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"Now Hear This!" How Does God Speak? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2020 2:00 am

"Now Hear This!" How Does God Speak? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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September 30, 2020 2:00 am

Listening to God takes more than a good ear. So if He is indeed speaking to us, how do we hear Him? Skip looks at several ways God communicates with you as he wraps up the message "'Now Hear This!' How Does God Speak?"

This teaching is from the series The Biography of God.

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There is something about having a sense of authority over you in life, something you can always appeal to. Let's see what the Bible says about this situation I'm in.

What are the principles in Scripture regarding marriage and family and children and my job, etc. Something about having that appeal to that authority that brings a sense of rest, liberty, rejoicing. No wonder David loved the word blessed so much.

It means happy. Psalm 1, blessed, oh how happy is the man who meditates on the law of God day and night. Having God's word at the center of your life has many benefits.

Jesus told his disciples, the words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life. And today on Connect with Skip Heiseck, Skip talks about how God speaks to you uniquely and personally. But first, Skip wants to invite you to connect with him on social media. Hey, Pastor Skip here. If you want to stay up to date on the latest from this ministry, follow at Skip Heiseck on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That's Skip, H-E-I-T-Z-I-G.

Thank you, Skip. Now, we're in Psalm 19 as we dive into our study with Skip Heiseck. Though the Bible has been copied, recopied, and recopied, and distributed, it has not marred its message. How do we know that? Because we have in existence today 5750 some odd manuscripts of the New Testament alone. More than all of the writings of Plato and Socrates and Homer put together. Do you know how many copies we have of all their works in totality?

18. In some of those documents, the earliest copy we have is 2,000 plus years after it was originally written. We have copies of the New Testament in existence that go back to 30 years after they were originally written by John. Manuscript evidence.

Now, you might hear that and go, okay, so we got a lot of copies of it. How do we know it's a real representation of the original? Well, you've heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the greatest discoveries of the modern era. Discovered in the 1940s, suddenly the world had a copy of parts of the Bible that were a thousand years older than our oldest copy up to that point. So now here we are comparing the book of Isaiah that we've had as our oldest manuscript. And we're comparing a manuscript of the same book written a thousand years before that. So it's been copied and recopied and copied and copied and copied and copied and copied for a thousand years.

And so now we compare the two. And what we found was amazing with the Dead Sea Scrolls. What we didn't find was even more amazing.

Mistakes. There weren't any. It was virtually the same document with a few minor variations in letters or punctuation. But it was the same.

Why is that? Because to copy a scroll was a meticulous and esteemed profession. Training for it began at age 14 and you weren't released to do the job until you were age 40. They took it very seriously. The scroll was prepared. The inks were set out.

The surface was treated. There had to be 37 letters per line, a certain number of lines per page. They were put down, checked for visual accuracy, spacing between the letters, counting up all the letters. It had to be the exact same amount. The middle letter of the scroll was also compared with the master scroll. And if there was any change at all in any of those things, the copy was torn up and they'd start all over again.

Accurate transmission. Also, the Bible exhibits reliable history. Unlike that piece of propaganda that I just read you. You know, this isn't just a religious book. It's a historical book. There's events spoken about and people written about.

And we have a history of civilizations. Years ago, an esteemed historian, Sir William Ramsay, was convinced that the Bible was a fraud. And he took 30 years of his life to prove that Luke was a poor historian. And his writings of the Gospel and the book of Acts were a fraud. He spent 30 years researching this. At the end of it, he shook the academic world and he said, Luke was one of the best historians ever. And he even said that his own research brought about his own conversion.

Example. For years, though the Bible said there was a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda, there's no archaeological evidence that such a huge pool existed. And so the academics were saying, the Bible's a fraud. There is no pool of Bethesda. Archaeology doesn't show it. Until the day they uncovered the pool of Bethesda. And you can see it there today.

Uncovered all of its glory. For years, historians were saying, well, the Bible speaks about a governor of Judea called Pontius Pilate. But there are no historical records in secular history to show that there ever existed such a man. Until they discovered in Caesarea a stone that says, Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea.

