...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

December 23, 2004 Wake Up Call

Yes, the packages are all delivered and the warm Cranberry Orange bread is in the hands of the neighbors. Look what came on the Veggie Pizza box we just finished up- it made me smile.

December 20, 2004 Obedience to God

This weeks' Bible Study Fellowship session was taken from Luke 1. Here is the text of the lesson.

I touched upon the following communication concepts as well:

One of the keys to a joyful life and good relationships is effective communication. And for effective communication to occur, there must be effective listening. This especially holds true for our relationship to God! There are four aspects to the process and comprise God's goals for us:

(1) COMMUNICATION: Listening to God- Jeremiah 42:6, 1 John

(2) COMPREHENSION: Understanding what God says 1 Cor 2:12

(3) CONFIDENCE: Trusting in what God says- Proverbs 3:5-6

(4) CHANGE: Being transformed by what God says.  Romans 12:1-2


Without this process of communication, there simply cannot be any real spiritual change in the life of a person.

Because of this, God is deeply concerned about how well we listen when we are listening. The ultimate outcome for the process is a change of CONDUCT in the believer. As with most practical apllication, learning the truth is not always a once for all deal.

Luke 8:18 and Luke 19:26 tell us that with the Kingdom, the one who has will be given more and the once who has not, what he has will be taken from Him. I believe this refers to life application of the truth, the light we are given and it is a wake up call for all who are exposed to the Word. (See the extra sheet on the word Believe).

We Need a Prepared Heart

Isaiah 66:2 “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”

Honestly, how often do you get your head in a place where you actually tremble at the Word of the Lord?

There needs to be a heart open to personal, soul searching examination for the purpose of seeing our motives, our sources of trust or the things we depend on for our security, i.e., the condition of our lives as they really are. This needs to be done prior to personal study or a worship service to prepare our hearts for hearing God and then it needs to be maintained as the Spirit of God brings conviction or as other things or thoughts might seek to intrude to distract or hinder listening while studying or praying, or during a worship service (Ps. 119:18; 139:23-24; 1 Cor. 11:28f).

The purpose for examination and self-revelation is honest to God, deep seated confession in a spirit of repentance. This confession  seeks to go to the root causes of sin in our lives, especially our stubborn determination to run our own lives and live by our own devices for peace, security, and significance (Jer. 2:13; 17:5; Ps. 66:18; Prov. 28:13-14; 1 Jn. 1:9; Ps. 51:5f; Jam. 4:6-10). Both James 1:19-25 and 1 Peter 2:1-2 teach us that before there can be a proper response to the Word that leads to true spiritual deliverance through an active faith, we must honestly deal with sin. Then we will be free to listen to God’s Word and depend on the Holy Spirit to give deliverance over sin.

We Need to Participate

It is no accident that upon hearing from Gabriel, she responded with a flow of scripture from her soul. She had fed herself and nurtured her soul on the Word of god and therefore her heart was ready to participate in the life he was binging to her.

In our generation we have become passive listeners. We have forgotten how to think and stay actively involved in the listening process. We have become mentally lazy. Active listening means concentrating, searching, probing, questioning, thinking, interacting, responding and applying. God doesn’t want pious, passive spectators. He wants actively involved listeners. We aren’t receivers who turn ourselves on, tune ourselves in, and relax.

What does this mean in terms of my listening to God? When I read and study the Word, I must put everything else aside and concentrate on what He is saying to me. I must give Him my undivided attention. I should do this on a regular basis, for that is the only way I can develop my listening skills. I should do this in a place where I have minimal distractions. I should read and meditate out loud and take notes and ask questions, for these are the kinds of things that make me an active participant.

I should observe carefully to whom God is speaking, what He is saying and why He says it. I should interpret accurately what God means. I should apply these truths personally and practically in my own life.


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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/