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Summary: For those who are discouraged about God’s silence: HE IS listening...

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Illustration: Get an SMS or a phone call…

? Have you ever wondered what life would be like if God used technology to talk to you?

SMS messages, email (would God send FWD’s?)… How about if He used television commercials to get His message across? Check this one out. I think you’ll like it…

Roll :28, “Can You Hear Me Now?” spot.(Faith Highway)

? What’s the message? Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I can hear you…

God is saying, “I’M LISTENING… Even when you’re in the outhouse…”

? Have you ever wondered if God could hear you from the outhouse? He can…

I mean, the spiritual outhouse… The times when we find ourselves in a “less than perfect” spiritual condition… It’s when we feel especially far from the clean and perfect life that we ideally want to live before God that we begin to wonder if He’s still listening, but He is…

He still listens and He still blesses… Even though our righteousness is like filthy rags to Him…

Isa 64:6, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;” And yet, He still answers prayer… Amen?

When I was a kid, I had a dire need for a pair of cowboy boots… Mom knew how bad I wanted those boots, but I had a problem that was keeping from the promise: I was a thumb-sucker…

Illustration: the story of the boots I received for no sucking my thumb for a month…

For thirty days, I fought the temptation and for part of that time, I secretly sucked my thumb.

At the end of the month, mom rewarded me with a beautiful new pair of cowboy boots, which I wore till I couldn’t fit my feet into them any more… And as soon as I got them on my feet, I went right back to sucking my thumbs again… Pathetic, isn’t it?

So many of us do it: we act on our best behavior, assuming God will answer our prayers because we’re being “good” and as soon as we get what we want, it’s right back to the old habbits…

Let’s face it: I didn’t deserve the boots.

Most of the gifts I’ve received in life, I didn’t deserve. Countless times, I’ve failed God in one way or another, only to return and find that He’s blessed me again. And it’s humbling… I ask Him, “Why, Lord… Why do you bless me so much? I’m a failure.” I praise Him for His mercy and grace. I’m grateful but not deserving.

You know, there was a time when I used to believe my prayers were only answered because someone more righteous than I was praying for me. But you know, it never really had anything to do with my ability to be perfect. It was more about God’s ability to be gracious and merciful.

You and I have what we’ve received from God by the grace of God.

Illustration: The Prodigal Son:

The prodigal son took his inheritance early and left his father’s house, only to spend the money on all the frivolous things the world calls “the good life…” He blew it all and came back to his dad begging for a position on staff with his servants… But instead of a harsh rebuke, dad welcomes him with open arms. He kills the fattened calf and throws a huge and costly celebration. Why? Because love ruled the day… The son didn’t deserve it. He was the recipient of Mercy and Grace, just like you and I…

The son had gone out to live the good life…

What is The Good Life:

The world calls it a wealthy, luxurious style of living. For example, Aunt Agatha left them a fortune, so now they’re enjoying the good life. [Mid-1900s]

You know, I never really experienced the good life until I got serious about my relationship with Jesus Christ… Till the power of God got hold of my heart.

Now I can’t imagine how anyone can live the good life without Him. Money, cars, pleasures, the things the world calls the good life just don’t do it for me… The good life is all about Jesus Christ.

? What is the good life?

It’s the hope of a future, the hope of salvation. The knowledge that to be away from this body of constraints, defects and limitations means to be together with Christ in Heaven.

The good life is faith: praying, experiencing God, seeing answers to long lived prayers coming to pass, watching the hand of God move in my life… Your life… Our church… That’s the good life.

Some of us here today have been praying for an answer to prayer for days… months… years…

Some have prayer partners praying for you, wearing holes in the knees of their pants in prayer, and standing in the gap for you. You’re wondering why your answer hasn’t come.

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