He Speaks

Praxis

Pastor Edwin Perez - April 25, 2021

Community Group Study Notes

1. Have someone in your group provide a brief, 2-minute summary of Sunday’s teaching.

2. What was one thing that God brought to your attention through this message?

3. What does “engaging the Word” look like in your life today, right now? In what ways can you continue to grow in this – whether personally, communally, or prayerfully?

4. Why is it necessary that we tune out the noise in order to engage the Word? How will you effort to tune out the noise this week?

5. How will you personally and specifically apply this message in your life?


Abide


Sermon Transcript

So I've been married for a little over six and a half years now to my lovely wife, Valerie, over here, and she's an awesome Godly woman. And it's interesting because even as I start to think of all the things which I've learned in marriage throughout my years of being married, I've learned quite a few things. Now, least of which is to listen to my wife when she speaks. I have learned that time and time and time again. In fact, I can even think of times where maybe she's asked me, "Hey, can you call that contractor?" Or, "Hey, can you pick up those groceries on your way home?" Then maybe a couple of days go by and then she follows up, "Hey, were you able to follow up with that contractor?" What? What are you talking about? You never said that. Then she goes, "Edwin, we have to have a talk. Yes, I did tell you that and here's the thing. I said that to you, but you weren't listening." There you go, exactly. Listening; that's a really, really pivotal thing especially in marriage, but in any relationship. Now, I think I should get a free pass if a sports game was on. I really do. So can I get an amen for that? No, I didn't think so, but that's all right. I heard maybe one so perfect. But yeah, the idea of listening in any relationship is really, really important, especially in marriage. But even when we start to think about our relationship with God, and we think about how he has brought us into relationship with him. The importance of listening to the voice of the Spirit in our lives is so important because we'll be that much more in tune with his voice, that much more in tune with how he's working, that much more in tune with how he's moving. And ultimately, as we tune into the Spirit's voice, the question is, are we willing to listen or not? Because the Spirit of speaking, he'll speak to us. There's nothing wrong with God's voice. The question that we have to ask ourselves is, are we willing to listen in tune in to what he would have to say to us? 'Cause if you do, he may just in fact change your life. But don't take my word for that. Take his word. And even as we have been journeying throughout this series called Praxis, we've been studying the works of the Holy Spirit and thinking about how the Holy Spirit baptizes us, then even last week talking about how the Spirit of God emboldens us. And then today we're going to be talking about how the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Now, the church in Jerusalem was starting to grow. There was believers being added to the faith, even as we saw last week. And it was incredible just to start to see what was happening, but then what began to happen was persecution began to break out within Jerusalem. So the church began to scatter. And one of the places that it scattered to was a place called Samaria. And Philip, not the apostle, but one of the men chosen to help with the daily distribution of food to the widows because they're being overlooked. And so Phillip was one of the godly men chosen to help with that, one of the seven. Philip actually takes the gospel really, really key for this and taking the gospel to Samaria. And then what happens in Samaria, even as you start to see in Acts eight is people are responding to the good news of Jesus Christ. Really, really awesome to see those things. And then what we're going to find which is where you can turn to is Acts 8:26, that's the start of our text. But even as you're turning there what we're going to find is in the middle of this, there's a really, really interesting interaction that takes place with Philip. And I want to point your attention to it in Acts chapter eight, verse 26 says this, the scripture says, "Now an angel of the Lord said to Phillip, 'Go South to the road- the desert road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." Now, this is an interesting command here because even right where Philip was in Samaria, God had called him out and called him to go South to the desert road. Now this word South certainly directionally means South for sure, but then also what you understand is that this word also means in the Greek language, noon, at midday, could also be translated that way as well. So it's an interesting request that God has Philip to head South at noon, at midday on a desert road. And here's the reason why this would be interesting. It would be scorching hot. So there wouldn't be a whole lot of travelers or really anybody along that road at that time. So Phillip does this, but as he does and as he makes his travels, we can see this interaction that begins to take place in Acts chapter eight. "So he started out and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake, which means queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah, the prophet." So Phillip then begins to interact Or he at least sees this Ethiopian eunuch that is by his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah. Now, when we start to hear that idea, that term Ethiopian, we might think modern day Ethiopia, but it's not. Actually what this was referring to was probably more modern day Sudan and countries that were further south of Egypt, kinda the southern region of the Nile. This region was referred to as Nubia. So this is kind of where Ethiopians were in this time, in this