Their mouths were shut. You can see that stone today in Caesarea on display. Also, this book, this biography of God, has a unified message. Now hear me out on this. This isn't one book. This is actually 66 books written over 1600 years by 40 plus authors in a few different languages written on different continents about controversial subjects. Some of the writers were fig farmers, others were shepherds, there were politicians. I know that already places its credibility at risk. Rabbis, etc. They spoke about subjects like God, the origin of the world, the presence of evil, the destiny of mankind.

And with all of the differences in background language, there is a unified point of view. Now just think about that. Try this as a comparison. Get 10 of your best friends. Or just get 10 people from your neighborhood.

So you have people speaking the same language, of the same culture, on the same continent. Get them in your house and have them write a personal essay on the meaning of life. And see if they all agree. You'll have 10 different essays with very different points of view. Or how about this. What if we were to take, not 66 books, but just 25 medical books that have been written over a 1000 year period and treat somebody based on the information they're in.

All the way from the headhunters in Africa to John Hopkins University and everything in between. And we treat a disease based upon all of that information. You'll kill the person you're treating. Or you'll create Frankenstein, perhaps. Something else about this book that will satisfy the mind, it did mine, is prophecy. Now that sets this book apart from every other holy document ever written. The Bible is filled with intricate predictions written about something years before it ever occurred. God said that the children of Israel would be in Egypt for 400 years. They were. The Bible says they would be later on in Babylonian captivity for 70 years.

They were. There's 330 predictions of the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus. Intricate predictions where he would be born. What tribe he would come from.

Here's an example. Isaiah 44 and 45 predict 100 years before it ever happened that Jerusalem would be attacked and the temple would be destroyed. Nobody believed that. They were stable at the time it was written. The temple was a national historical landmark. And the same book, the same chapter, 45, names a king who will be born 160 years later. Cyrus was mentioned in the Bible 160 years before he was born as someone who would help the Jews rebuild their temple. That's just a snippet of so many things. And that amazes some people, frankly. The Barna Research Group noted 4 out of 10 adults, that's 38%, believe the entire Bible was written several decades after the death and resurrection of Christ. When, in fact, it was written way before most of it. The Old Testament certainly was.

You know what? I have never yet met someone who has honestly considered the evidence for the scripture, who's rejected it. Who had an open mind.

They had come away with a satisfied mind. And the Bible will do that. It can save the soul, it can satisfy the mind.

There's a third thing it can do. Let's look at verse 8. It can satiate the heart. The statutes of the Lord are right.

Look at this word. Rejoicing the heart. There is something about having a sense of authority over you in life. Something you can always appeal to. Let's see what the Bible says about this situation I'm in.

What are the principles in scripture regarding marriage and family and children and my job, etc. Something about having that appeal to that authority that brings a sense of rest, liberty, rejoicing. No wonder David loved the word blessed so much.

It means happy. Psalm 1, blessed, oh how happy is the man who meditates on the law of God day and night. I'm going to read you something and I wonder if this describes you. This is a little study put out by Tyndale House Christian Publishing Company. 90% of Bible readers feel at peace all or most of the time as compared to 58% who read it less than once a month.

Isn't that great? It is if you're a frequent Bible reader. 90% feel at peace all or most of the time. It goes on to say 92% of frequent Bible readers report knowing a clear purpose and meaning in life as compared to 69% of infrequent Bible readers. Read it a lot, a lot, a lot. Because of what it will do, what it promises to do and what it can deliver, can satiate the heart.

Fourth, it can stabilize your future. Now I've used that as sort of a summary of a few different verses. Verse 8, the statutes, verse 8, the second part.

The commandment of the Lord is pure. Watch this. Enlightening the eyes. The idea of the word is a light shines in darkness.

It enables you to see the path so you can navigate. You go, I get it. I know what to do now. I know where to walk. And verse 9, the fear of the Lord is clean and how long will it last?

Enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. And then in verse 11, moreover by them your servant is warned.

