Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
John 10:27 (NLT) “My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me”
Renee and I were in a restaurant one morning having breakfast. I heard this little voice behind me that made me turn my head and look. She sounded much like our granddaughter Macy. When my sons were teenagers and their friends would call, I would often try hard to sound like my son and see if I could fool them. I seldom got away with it. They knew my sons voices, but it made for some good laughs.
It is so critical to learn and become familiar with God’s voice and how He talks to you. Do you know How God talks to you? Are you familiar with His voice and the manners with which He communicates with you? If you aren’t, you are depriving yourself of one of the greatest benefits He gives to us as believers and are really wasting one of the primary reasons that He places His Holy Spirit within us.
One way God often speaks to us is through the scriptures. He brings certain scriptures to our hearts and then seems so shed light upon them in our hearts. This is one way God speaks to us. A perfect visual example of that comes from a story after Jesus’ resurrection from the book of Luke Chapter 24. Two of Jesus’ followers were walking along a seven mile journey talking about everything that had happened to Jesus leading up to His death and then reports of His resurrection. They were sad about the event and in great discussion trying to figure out what was going on. We are often like that and Jesus cares. He wants us to know the truth. He suddenly appeared and walked with them. We pick up the story there. .
Luke 24:25-32 (NLT) Then Jesus said to them, “You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?” Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself. By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus would have gone on, but they begged him to stay the night with them, since it was getting late. So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took a small loaf of bread, asked God’s blessing on it, broke it, then gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts feel strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
This is a story worth reading over and over. Jesus did for them what the Holy Spirit does for us today. He brings scriptures to mind and sheds light on them at different times and in different situations in our lives. He does this as an answer to our requests to help us understand more – just like the two men begged Jesus that He would stay with them and teach them more. When that is our heart every day, God will speak to us and show us more. Not necessarily at the time we are reading them, but sometimes later in a middle of a situation. We may even feel what they felt, “Didn’t our hearts feel strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
You may have been reading in the book of James one morning before work about keeping your tongue under control because it has the ability to start fires and troubles. Later that day you’re in the break room gossiping about a co-worker when suddenly you sense that nudge of the Holy Spirit. He reminds you of that verse from your morning devotional time to shut your mouth. That is God speaking to you and teaching you at that moment just like a parent would teach a child. It is now the time to teach you to get your tongue under control as you read about.
God would actually lead us daily and often like that if we would ask and believe for it. Sunday morning I was reading about God teaching Elijah to listen to His still small voice. After reading and praying, I put my coat on to leave for church. I was backing my car out of the garage. As I did, something didn’t feel right. There were no engine lights on so I continued to back out. As I started driving down the street, something really didn’t seem right. Suddenly I knew. It was a tire. I had gone about a half a block. I got out of the car and sure enough, one tire was almost flat. I thought, “I will slowly drive back to my driveway.” Suddenly, I heard a still small voice say, “park it here and go get a tire pump, otherwise the tire will come off the rim. You are only a half a block from home!” I overrode that voice and began to drive back. Suddenly I could see myself saying to my kids over and over, “Never drive on a flat – you will ruin the tire. Leave it there and try to pump it up.” Still, I kept driving. When I got to the driveway and got out, the tire was almost off the rim. I created a mess. The Lord spoke again and said, “You didn’t listen to my voice.”
I’m always embarrassed and ashamed to admit I didn’t listen to the Lord. Frankly it’s stupid. He loves me. He is there to help me. He taught me to listen to Him. And then I don’t? Not to bright!
Bottom line for today, there is great benefit – daily benefit in learning to listen to Him. As today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” When we do, He will tell us much if we will listen! More to come…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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