context. The other thing that you'll notice there too is the idea of the word Kandake. Maybe you were reading that and you're thinking what does that mean? I don't use that word often. But even when you start to see that word in Latin it means the Candace and this would have been a reference to the ancient kingdom of Meroe which would have been referred to as the kingdom of Cush in the old Testament. So even if you began to read the old Testament you'll see the kingdom of Cush. So needless to say, this is the Kandake, the Candace, this would be referring to the queen of the Ethiopians and she would be in charge of running the finances, essentially. She would be really involved with that. This is because the king within this kingdom he would have been referred to as like a child of the son. So dealing with the finances was too secular for him. So the queen ran the show. All right, that's how that was. And so this Ethiopian eunuch was an important treasurer for the Kandake or for the Candace. Now, when you hear the word eunuch, things you learn about in church, right? This person as I've mentioned, would be in charge of all the treasury now within this kingdom, and he would help and really work with the Kandake, with the Candace, but he would also be referred to as like a minister of finance. Now, the thing about this eunuch is interesting because he was a God fearing man. We can infer that based upon him coming back from Jerusalem, from worship. This probably was because he was involved in one of the festivals there, in one of the Jewish festivals and he's now returning to Jerusalem. And so even as he makes his return, he's reading the Book of Isaiah, trying to understand what it is all about. But what's interesting is that even though he's a God-fearing man, he probably wouldn't have been fully involved in the assembly of Israel. Wouldn't have been able to be a full convert to Judaism, and the reason being because of his physical condition. In fact, if you look at Deuteronomy chapter 23, listen to the law, "No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord." So if you didn't know what eunuch was, there you go. In either case, we can see that this would have been even this was written in the law, because this would have been like a defect, or even as you start to think about this, this practice would have been associated with kinda giving yourselves maybe to other pagan kingdoms or nations. So needless to say, this is kinda the backdrop. This is the context to which Philip approaches this Ethiopian eunuch. And let's pick up the story here. I want to highlight this verse because this is where we see the Spirit speaking. "The Spirit told Philip, 'Go to that chariot and stay near it.'" Did you catch that? This is the Spirit speaking to Philip. This is the Spirit, his work telling Philip to go to that chariot and stay near it. This is because he would have an interaction with someone who is looking for hope, looking for answers, looking for his purpose. And in fact, let's take a look at how the rest of the story unfolds here. It says, "Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. 'Do you understand what you are reading?' Phillip asked. 'How can I?' He said, 'unless someone explains it to me?'" So he invited Phillip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of scripture the eunuch was reading. "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its sheer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation we was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth." The eunuch asked Philip, 'Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?' Then Phillip began with that very passage of scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and eunuch said, 'Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?' And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Phillip baptized. When they came up out of the water the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away." That's pretty cool, teleportation. Come on. Right? "And the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Phillip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about preaching the gospel and all the talents until he reached Caesarea." You see, this is an incredible story. When you start to see the Spirit prompting, Phillip to head over to talk to this Ethiopian eunuch over to this chariot as the eunuch is reading the scripture. And ultimately as Philip explains the gospel to him, even through the word of God, the eunuch responds to Jesus. The eunuch gives his life to Christ. And it's an interesting story. And you start to see, then the eunuch is then baptized and Phillip is teleported. It's remarkable. And what we learned through this story, and I hope that you don't miss is that there is hope for the outcast. Like this eunuch perhaps would have been. There is hope for the foreigner. There is hope for this eunuch. There is good news for every tribe, every nation, and every tongue regardless of background, regardless of skin color This is the beauty of the gospel. And this all happened because the Spirit spoke to Phillip. And by the way, the Spirit will speak to us as well. This is an incredible thought. Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever just sat with that thought? That the God who made you, that the God who created everything from nothing, the one who set the universe in its motion, the one who rules over all of creation, this God speaks to us. That's astounding. That's just amazing when you start to think about that and really reflect on that. But I think the question that we have to wrestle with is this, is how does a Spirit speak to us today? It's a fair question to ask. Is how does the Holy Spirit speak to us today? Now there's certainly many, many ways, which we can even see throughout the Book of Acts in which the Spirit was speaking to his apostles or the associates of the apostles. But even as we start to see this, the scriptures were still being written, but now as we start to have this full Canon of the word of God, we have to ask ourselves, okay, what does that mean? How does the Spirit speak to us? Well, the writer of Hebrews actually gives us some insight into this because don't take my words for this, I want you to take the scriptures words. All right, listen to what the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews one verse one. "In the past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways." You see that phrase there in the past, even when you start to see that, we can start to even see throughout the old Testament that God spoke to his people in many, many different ways We can see that he spoke audibly. He spoke through dreams. He spoke through visions. He spoke through angelic revelations, prophetic words, various events. We can see many ways in many, many forms, even as the writer of Hebrews helped us to understand there. But all of these modes and all of these ways of communication that God had with his people, would ultimately pave the way for the most beautiful and superior revelation of all. And that's Jesus. All of this was paving the way for this incredible revelation of Jesus who lived, died and rose again. Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says. He actually affirms this. "But in these last days, he has spoken to us, how? by his son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom also he made the universe. The son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." You see right there in the beginning of verse two you see this phrase that God spoke, or even now, at the end of these days or in these last days. That phrase can also be understood as at the end of these days. So yes, God has spoken audibly in through dreams, visions, angelic revelations, prophetically. All of these different ways, many different forms, in the past, and by the way, God can speak in all of these ways if he wants to. He's God. But even when we see this right here, that in the days in which we're living in, in these last days, at the end of these days, the days which we live in, we can conclude that there is a new day that has dawned with the death and the resurrection of Jesus. And although God can and does speak in many ways, he has promised, and there's a difference, He has promised to speak to us about the son through the power of his Spirit. You see if we were to think about that truth, maybe a question we can ask ourselves is, how does the Spirit reveal the son to us? Because if this is how God speaks to us, he speaks to us through the son, then what does that look like? Well, here's what the Spirit has done. He wrote a book. He wrote a book. And in this book contain the very words of God that help ultimately to point us to Jesus But listen to what the Spirit will do as recorded. This is what Jesus said right before he was about ready to get crucified. He said, "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is..." What is it from? From me, from Jesus, that he will receive, he will make known to you. You see, when we start to sit with this idea that the Spirit of God has written this book, the word of God, we can see that the Spirit empowered 40 different authors with different personalities over a period of 1500 years to write 66 books that would all testify to the life, to the ministry of Jesus, to the son. This is what the Spirit does. This is how the Spirit speak to us. He opens up our minds. He opens up our hearts to the word of God which helps us to know the son of God that much better. But even as we see throughout the scripture, we can see that God's word is inspired. All scripture is God-breathed. Listen to what Paul said to Timothy. "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you've learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy scriptures, which are, listen to this, able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ, Jesus." The scriptures leading to faith in Christ Jesus, Revealing the son. "All scripture is God-breathed." His breathe outward to us. "And is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." See this is God's breathed out word to us which makes us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, a revelation of the son by the power of his Spirit through the word. But even when Jesus was talking to the religious leaders and they're kind of debating over scriptures and all this stuff, listen to what Jesus said. "You study the scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very scriptures that testify about me. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. You see, these scriptures from Genesis to revelation, the word God testifies by the power of the Spirit about the son of God. I can guarantee you something, that when you spend time in this book, as a believer as you spend time listening to the voice of the Spirit, I will guarantee you something, you will get to know Jesus. You'll get to know him. You'll get to know his life, his character, the things that he has said, why? Because this is what the Spirit will do. He will speak of, He will testify, to Jesus as we engage his word. Maybe I can say it this way. The Spirit of God will speak to us about the son of God, through the word of God. See, this is the way God has promised to speak to us. The Spirit of God will speak to us about the son of God, through the word of God. I can even think back. I was 15 years old and I had just renewed my commitment to the Lord. I figured, Hey, you know what? I got to start reading the word. I got to start engaging the word and studying it and thinking about it. So at 15 years old, I came across a passage of scripture in Romans chapter eight and I began to listen to the Spirit's voice as he spoke to me so clearly so profoundly. I'll never forget it. In fact, I wanted to read this scripture to you. It's Romans chapter eight, verse 