There is only one way… one path…

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6 NLT]

As we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and begin to follow Him it is very important for us to recognize that He is not one of many equal choices. He is “the way”. The only way.

Culture today and even for thousands of years (as documented in Bible) seems prevalent with the idea that there are many gods and many different ways to serve Him. Many today are so afraid of offending someone that they hesitate to take this definitive position and instead want to leave open the possibility that other “good people” that do “good things” or “help people” still serve God, but through a different name.

Quite simply, this is not valid. Jesus was very clear. If we accept Him as Lord then we must reject all the other false paths and false beliefs as equivalent ways to honor God. Careful study of the remaining body of scripture also demonstrates the inconsistency between different faiths in ways that they can not all be right and equivalent.

If we as a Christian community feel as though non-Christians are demonstrating love to God’s people more effectively than we are through works then we should indeed take time to pause and consider… what can we do to make a difference and show God’s love to those who are lost and even to those who know Jesus but may need encouragement and support.

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How we pray matters!

In Matthew 6:9-13 [NASB] Jesus teaches us how to pray.

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’”

Jesus laid out a very clear and detailed way to lead us in our prayer life with God. How we pray and why we pray matter to God!

First we start by focusing on God. Reflect on who He is and what He wants us to do. All to often we find ourselves launching directly into a list of our wants, needs, or troubles. Jesus tells us first to focus on God. This helps to put in perspective our issues and His ability to lead us through them.

Then Jesus calls us to ask for “our daily bread”. Jesus does not say ask for our next week or year… or do not ask at all for anything. He wants us to talk to Him daily. We should make sure to set this time aside and not let it get crowded out.

“Forgive us our debts…” as we forgive others. Jesus calls us not only to repent and ask for forgiveness but also to forgive others. Don’t hold a grudge. Bitterness hurts most the one who holds it, not the one to whom it is directed.

“Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil…” Yes, there really is a devil and there really are evil people and evil desires we must avoid and sometimes overcome. Jesus is warning us that we should lean on God for help in this area daily.

“For Yours is the kingdom…” We close where we started, with focus on God instead of us.

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The message of the cross is foolishness…

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

 

We are called to share the good news of the gospel with others but we can cannot accept it on someone else’s behalf.  Do not be hesitant to share the gospel out of fear of  personal rejection.

Some will hear it and generate a rich harvest for Jesus through their faith. Others will reject the message of Jesus and His death on the cross for our sins… for our offer of forgiveness.

Many rejected Jesus Christ himself, so we should not expect they will all accept us as His messengers.

Free Offer – with Eternal Benefits!

We all like “free” offers. It is exciting to get discounts on movies or restaurants or vacation packages! As a matter of fact, when we hear about a free offer we often race to tell our friends and family and even people we just meet so they can take advantage before the offer expires. We know the offer is not really free, but someone else has paid the price and it is free to us.

How many of us would turn down an offer of a $100 gift card? How many of us would tell all our friends, or even people we just meet at a store how to get the gift card?

God has made us the most compelling offer… and it is free to us, but to truly accept it will change you forever.

Read along in John 3:16-17 [NKJV].

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

It is easy as a Christian to start taking this offer for granted. Do we still get excited to share it with others as we do when we find a good deal? or do we allow ourselves to get comfortable and only share with those we know already believe?

This offer is the best one we will ever receive and it does have an expiration date. For each of us this offer expires when we do and the price has already been paid, whether or not we accept it.

 

As a Christian, should I expect storms in my life?

Many struggle to understand why they face adversity in life once they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They trust in a false doctrine that life will be easy once they follow Jesus. When they start with this belief they can quickly get disappointed and turn from Jesus when things get tough.

What does Jesus say?

Reading from NLT starting in Matthew 7:24.

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

We should expect storms in life whether or not we follow Jesus Christ. But if we build the foundation of our life on the solid rock of Jesus we will be able to  withstand them.

Jesus compares His teaching to a foundation. This is very different than just a pretty surface coat of paint! So it should be with our faith and our life. Following Jesus should be foundational to every part of our lives not just the fresh paint when we are at church or all is going well.  When the storm comes the surface coat peels away, but with a solid foundation we will weather the storms!

Getting started with God – “Greatest Commandment”

The Bible can be overwhelming to new Christians and sometimes long time Christians alike. Where do we start? Can I get the “cliff notes”?

Jesus wants us to fully read, study, digest the entirety of His word, but He does give us wonderful ways to get started. I think of them like entrance ramps to an interstate.

Reading in NKJV starting at Matthew 22:36 (blueletterbible.org).

A lawyer asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. Jesus provided a very simple, but profound reply.

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets.”

What a wonderful way to get started to understand what is important to God. If we focus on these two “pillars” or “foundational principles” we will be off to a great start!

 

 

 

Hello and welcome to Hearing From Jesus !

At Hearing From Jesus our vision is to support a community of Christians who want to learn (and help others learn) how to more effectively hear from Jesus Christ and serve Him in their daily lives.

