Monday, August 29, 2011

The Reason You Do Not Hear

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A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

John 8:47 (NIV1984)
47 He who belongs to God hears 

what God says.
The reason you do not hear is 

that you do not belong to God.”

I’ve been asked recently about hearing God. Its a topic far bigger than one post could possibly cover so I will try and break it down into little bites of truth. So lets start at the beginning and try and understand why you might not be hearing God.

If you are trying to hear God and do not belong to him - you don't hear because you don't belong to God. Its not because He is not speaking or calling unbelievers to come. You are not listening. It says in Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” God is knocking and calling but it much like all the radio signals that are out in the airways, you can’t hear them unless you are tuned into the station. The acceptance of Jesus is like the radio being tuned to the station broadcasting Gods voice. He is both all loving and he is just. We have a big problem called sin. The beginning of the journey is to realize our good works, our sacrifice, or rituals are not enough to fix the problem of sin so we could  reach God.   It says in Acts 2:21 "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” You won’t call on him or open the door to him as long as you think you have no need for what he offers. The following passage illustrates that it is not about being good enough. It is all about believing and turning to Jesus.  In Luke 23:39-43 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
That guy was a bad man deserving his sentence for the crimes he had committed. He did not do most of the stuff that we include in "getting saved". He never said a sinners prayer or walked to the alter in a church. He never got baptized or took communion.  He did not have time to learn the Bible or amend in any way the wrongs of his life. Yet Jesus said he would be with him in paradise. All he did was believe Jesus was innocent and asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

My posts are written mainly for believers, to encourage them in their walk with Jesus. So this may seem like a repeat of things you already know. If you are a believer you should be able to hear God and I will look at some possible reasons in future posts, why you might be struggling. Perhaps however, you have friends who are asking you questions about God, I hope this helps.  The starting place for hearing God is to believe, just like that thief on the cross. In John 10:25  Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” The thief on the cross did nothing more than believe.  In that moment he was “tuned” into Jesus by believing and was able to hear his voice and he followed Jesus right into paradise. He heard the knock, and he answered the door in that moment Jesus came into his life. He would come into yours too.
Dear Lord,
I hear you knocking and calling. Like that thief on the cross I suddenly realize that you did not deserve death on that cross. I call to you - remember me Jesus, I need you. God sent you in his love and you took the punishment to satisfy Gods justice. You took on the punishment my sins deserved. I turn to you as my God and as my saviour. Tune my heart to hear your voice that I may follow you today and every day until I follow you into paradise.

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