Communication is a two way street!


Are you just speaking or are you taking time to listen? Are you doing all the talking or are you taking time to hear what they have to say? Do you want to understand? Do you want to get directions? Do you want instructions of what you need to do? Do you want help or do you just want to complain? Are you ready to listen? Do you want to build up your relationship? Do you want to have a conversation? You realize you have two ears and one mouth right? Seems that would be mean we should listen twice as much as we speak!

When the other person is speaking, don’t be just thinking about what you will say back, but rather listen to what they have to say!

Take time to listen! Take time to process! Take time to understand! Take time to consider how to respond.

In this world there are a lot of sources that want to have your time. Make sure that you aren’t just getting your answers from the world, but that instead you take time to hear from God! In this world there are a lot of distractions that will try to derail you from your calling and your purpose, so find a way to get away and hear from God and get His wisdom and His instruction! Build your relationship with God so that when the Holy Spirit speaks to you in that still quiet voice you know it is from God!


Day 24: Bible In One Year 2017
Proverbs 3:1-10, Matthew 16:21-28, Matthew 17:1-13, Genesis 47:13-31, Genesis 48

Our reading for today from Day 24 gives us instructions into how to hear the voice of God…

1. Listen to God’s voice in the Scriptures

Proverbs 3:1-10

2. Listen to God through the words of Jesus

Matthew 16:21-17:13

3. Listen to God throughout your life

Genesis 47:13-48:22


Listen to God’s voice in the Scriptures … Proverbs 3:1-10

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So let’s go back to what He has already said to hear from Him through the Bible…

1My son, do not forget my teaching,but keep my commands in your heart, 2for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. 3Let love and faithfulness never leave you;bind them around your neck,write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight. 7Do not be wise in your own eyes;fear the Lord and shun evil. 8This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9Honor the Lord with your wealth,with the first fruits of all your crops; 10then your barns will be filled to overflowing,and your vats will brim over with new wine. –from Proverbs 3

When you are reading God’s Word, are you listening to what He is saying? Do you hear what He is saying to you? Are you trying to make it through this life alone? That isn’t how it is supposed to be. Take time to hear from God and respond to His instruction! Read the Bible and pray that God will speak to you in and through it! I know over the years there have been times when others have been curious how I pick my reading because it was so on target with what was going on in life. I told them it is like a miracle since I didn’t pick it, I picked the reading for the year and somehow those specific days lined right up with what is going on. I remember how I used to get concerned during my readings when I would get to Job wondering what I was about to go thru, until I realized the rest of the story which happened during my transition from the first company I had worked at post school and was moving to the second company and my reading on that last day was from Job 42:12 which transformed how I read and hear from God through the highs and lows of life, knowing His plans are good and He is in control!

So let’s reflect on today’s reading from Proverbs 3…

Don’t try to figure it all out on your own … “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.”

Be guided by ‘Love and Loyalty’ … “3Let love and faithfulness never leave you;bind them around your neck,write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Run to God! Run from evil! … “7Do not be wise in your own eyes;fear the Lord and shun evil. 8This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Become a generous giver … “9Honor the Lord with your wealth,with the first fruits of all your crops; 10then your barns will be filled to overflowing,and your vats will brim over with new wine.”


Listen to God through the words of Jesus … Matthew 16:21-17:13

Have you seen the Bibles with the red text when Jesus is speaking? Do you pay attention to those words in order to hear from God? Those are His words and we need to pay attention to them and hear what He is saying in and thru them into our lives. He speaks of the promises of God! He speaks to the trials and tribulations that we will face! He speaks to the fact that in this world we will have troubles but that we can still have hope because He has overcome the world.

21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. 28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

–from Matthew 16

1After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” 11Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

–from Matthew 17

Listen to Jesus … 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

Expect attacks…we will never avoid criticism

21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. –from Matthew 16

9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” 11Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” –from Matthew 17

Consider if your concerns are concerns of God or concerns of humans…

22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. 28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

–from Matthew 16

I realized during my career and trying to manage it on my own that it goes beyond wanting to be comfortable. I remember the prompt to start looking but thinking how I liked my managers and team and how comfortable it was right before the org blew up. I could have obeyed and avoided it but instead I didn’t and settled for the comfort I thought I had which was a stumbling block to what God wanted to do in and thru me at that time. I was tempted by comfort rather than obedience. I learned through this that the key is more than just comfort and security, it is about walking in alignment with God and being obedient to His call on my life!

Let Jesus have the drivers seat! Self-help is no help at all! Self-sacrifice is the way to find yourself! Consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. 28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

–from Matthew 16

Following Jesus means putting Him first! It means denying yourself!

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. –from Matthew 16

It’s not bad to be wealthy, but the love of money is the root of all evil. The real measure of wealth is what you would be worth if you lost all your money.

26What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? –from Matthew 16

So let’s build up our relationship with Jesus! Let’s spend time talking with Him through the Holy Spirit! Let’s take time throughout our days to get His wisdom and guidance. Let’s pray without ceasing!

Let’s listen to what Jesus has to say…

5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!

–from Matthew 17


Listen to God throughout your life…Genesis 47:13-48:22

Thru our lives we will have highs and lows. Thru our lives we will have trials of many kinds, but in and thru that time we need to consider it pure joy and praise God because we know that it will build our faith and our perseverance and when it finishes its work we will be complete and lacking nothing! Yes we will have troubles — Jesus told us so — He also told us to have hope because He has overcome the world! So let’s walk out each day with the hope we have because of our faith in Jesus!

We see in today’s reading that even with all the pain and suffering, the troubles Jacob went thru, in the end he praised and worshiped God. God had lead them all the days of his life. We see how no matter what we go thru, if we will walk thru it all with God, He will make our path straight and He will sustain us through it all. Joseph learned to listen to God and so he was able to interpret dreams like Pharaoh’s. Joseph’s ability to listen to God enabled Him to be able to save both his family and the people of Egypt.

So no matter where we are at or where we have been or where we are going, let’s put all of our hope and trust in God! Let’s do this all the days of our lives so that in the end God will get all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name.

13There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.” 16“Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock. 18When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.” 20So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other. 22However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land. 23Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.” 25“You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.” 26So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s. 27Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number. 28Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”“I will do as you say,” he said. 31“Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

–from Genesis 47

Manasseh and Ephraim

1Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’
5“Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. 7As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”
9“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.
Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”
10Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.
11Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”
12Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.
15Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.”
17When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20He blessed them that day and said,
“In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

–from Genesis 48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Day 24: Bible In One Year 2017

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