There is no more important thing we can put our time toward than serving God . In order to get started and do that effectively we must learn how to hear from God.

Some of us may still be waiting to hear from God as Moses did with a burning bush, or as Samuel did by hearing an audible voice while he was sleeping, or even waiting for God to send an angel to bring us a message as He did for Mary and Joseph to tell them about the birth of Jesus. God does speak in these ways, but these are not the only ways He speaks.

There is great news! God used his servants and messengers to write down a history of God’s relationship with his people. It is available and waiting… free to most of us with internet access. The Bible is the inspired word of God. By reading, studying, asking questions, and discussing with fellow Christians we can hear from God anytime we want… and then apply what we hear to how we live our lives.

The first step… we must start on the right path. The Bible holds this answer as well.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.  [John 14:6 NLT]

 

Cleansing the Temple

After Jesus enters Jerusalem for the Passover feast, and to be crucified, buried and resurrected for our sins, He visits the temple. In Matthew 21:12-17, we are reminded that there is such as thing as righteous anger from God against those who profane what He has declared to be holy… to be set aside for His purposes. God is not just love, but is righteous and holy and absolutely feels righteous anger against us when we break His commands and instructions, especially when we know better, or should.

12And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERSDEN.”

14And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF’?” 17And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

God’s temple is to be set aside as holy, for God’s purposes, not just as market to sell things. So, too are other things which God commands, such as the Sabbath. It is to be set aside to honor God and obey His commands, not profaned or made common by work. God commanded us to celebrate Sabbath on the seventh day of the week from Genesis and reinforced it through the life of Jesus as He did so without fail. (In the Jewish calendar, days start at sundown, so Sabbath actually starts Friday at sundown and ends Saturday at sundown. Sunday was introduced by tradition of men in contradiction to God’s commands.) What God sets apart as holy, we are not to make common. We should keep it holy, whether it is the temple, or the Sabbath, or other things God sets apart as holy.

Jesus, after disrupting the market, welcomed the blind and lame to be healed at the temple. All the chief priests and scribes could do is stand indignant, disregarding the miracles Jesus  performed, and disregarding the truth of who He was. They should have known better, but were unwilling to submit to God when His teaching was different from their traditions of men. They were so blinded by their religion and traditions of men, that theses esteemed and studied scholars of scripture could not recognize Jesus as the Christ and Messiah, even when it was so obvious that even the children could see it. They called out “Hosanna to the Son of David,”.

The chief priests and scribes challenged Jesus that He should deny such a claim, but He did the opposite. He accepted it and rebuked the religious leaders.

Jesus clearly claimed to be the Christ and Messiah. He is not “a good man” or a “good teacher” or a “good prophet”. Jesus Christ is either God, as He claimed, or he is a madman or a liar.  Judaism and Islam have made a significant error in their assessment of Jesus Christ. Jesus is God and to deny Him is to deny the offer of salvation through grace by faith.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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HFJ News: Act Now to Help Stop The Murder of Innocent Children

For those who pay attention to world events or often even the events in their own city and region, they are already aware of gross atrocities that are being conducted across the world that are offensive to God. It is even more tragic when the people of the country or region begin to accept these detestable acts and even defend them as appropriate. When those who say they submit to and follow Jesus accept these acts, then it is truly a sad state because there are none left to fight against them.

There is a certain country where people are being murdered in the presumed safety of their own homes. Without even a trial, strangers can come into their home and murder them where they sleep. They crush the skull and tear the bodies apart to dispose of them. What’s more… they do not even pretend to keep this act secret or hidden from authorities. This act is being repeated hundreds of thousands of times each year.

Many ask… “Why doesn’t the government stop them and protect the lives of their citizens?” Would it surprise you to find out that the government not only allows it, they actually pay for it to help make it affordable and commonplace! Would it surprise you that parents are giving their permission and requesting this to be done to their own children? Only about half of the citizens even oppose this practice and too many do not make this a priority when they have a chance to influence who gets elected to government positions.

This country is not in a war torn zone in the Middle East, not in a territory controlled by terrorists… but rather it is the United States of America. A country that was founded on Christian principles and used to hold dear a promise to protect “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for its citizens. Sadly, there are many other countries around the world that demonstrate a similar lack of respect for the lives of unborn children.

Remember… no matter what mistakes you have made… there is grace and forgiveness in the cross. Repent from your sins, ask forgiveness from Jesus and submit your life to Him. He already paid the price for your sins and mine!

Please join us in praying for an end to abortion around the world. See how you can help at Crisis Help: Stop Abortion.

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May the grace and peace of our lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.

Note: HFJ News posts are always supplemental and never replace our daily devotions, so please be sure to look for your daily devotion from Hearing From Jesus (HFJ) as well.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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Sharing God's word through devotionals and other resources. Helping you study the Bible and apply it to your life. Helping young children to enjoy the Bible at our Kid Zone.