So put it all together. It enlightens me, verse 8. It warns me, verse 11. And verse 9, it's going to endure forever. What that means altogether is this, the truth that got you through yesterday and is getting you through today is the same truth that will be available tomorrow if, God forbid, you get that dreaded phone call in the middle of the night and you hear the worst possible news that you're most afraid of hearing.

God's promise will be there to sustain you as countless of people have testified of that in the past. I've always loved the story of the factory that had that big machine. It broke. They tried to fix the machine.

They couldn't. They called in an expert. The expert looked at this big machine that he had put in, took out a little ball-peen hammer. Ding!

Clicked it once. Things started working. And then he handed a bill to the factory. You owe me $1,000.

Now they were disturbed. $1,000? All you did was hit it with a hammer. Could you itemize the bill?

He said, sure. A dollar for hitting it with a hammer. $999 for knowing precisely where to hit it with a hammer. Have you discovered that the Bible knows exactly where to hit you? God can just take a phrase of a text and, pam!

That's enough. It does that. And thus, you and I can navigate our future that seems so dark, the light comes on. And it stabilizes our future. So generally, God speaks in the world. Specifically, God speaks through His Word.

Let's look at a third way. At least this was David's prayer. And that is personally to the worshiper. Verse 10. More to be desired are they.

They refers to the commandments, the statutes. More to be desired are they than gold. Yea, than much fine gold.

Sweeter also than honey in the honeycomb. Moreover, by them your servant is warned and in keeping them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? His meaning David's own personal sins and errors. Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins.

Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and I shall be innocent of the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. So follow David's journey from verse 1. God you speak in the world. God you speak through your word. Now God please, even in the meditations of my thoughts and my own words may I reflect the same glory of your biography that is seen in these two other places.

Don't you want that? Wouldn't it be great for you to know with confidence that God doesn't just speak through his creation and speak through the Bible but that your very life, your very words are a reflection of his own will to people and for yourself. Now for that to happen, first of all whatever revelation you would get from God has to correspond with the first two.

It's not going to contradict God's truth in the world or in the word. It always has to be matched up with that. But for that to happen, two things have to happen.

Two things are required. You have to value this book. You have to value this book. I want you to look at verse 10, just briefly one more time.

More to be desired are they than gold. I wonder how valuable your Bible is to you. To look at God's word is more valuable than everything else because everything else seems to be going down.

But it's my prayer that you and I would learn to love this precious gift of God's word. Somebody handed me this sometime back. It's called some top signs that you may not be reading your Bible enough.

Here's one. You think that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob may have had a few hit songs during the 60s. That would be a good indication. You open to the Gospel of Luke and a World War II savings bond falls out. You're frustrated that Charlton Heston is not listed in the concordance or in the table of contents. You catch your kids reading the Song of Solomon and you demand, who gave you this stuff anyway? You think the minor prophets were guys who worked out in the quarries.

All of those would be a good indication. You need to be reading that book a little more. Now, would you agree that there is quite a difference between having something and treasuring it?

Big difference. Here's an example. I get mail like you do every week. In that mail, there are some things I treasure and some things I don't. I'll get cards of encouragement. I treasure those. Sometimes I'll keep them for a long time and refer to them.

In a dark moment, I'll pull them out. I have the love letters that my wife and I wrote before we were man and wife and are dating. I've kept them all. We have them. We treasure that. But we also get in the mail bills. I don't treasure them. I respond to them, but I don't treasure them. I pay them, but I don't keep them for months. I keep copies of them and pull them out and go, Honey, listen to this. We owe this much.

Now, just listen to it again. We don't treasure that. There's a difference between having a Bible and treasuring that Bible. Ninety-two percent of American households own at least one Bible.

That includes agnostics and atheists. I'll guarantee you not everybody in that household treasures that book. But the reason every week you hear the same thing is what you hear every week. Turn in your Bibles 2 and we give you the passage. And then you can hear the pages flying. Because we believe that the Bible is front and center. It's not after the worship. It's the culmination of the worship. It's part and parcel of the worship.