38 and 39. I came across this. Paul said, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. I read that as a 15 year old boy and I began to think to myself. I can remember the Spirit speaking to me about his word, testifying to the son of God, reminding me, that no matter what I've done, no matter the brokenness I've maybe experienced, no matter what my life looked like, that there would be nothing that could separate me from the high, from the wide, from the deep, from the long love of Jesus. And that began to allow that truth to wash over my heart. Now I haven't looked back since. Perfect no way. But captured by the love of God. As he spoke to me, even through his word, by the power of his Spirit. You see the Spirit of God will speak us about the son of God through the word of God. And if that is the case, what are some action steps? What are some things that we should engage with even as we sit with that? Here's the first action step, Engage the word Engage the word. If the Spirit will speak about the son through the word, engage the word. Seems pretty straightforward to me. But even as we think about that, it's interesting that in this conversation with Acts eight which is where we're going to head back to now in our story in Acts. It's interesting because the eunuch was reading scripture. And how did Philip engage with the eunuch? Through scripture. In fact, listen to it again. Verse 32. "This is the passage of scripture the eunuch was reading. 'He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearers is silent, so he did not open up his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants for his life was taken from the earth.' The eunuch asked Philip, ,Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?. Then Phillip began with that very passage of scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.'" The good news contained even when he was reading Isaiah 53, this would have been a prophecy about the suffering servant. Referring to Jesus who would come and who would die. And that's what he was referring to. And this is what Isaiah was talking about. And Philip help really helps to expound the word. He helps to expound this passage of scripture. And he testifies that this passage of scripture is referring to Jesus. And so the unit becomes washed over by the word and he gives his life to Christ. And it's awesome. It's incredible to really set our attention on. But if there's a few ways that we can engage the word, I really do think that there are a number of ways which we can and you can probably name some more, but I'm just gonna list a few just in terms of some ways that we can engage the word. Here's one way. Engage the word personally. Engage the word personally. You see it's going to be really hard to listen to the voice of the Spirit if you never engage the book that he wrote. It's gonna be really hard to listen and to discern the voice of the Spirit, if you're not in tune to the frequency, to his voice of his voice in his word. Even as we've talked about here often, in terms of engaging the word, have a plan have a place, have a time and do that regularly. Repeat it often, frequently, so that you can continue to dial into the voice of the Spirit as he reveals the son of God to you. Secondly, I would say this; not only engaging the word personally but also engaging the word communally. You see when we start to sit with this idea, it's interesting because the life of a disciple even as you start to read throughout the New Testament, you'll see quickly that it's communal in nature, the life of a disciple. You see all of the commands, right? Love one another. Pray for one another. Carry one another's burdens. Encourage one another. All of these things which we see in the New Testament, which by the way that's hard to live out by yourself. And I think if we've learned anything throughout this past year, we've learned that we weren't meant to do this thing called life and isolation.
I think if we've learned anything throughout this past year, we've learned that we weren't meant to do this thing called life and isolation. But we're truly meant to live life in community with one another. And I know that this season is harder to do that maybe than others, but I'm grateful for technology or socially distance groups that still get after it together to really engage the word. Because one of the reasons why, really why this is important and so that we can also help one another discern the Spirit's voice in our own lives and within our own hearts. If we're engaging the word of God together, hearing his voice together, it's then helpful to then be able to have people that can also help speak into our lives and also help to discern the voice of the Spirit of God in our lives, whether we're hearing the voice of the Spirit correctly or maybe we need some correction. So if I showed up to maybe my community group and said, "Hey, you know what? I feel like the Spirit told me to steal a car. I feel like that's just what I have to do. And I gave him a plan. I gave him the outline. I told them all that I was gonna do." I'm sure that there would be people in the group in my community group that would say, "Hey, you know what? I don't know if you're listening to the Spirit's voice on that." And then I'd be like, why come on? And then they would say, probably something to this effect. It's because the Spirit's voice and the scripture won't be in contradiction. Because the same Spirit that speaks to us and dwells within our hearts is also the same Spirit that wrote the very word of God. Now on the flip side, I can remember right before leading the Lockport campus and then kind of bringing my community group up to speed on what the Lord was doing in my heart, and how the Spirit was working and how the Spirit was moving. And what was interesting was they affirmed how the Spirit was working in my life. And then they also, they probably said something to this effect of Acts 15: 28. This seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us. So I moved forward in that and it's awesome to be able to see how God works and speaks, but also how he can help us discern the voice of the Spirit in one another's lives. So this is why it's so important to engage the word communally. In fact, I love what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said Listen to what he said. "Let him who cannot be alone be aware of community. Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. Each by itself has profound perils and pitfalls. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and the one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation and despair. There's really an interdependence between hearing the voice of God, being dependent upon his word individually, but also engaging the word communally. Thirdly, I think there's another way that we can engage the word, and it's this. Engage the word in prayer. Engage the word in prayer. I know that oftentimes we have heard pastor Jerry say, if you wanna make sure that your prayers are Spirit led, make sure that they're scripture fed. And this is a way that as we hear the voice of God, as we really drink in the scripture and allow it to saturate over our minds and over our hearts, what would it look like for us to then pour out the words of scripture to our heavenly father It's helpful in helping us to hear the voice and the frequency of how the Spirit is speaking to us. But secondly, I would say this, tune out the noise. That if we're going to engage the word, and hear the Spirit's voice testify about the son of God, we have to tune out the noise. So it's interesting because in our texts, what we see is Philip being called out to the desert road. In fact, let me pull it back up for us here. Act 8: 26 It says, "Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, go South to the road, the desert road, that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." Now I wanted to highlight this word here, desert because I don't want us to miss the power of this word, actually. So of course, this is referring to a physical desert, no doubt, but in the Greek language this word also means this, here's the word for it Greek. "eremos." It's a Greek word "eremos." What's interesting about this word is when you do a word study on this word "eremos" what you'll find is that it can mean not only desert, but solitary, desolate, lonely, uninhabited. In fact, because the Spirit told Philip to go at probably about noon, midday to head South. This would have definitely, there probably would have been no one in sight. Obviously, except for the eunuch. But what's interesting is Philip postures himself. He listens to the Spirit and he hears his voice. And I have to imagine that it was because he positioned himself to tune out the noise on this road, on this desert road, this solitary road, this "eremos" place. So what I wanna do though, is I want to also point your attention to other places where this word "eremos" is used. In fact, Jesus, when you start to look at the life and ministry of Jesus, you can see where this word is also used as well. "Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary, "eremos" a place where he prayed. It's an interesting concept when you start to see that. Then also you can see in Luke 4:42. "At daybreak, Jesus went to a solitary place." "eremos", form of the word there. Solitary place. "The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them." So we even seen the life and ministry of Jesus. He goes off to the solitary place. He goes off to a place uninhabited. He spends time communing his father. So I have to imagine that even for Philip he was called out to the "eremos" road, and even on this road, this desolate, uninhabited road which would have been the case at that time of day, he positions himself to hear from the Spirit. Let's not breeze by that. To tune out the noise. Why? Because we live in a world where there is so much noise, we live in a world Where we are easily distracted by the noise of this world, where we can easily be distracted by the noise of political banter or maybe the noise of our own opinions. And isn't it amazing how everyone agrees with us. Or maybe it's the noise of social media. And then all of a sudden, we start to just scroll on our phones and have information overload and news articles and all of these things kind of bombarding us all at the same time. There is so much noise in the culture that we live in, which makes it all the more important for us as Christ followers, to have time to tune out the noise, to go to the solitary place to spend time with our heavenly father so that we can position ourselves to hear from the voice of the Spirit. Why? Because he will speak. That's a powerful thought to think about. But then thirdly, I would say this, that we would follow the Spirit's leading. So not only would we engage the word, we would tune out the noise of the world, but what would it look like for us to also follow the Spirit's leading? even for Philip, when you start to see what happened with Phillip's life, listen to what happened, in Acts chapter eight. Philip followed the Spirit. Then the Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." Listen to Phillip's response. "Then Philip ran up to the chariot." He followed the Spirit's lead and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. 