  Certain instruments, like drums or pipe organs, have their proponents and critics.  Paradoxically, younger people, with good hearing, favor loud music more than older people who don’t hear as well.  And certainly, music has changed over the years.  What our children consider “regular” church music was not what we had as kids, and our grandparents would tell us things were very different in their day.

A divide exists between the Old Testament and the New Testament regarding music.  The Old Testament describes the use of harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets to accompany worship songs (1 Chronicles 13:8; 16:42, Psalm 150).  This practice continued after the return from Babylonian exile (Ezra 3:10; Nehemiah 12:35).  Apparently, dancing was also acceptable (Psalm 149:3; 150:4).  

The New Testament has only a few references to musical instruments and dancing (Luke 7:32; 15:25; Revelation 8:2), but not in the context of worship.  Singing, on the other hand, was encouraged whenever God was praised, not just in formal worship (Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; Hebrews 2:12).

The early church did not worship with musical instruments simply because services were held in homes.  Subsequently, as church buildings began to replace homes as the site of worship, considerable debate arose about the role of musical instruments.  Thomas Aquinas (circa 1260 AD) objected to the use of instruments because it was a backward movement into Jewish worship, and he also felt instruments moved the soul more towards pleasure than to an inner moral goodness1.   Erasmus (circa 1520) complained instruments made it impossible for the congregation to hear what was sung.  John Calvin (circa 1562) often blamed the Pope for using musical instruments to mimic Jewish services; Calvin also believed such use profaned worship because people were more attracted to the music than to the understanding of God’s word.

Several Christian denominations initially banned all musical instruments from their churches.  The Churches of Christ interpreted Colossians 2:21-23 as placing musical instruments in the category of man-made devices to be avoided, along with hand-clapping.  Amish and Mennonite churches were initially devoid of instruments, preferring to sing a cappella; some groups felt playing instruments was so sinful that the ban extended in members’ homes.  Today, some of these churches have relaxed their ban on instruments.

I have been in many different churches.  At one end of the spectrum is a small church of 15 elderly people trying to sing Amazing Grace while the pianist played When the Roll is Called Up Yonder.  Though I wished they had been Mennonites, I found myself intently focusing on the words of Amazing Grace, not the piano notes.  At the other end of the spectrum is a high decibel band overriding the singing of a young congregation.  I managed to pray until the song ended, using biblical words on the screen.  If I had shut myself completely out of either worship experience, I might have come away with an empty feeling.  Instead, I made a genuine effort to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  I received a blessing afterwards when I met church members who were committed Christians.  The blessing was not in the encounters; rather it was in the realization of being brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of the type of worship music.

You probably have an ear for music.  Take my advice, do not allow the ear to become dominant over the heart for worship.


1  https://www.saralandchristians.com/sermons/2021/8/2  and https://reformedbooksonline.com

2 https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2023/mayjune

If only, Christian’s would listen with their hearts and not their ears.

A Pig is a Pig…

Luke 15: 11-32

“Come home with me,” said the prodigal son.

“We’ll sing and dance and have lots of fun.

“We’ll wine and dine with women and song.

You’ll forget you’re a pig before very long.”

So the pig slipped out while the momma was asleep,

Shook off the mud from the mire so deep.

Around his neck was a bow so big,

He’s gonna show the world, a pig’s not a pig!

With his snout in the air he trotted along,

With the prodigal son who was singing’ a song.

It must be great to be a rich man’s son,

He would surely find out ‘fore the day was done.

It didn’t take him long to realize his mistake-

He’d been rubbed and scrubbed till his muscles ached!

He squealed when they put a gold ring in his nose

And winched with pain when they trimmed his toes.

He sat at the table on a stool so high,

A bib around his neck and a fork to try,

While the prodigal son, in his lovely robe,

Kept feeding his face, so glad to be home!

When the meat came around, the pig gave a moan-

It looked too much like a kind of his own.

He jumped from his chair with a grunt and a groan,

Darted through the door and headed for home.

His four little feet made the dust ride high

For he didn’t stop till he reached that sty!

It’s what’s on the inside that counts, my friend,

For a pig is a pig to the very end!

— Evelyn C. Sanders

Don’t be a prodigal pig. We are sons and daughters of the King, Jesus Christ. Just believe! John 3:16…