Summary: Does God Still speak today? Absolutely! Here are some way of developing the art of listening.
TITLE: Hearing Your Shepherd?s Voice 072103c
TEXT: John 10:25-27 Jesus said: I tell you for certain that only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. 2-3But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out. 4When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. 5The sheep will not follow strangers. They don’t recognize a stranger’s voice, and they run away. 6Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.
I. GOD WANTS TO SPEAK TO YOU
ILL. Two men were talking to each other. The first man said, "I think my wife is crazy. She talks to herself all the time." The other man said, "Oh, my wife talks to herself all the time, too. Only she doesn’t know it. She thinks I’m listening."
ILL. A particular dog trainer always consults with his clients before meeting their dogs. That way, he can find out about their pets? behavioral problems and suggest what equipment to bring for the next training session. One day a studious owner took some very copious notes. As she left, he called out, ?Don?t forget to bring the collar and leash next week.? At the next class everyone but this woman arrived with a dog. She stood holding a jeweled collar and matching leash. ?Where is your dog?? he asked her. ?You said to bring the collar and leash,? she replied, ?You didn?t say anything about a dog!?
ILL. My Dog?s name is Orion?we named him after the Mythical hunter. He is a miniature Daschund. Now I?ve tried to teach him how to hunt and point to no avail. I was watching a man work his hunting dog one time. It was nothing short of amazing. The man would get the dog?s attention and point. The Dog would gaze in that direction a split second and then begin running as fast as he could. If he found the indicated target the dog would engage his pointing stance. If He was unable to find the target, he would look back to his master. The master would point farther, back some, left, right and the dog would follow the commands to the tee.
A. Upon watching that dog work, I thought to myself, ?I wish I could
understand God?s direction of my life just like that. I wish I could know just exactly what He is trying to communicate to me without mistake, or disobedience.
1. I am continuing my once/month series: Who? Me? A Disciple?
With a topic that few Christians have mastered. Indeed, I know few if any who have really mastered this necessary art. It is the art of hearing God?s voice when He speaks to you.
2. You remember what a disciple is, do you not? A disciple is a
learner and a doer. A disciple is not a pew sitter, a casual admirer of Christ and His teachings. A disciple is one who is ready to follow Jesus at all costs. He or she is willing to stake their lives on what Jesus has said and done.
3. If you are going to a learner and a doer, a genuine follower, t hen
you are going to have to begin training your ear to recognize His voice.
4. Many think that Hearing God?s voice is for the super spiritual?the
upper echelons of Christianity?the Billy Graham?s and Oral Roberts?maybe a needy pastor every once in a while. But God doesn?t speak to me. I don?t think I have ever really heard His voice.
5. But in our text, Jesus plainly tells us, that if we are really His
sheep, we will know His voice and we will follow His instruction.
II. GOD HAS SPOKEN IN MANY WAYS
A. Through out history, God has spoken to individuals in many
1. In the Garden of Eden, God conversed with Adam and Eve in an
undefiled paradise in the cool of the day during regular evening walks. This was God?s purpose in creating man?the Bible says that God was lonely?He wanted a being in His image with whom He could converse.
a. This relationship was unencumbered by sin. The man and
women would not understand the precious gift they were forfeiting when they disobeyed God?this unfettered access.
b. And though sin entered the picture?God still desired to speak.
2. God spoke to Noah and gave him highly specific information on the
hows and whys to build an ark. The scripture does not tell us the medium of that speech, but it must have been irrefutable for the man Noah to take on such a grand endeavor.