Summary: A message on how to find Jesus through your looking, listening, & worship by Pastor Coy Sample. (Additions by Nathan Parker).

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I. What does Jesus have to say?

God has been speaking to His people throughout the ages.

1. In the Garden of Eden

2. To Abraham through a visitor

Life Examples: Abraham: The Man of Endurance (Gen. 21:1-3)

Call Abraham not only a man of faith (Gal. 3:9), but a man of endurance.

The starting gun sounded when God promised Abraham a son in his old age, and Abraham "believed in the LORD" (Gen. 15:5-6). Buy a year came and went, and no child arrived.

Abraham kept running.

Two years flashed, and still no child.

Still Abraham kept running.

Despite a stumble at mid-race (see Gen. 16), Abraham kept running. For 25 years he kept running, until at last, at age 100, he and his wife, age 99, had a son (Gen. 21:1-3).

Why the long wait? Apparently, God wanted Abraham (and us!) to learn the connection between waiting, trust, and hope (Ps. 33:20). And that hope, the apostle Paul reminds us, prompts us to wait on God "with perseverence" (Rom 8:25).

-The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible

3. To Jacob in a dream

Life Examples: Jacob: Wrestling with God (Gen. 32:24-32)

The story of Jacob alternately comforts and confounds. For while we could look upon many of his decisions with contempt-and even wonder why God would so favor such a man-it equally reassures us to realize that the God who extended grace to Jacob also extends it to us.

In a famous episode described in Genesis 32, Jacob wrestles with a powerful stranger that he later concludes is God. Some scholars believe that Jacob wrestled with the pre-incarnate Christ; others consider the opponent an angel. Still others suggest that Jacob wrangled with God only in prayer. In any event, the nation Israel received its name from Jacob, whom God renamed "Israel", meaning, "he struggles with God.

Despite his many failings, weaknesses, and subsequent sorrows, Jacob was elected and loved of God (Mal. 1:2; Rom. 9:10-13). And through his strange wrestling match, he provides us with a model of the effort required for effective prayer (Col. 4:12).

-The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible

4. To Moses in a burning bush

Life Examples: Moses: God’s Pattern for Success (Ex. 3:1-4)

One of the greatest differences between the world’s message about success and God’s is this: The world seeks a single formula to produce one set of results for all people, while God’s plan is far more creative, far more individualized, and far more personal.

Moses did not have a vision for success early in his life, although as an adopted son of Pharaoh he enjoyed a certain degree of privilege. After murdering an Egyptian, however, he ran for his life and then spent forty years tending sheep. But one day the Lord revealed Himself to Moses and gave him a specific life mission.

Many of us go through difficult and even devastating experiences, and then one day come face-to-face with the reality of God. Is this the pattern that god seems to be implementing in your life? If so, stick with His plan, regardless of how unorthodox it may seem-The Promised Land lies in that direction!

-The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible

5. To Isaiah

Life Examples: Isaiah: A Life-Changing Encounter (Isaiah 6:1-7)

Isaiah’s whole life changed when he saw the majestic Lord seated on His heavenly throne. His awesome vision of God pierced him to cry out, "I am a man of unclean lips...For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5).

You will never deal effectively with your sin without first realizing who God is. When you study His Word and begin to grasp His holiness, a deep reverence for Him grows in your heart. You, like Isaiah, are humbled before Him and realize that you fall far short of His holiness. Yet before discouragement can creep in, you also realize that God loves you deeply.

Through Jesus’ death on the cross, God takes away your sins and shows you His amazing love. The crucifixion and resurrection are the beautiful visions God gives you of His awesome holiness and majesty.

-The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible

6. To Ezekiel

Life Examples: Ezekiel: Watching Dead Bones Come Alive (Ezek. 37:14)

In his day, hope had become a rare commodity. Ezekiel must have felt as desolate and useless as the piles of bones that he had seen in a startling vision.

As the prophet sat in the middle of a valley, he knew that only a miracle could bring together his decimated and scattered people. Yet as Ezekiel watched, a miracle of life took place. Where before only dry bones had littered the landscape, the Lord added muscles, tendons, and tissue. And into those restored, silent bodies, God breathed new life.

Maybe you feel dry, defeated, emotionally scattered. Perhaps you sit alone, dejected, watching a panorama of death unfold before you. But do not despair! If the God of Ezekiel is your God, then know that even the dry bones before you can live again. In His grace they can live and stand upon their feet-an exceedingly great army.

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