Summary: Part I of two on how God speaks to us today
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? PART I: How God Talks To Us Today
SHOW CLIP OF "GOD CALL-ING"
You’ve seen the commercial, "Can you hear me now? Good!" 34 year old Paul Marcarelli of New York City got the nod to represent 50 people who drive 100,000 miles a year to test the reliability of the cellular network. Yes, those are his own glasses, too!
But now the phrase, "Can you hear me now?" has become part of our vocabulary.
And its certainly a phrase that God could ask of us. Do you hear God talking? This is a question that is so often abused and mis-used "God told me¡K" I am al-ways so leery and reluctant to say, "God told me¡K" I don’t want to put words into God’s mouth.
But this is an important ques-tion. How does God talk to us to-day, and what does He want us to do? We’re going to spend two separate weeks on it, in fact.
Our Key Verse for today: "Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say." -- Isaiah 28.23
I. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH CREATION
A. God reveals Himself in a gen-eral way through what He has made.
1. "For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his in-visible qualities¡Xhis eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God." -- Romans 1.19-20 (NLT)
2. "The heavens de-clare the glory of God; the skies pro-claim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or lan-guage where their voice is not heard." -- Psalm 19.1-3
B. Show photos of cosmos
1. And what do learned people say? "Wow! How cool that all this just happened like this!"
2. "Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever¡K" -- Romans 1.25 (NLT)
3. Grand Canyon: "Nice job, God"
II. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH EVENTS
A. The Bible says that there is a reason for everything un-der the sun
1. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -- Ro-mans 8.28
2. If He works all things for good, then there is purpose behind all things!
B. We don’t want to over-analyze every single thing that happens in our lives, but rather to be more sen-sitized to the work of God in our lives.
1. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." -- Proverbs 16.9
2. "That’s a God thing"
3. Is God trying to tell me something?
III. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH BLESSING
A. We are a blessed people.
1. The poorest among us are so much better off than in other parts of the world
2. What we consider ne-cessities are considered luxuries elsewhere
3. That leads to "taking it for granted"
B. Job’s experience
1. "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ¡§Na-ked I came from my mother¡¦s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.¡¨" -- Job 1.20-21
„« What we have is from God
2. "¡KShall we accept good from God, and not trouble?¡K"
-- Job 2.10
3. Deuteronomy 8 from out-line
C. When good things happen to us, when God blesses us, we need to train ourselves to go to God and say,
a. "Thank you"
b. "What do You want me to do with this?"
IV. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH TRIALS
A. Trials happen. They are a part of life, not an aberration in life.
1. 1 Peter 1.6-7 on outline
2. Hebrews 12.11 on outline
B. What is God saying to us when trials come into our lives?
1. "I love you right where I found you; but I love you too much to leave you there!"
2. SHOW BASEBALL BAT -- It takes a lot of planing, sanding, cutting, carving and shaping to make this (BAT) from a tree.
3. How much molding and shaping is it going to take to make you into Jesus Christ?
„« "For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son¡K" -- Romans 1.29 (NLT)
V. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH PAIN
A. CS Lewis called pain, "the megaphone of God"