The reason there's a pulpit at the center of the platform is to make the statement the Word of God is central. And you coming and sitting here and being attentive is the statement that you believe that to be so. You've got to value it. And second, and we close with this, you've got to obey it.

You can't just have it and memorize it. You've got to obey it. Verse 11, Your servant is warned, and let's end on this, and in keeping them there is great reward.

See that word keeping? Notice what it doesn't say. It doesn't say, and in reading them there is great reward. It doesn't even say, and in underlining them there is great reward. It doesn't even say, and in memorizing them there is great reward. It doesn't say, and in having them in four different translations there is great reward. It's making the transference from I treasure it, therefore I'm going to keep it.

In that there is great reward. That's where this biography is very different. You can read any biography of anybody else, and all you've got to do is read it. You can't do it with this one. This one you've got to respond to it. You've got to respond to it. J. Vernon McGee used to say in his own cool way, every Bible needs to be bound in shuleba, friends, and that's how he said it. I'd always love it, probably because that's the way he said it, but it's such a good truth. It must be bound in shuleba.

You've got to live it. I'll close with this story. There was an agnostic professor who traveled to the Fiji Islands, and he encountered a tribe who had been impacted by missionaries who had come before and brought them the gospel. There was a church there. They had a value system that was very New Testament.

And this agnostic professor said to the old tribal leader, you're a good leader, sir. It's just a shame that you've been duped by the missionaries who came years ago and brought you the New Testament gospel message. We know now that the Bible really isn't accurate.

Nobody really believes the Bible literally anymore. We're more enlightened than that. And that old chief kept his eye on that agnostic professor and said, sir, you see that stone over there? That's where we used to bash the heads in of the people before we ate them.

The old professor didn't say a word. And the chief smiled, and he said, and next to it, you see that oven, that furnace? That's where we used to roast the bodies before supper. He said, sir, let me tell you something. Were it not for the missionaries who brought the gospel message, the love of Jesus Christ, that would convert a cannibal into a Christian.

You'd be our supper by now. At that moment in time, that agnostic professor was glad that tribe believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible, probably for the first and only time in his life. Every time I see it change life, I see the power of God's biography.

It works. It satisfies the mind, but it changes a life if you let it. That wraps up Skip Heitzig's message from the series The Biography of God. Right now, we want to share about an exciting resource that will help you overcome your internal struggles so you can experience faith-enriching transformation. I've enjoyed watching the growth and the ministry of my friend Levi Lusko. This month's Connect with Skip resource, Take Back Your Life, the new book by Levi Lusko.

Here's Levi to tell you about it. It's all around this idea of taking back your life. It's a 40-day interactive journey to thinking right so you can live right. And it's going to be really powerful and special, I think, for people to have this. Not only is it in hardcover, which just makes me happy because I've never had a book released in hardcover, but it has a ribbon so you'll be able to keep track of your progress through these 40 days. It would be an incredible gift to someone who is looking to grow in their faith or for any of us who want to maybe kind of do an oil change for your heart, a checkup on your wellness, on where you're at.

It'll deal with internal difficulties and help you deal better with external circumstances that are challenging as we explore how we can get to the very best version of ourselves that we are meant to be. Get the book, Take Back Your Life, with a donation of $35 to Connect with Skip. Call 1-800-922-1888 or online at connectwithskip.com. This hardcover book by Levi Lusko will help you take back your life. It's a 40-day interactive journey to thinking right so you can live right. 1-800-922-1888.

God is our sovereign creator, but he's also a loving father. We want people all over the world to know they're not alone and to know God's caring love. And you can help make that happen through your gift today, which also keeps these messages you enjoy coming to you. Give a gift right now when you call 800-922-1888. Again, that's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. Connectwithskip.com slash donate.

Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heiseck reminds you why you have a very good reason not to worry because someone else is ultimately in control. People have always had a problem with an invisible God. That's what moves people toward idolatry. They want to see something, touch something, relate physically to something. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heiseck is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-25 17:21:21 / 2024-02-25 17:30:57 / 10

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