'Do you understand what you are reading?' Philip asked. You see the importance of following up what the Spirit says to us in obedience can not be overstated. This is so pivotal. Phillip obeyed. Phillip obey the voice of the Spirit. The question that we have to ask ourselves is will we? Will we follow the Spirit's leading? Will we listen to his voice and do what he says? See, isn't it remarkable that Jesus came and he lived and he died to rescue sinners like myself and you so that now when we put our faith and trust in Jesus, well, yes, we were once helpless and hopeless, now we can have life and meaning and purpose through faith and trust in Jesus, where now the Spirit of God resides within our hearts and resides within our lives. That's incredible. But ultimately, when we follow the Spirit's leading he will work. He will move. He will speak to you to grow you more and more like Jesus. To conform us more and more into the image of the son. But also he will also use us. He will speak to us because he wants to use us and empower us for his purposes in the world. This is because when we follow the Spirit's leading there may just be someone just liked the Ethiopian eunuch waiting to be talked to. Who is longing for meaning. Who is an outcast longing for purpose, longing for answers. And we have the hope of Jesus to be able to tell to the world around us. So here's what I wanna do. I wanna create some space and create some time for us actually to engage the word together, to hear the Spirit's voice. And what I'm going to do is I'm just going to read passages of scripture just over us. Because even as I've taught about this today, I want you to experience it. I want you to experience it so that you can walk out of here knowing that this doesn't just have to be a Sunday thing, but this is an every day piece. Every day part of our lives as Christ followers is to hear the Spirit's voice in our lives. So you can take whatever posture that you want. I'm just going to read the scripture. And if you want to close your eyes, that's cool. If you just want to follow along, that's cool as well. But let's tune in to what the Spirit would say to us as he testifies to the son of God, through the word of God. Maybe today you're walking through fear. Plasm 56. "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you, In God whose word I praise, in God I trust, I'm not afraid." Psalms 27. "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 46. "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it's waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." Maybe today you're walking through dealing with anxious thoughts. Maybe anxiety is great within you this day. Listen to what the scripture says. "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." John 14 27. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. So do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid." Philippians 4:6-7. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Maybe today you're walking the grief. Maybe you're grieving this hour. Plasm 34. "The Lord is close to the broken hearted, saves those who are crushed in Spirit." Psalm 147. "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Romans 8:28. "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." Maybe today you are walking through a season of unknown, season of uncertainty. Psalm 73. "Whom have I in heaven, but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Isaiah 55. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord . As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight." Maybe today you're walking through a season of discouragement. Psalm 63. "I cling to you; your right hand upholds me." Plasm 42. "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God. Ephesians two. "God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Spirit will speak. Will speak. So we engage the word, the book he wrote, he will testify and reveal the life of Jesus to us. So engage the word. Tune out the noise of the world and all of it's distractions. And when the Spirit speaks, follow his voice, obey it, listen to it. This is because when we hear the voice of the Spirit of God in our lives, the issue is not with his voice, has to do with our willingness to listen, to listen to his voice, to do what he says. This is because when we listened to his voice as he speaks to us, he speaks to us to make us more like Christ and to use us for Christ's purposes in the world. So let's hear from the Spirit of God, to engage his word as he reveals the son to us. Let's bow together for word of prayer. If you're here, if you don't know Jesus, see the Spirit of God moves within our hearts and testifies to the son of God. So if you're here and if you don't know Christ our hope today is that you would come to know him. That you would give your life to the one who died, who rose again, who now sits at the right hand of the father who is one day coming again and we set our hope on him. But I would implore you that if you don't know Christ, and what hope and what meaning and purpose you can have when you enter into the family of God only, and by way of Jesus. So if that's your need, stop by the fireside room. We'll have pastors and prayer partners there that would love to be able to talk with you about what does it mean to know and to follow Jesus. If you're watching online, you can just simply head to thechapel.com/knowingjesus. Again, thechapel.com/knowingjesus, and we would love to follow up with you. God, you've said much to us. Thank you so much for how you speak. I pray God that you would give us a willing heart to listen. Thank you for how you're moving in this place, how you're moving perhaps with those who are watching or listening. And I pray God that you would continue to grow us more like Christ and to use us for your purposes in the world. And you will speak to us to help confirm those things in our hearts. We thank you for that. We thank you that no matter what we're walking through today, no matter what we may be facing, that you are ever present help in times of need, in times of trouble, whatever that might look like. So Jesus, we give ourselves to you. We submit ourselves to you, Have your way. We thank you for what you're going to do for your glory and for our good. Thank you for speaking to us. It's in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen.


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