Friday, May 29, 2015

How Do We Know It's God Speaking?

We hear people say it often. God told me this. God spoke to me. I have a word from the Lord. Sometimes we hear their claims with skepticism, simply because we know the person too well. Or we know that person did not hear from God because his "message" did not meet the standard of Truth in His Word.
How do we hear from the God of the Bible who so clearly spoke to Adam, to Noah, to Moses, to Abraham, to the Apostles of the New Testament? Did He stop speaking to individuals after the twelve died? Of course not.

God speaks to all people—to you and me. Jesus said, My sheep know my voice. Pastor Jack Hayford explains at least five ways to hear what He wants us to know.
First and foremost,
God speaks through the Scriptures and His Son Jesus, who is the incarnate Word and the true manna from heaven. Many a time, I have opened the Bible and found a word specific to my inquiry.
The Lord speaks through creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). You can't look up into the night sky without something stirring in your heart that says, "God is mighty." You can't hold a baby in your arms without sensing the marvel of His creative dynamic.
God speaks to our heart. Our conscience "bears witness" (Romans 2:15). Everyone at some time or another, has sensed within themselves the rightness or wrongness of an action. People have an intuitive feeling there is Someone to whom, they are accountable.
God speaks through circumstances. By the very nature of circumstances we face in our lives—whether beautiful or frightening—there comes a revelation of our dependence upon God.
God speaks by His Voice. The conclusive revelation is in the Scriptures, but the Scriptures are filled with God speaking to people.
On that great day of Pentecost, the day the Church was born, Peter rises to preach and interprets what God had said 800 years earlier through the prophet Joel:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days," says God, "that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy." - Acts 2:17-18

God's goal in coming to work through human beings is to fill people with His Holy Spirit and enable them to prophesy. Still, we must always be careful to differentiate between what God has said in His Word, and whether there is a biblical basis to what a person shares as prophecy. The Spirit and the Word always agree. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Good and Evil at the click of a key

Train Up A Child In The Way He Should Go (Proverbs 22: 6 NKJV)
Some fruit may look delicious, but it can lead to much pain. Ask my sweet husband, who just endured a violent attack of food poisoning. He didn't know the fruit had been contaminated.
It can be argued that there is a difference in knowing about evil and actually partaking of its fruit.
Knowledge about every subject imaginable is so readily offered today.
My computer delivers vast information with just a few clicks.
As a faith writer, I enjoy having that wealth available. Writings by devout ministers of yesteryear and today. Wonderful faith-building devotions, testimonies, biblical discourses. So much wise and godly teaching right there on my screen.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is unimaginable perversion, extremely deceitful doctrines, and wicked information available as well. Sometimes it pops up unbidden on my screen during a topic search. I wonder with horror how a parent can protect an innocent child from accidentally viewing it.
I make the choice to stay away from evil. But I cannot protect my children from the knowledge of it.
That thought brings to mind the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  After being warned its fruit would cause them to die, Adam and Eve made the wrong choice. They saw the fruit and desired it.
The forbidden fruit is often depicted as an apple. Curiously the same name chosen for one of the most successful computer companies, Apple.
The keys one chooses do actually represent the choice to partake of the knowledge of good or evil.
Lord, give parents the wisdom to instill in children how to avoid the bad and choose the knowledge that leads to them to life.

Harriett Ford is the author of numerous faith-based books.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Can't Laugh at Yourself? I Know Someone Who Can

The following is a composite of fun from various contributors to my email. I'd be glad to list authors if I had their names. I'm sure they will enjoy the adaptations.

Nobody ever feels their age. You either feel much younger, or much older than you are. Mr. H says he's only as old as the woman he feels. That would make him around age three, because he loves to hug his granddaughter. Grand kids are the best part of growing old. 

Being old just sort of sneaks up on you. Oh there were a few signs. These are not gray hairs you see on my head. They are wisdom highlights. I just happen to be extremely wise.
Wise, not extremely old.  Contrary to popular thought, wisdom does not just arrive with old age. I know lots of old people who are not very wise at all. Think about some of our politicians and you'll know what I mean.

The thing about being this old is, well, you don't get to practice. I've never been this old before. I may have lost some of my vigor, however, I have lost none of my wonder. Wonder where my glasses are?  Wonder where I left the phone? Wonder what day it is?

Many of us older people find that our face slides down under the chin where it seems to gather in graceful folds. Well, that's what I call them. Sounds better than saggy pleated jowls. 
Last November, Mrs. M was afraid to leave her house until after Thanksgiving. 

Have you been to one of those Medicare welfare checks where your doctor asks if you
are having memory problems? Can you find your way to the restroom by yourself? Know what your name is?  
I told my doctor that I have not stopped at a mail box to order a hamburger, and I've never driven into the car wash from the wrong side. She gave me a good mark for my checkup, even though I admitted that I have to pray the Lord will show me where I parked my car at Wal-mart.

Mr. M. never worries about having Alzheimer's. He says he has some-timers.
Sometimes the thoughts in his head get bored and go out for a stroll through his mouth. Usually not a good thing. 

Speaking of memory, how many remember these four great religious truths?
     1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's chosen people.
    2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
    3. Protestants do not recognize the pope as the leader of the Christian world.
    4. Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store.
No matter how old you are, laughter does good like medicine. So if you can't laugh at yourself, just call me and I'll laugh at you. One of us is sure to feel better.