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listen

My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones. (Proverbs 2:1-8, NRSV)

Make your ear attentive to the wisdom of God and incline your heart to follow what you receive.

God is storing up wisdom for those who seek after His commands and hears His direction and follows where He leads.

So listen to God and store His words in your heart and follow where He leads.

 

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answer

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication. In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me. There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl. Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me. (Psalm 86, NRSV)

Lord listen to me!

Hear me when I call out to you!

Have you ever felt like God wasn’t listening? Like all of your pleas and prayers were not being heard?

It is hard when it seems like everything in life is closing in around us. And when we call on the one who said He would always be there for and it feels like He isn’t listening or taking our call..

But He always does hear us and listen to our call. He will never let you go to voicemail. Even when it seems He isn’t there He is. And He will never leave you.

God always answers…

 

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I’ll be singing

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David: ‘I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations.’” Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and awesome above all that are around him? O Lord God of hosts, who is as mighty as you, O Lord? Your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them. You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it—you have founded them. The north and the south—you created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name. You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. Happy are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance; they exult in your name all day long, and extol your righteousness. For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted. For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel. (Psalm 89:1-18, NRSV)

I’ll be singing!

I’ll be singing of the steadfast love of the Lord because He is true to His promises and the covenant He made.

He is worthy of our praise and my singing will make known His marvelous love!

So sing to and about the Lord for He is worthy to be praised and all the world should hear of His love for them!

 

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Trust

It is zeal for your house that has consumed me; the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. When I humbled my soul with fasting, they insulted me for doing so. When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me. But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. With your faithful help rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. Do not let the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the Pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. Do not hide your face from your servant, for I am in distress—make haste to answer me. Draw near to me, redeem me, set me free because of my enemies. (Psalm 69:9-18, NRSV)

The Lord is trustworthy. He will deliver us from all that surrounds us and wants to take us down.

The Lord will lift us out of the pit and deliver us from our enemies.

The Lord is good to His promises and will hear our prayers.

Call out to the Lord and know you can trust in Him.

 

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shake off the dust…

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 9:35-10:23, NRSV)

Jesus called the disciples to go and to share His message. And the instructions were clear. Take nothing with you, receive without payment and give without payment. Only wear what you need nothing more. When you enter a town find one place and dwell there while you are in that town. Give your peace to that place and if it will not accept your peace, take it back. And if they will not listen, shake the dust off your feet so you take none of that place with you and go on to those who will listen.

Seems a little harsh, but Jesus was trying to help the disciples I think. And He was saying if people won’t listen, it is ok, and it is there lose not yours. Do not get hung up on people not being perceptive to the message of grace, just move on to those who will be.

So when you encounter those who don’t want to hear the good news, just shake off the dust and move on…

 

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call on the Lord

I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I pray, save my life!” Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful. The LORD protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.” What shall I return to the LORD for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 116, NRSV)

Because God listens to me when I call, I will call upon the Lord.

And the Lord will snatch me from the depths, and raise me to new life.

The Lord, the righteous judge, will hear my cries and come to my aid.

The Lord will protect me.

The Lord will hear you too.

Call upon the Lord in your distress and He will come to your aid.

 

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Love!

161211When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:2-11, NRSV)

Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. Yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

No one is greater here on Earth but the least in the kingdom of heaven are greater than he.

And John didn’t know if Jesus was the Messiah. Why? What was he expecting?

The blind see!

The lame walk!

Lepers are cleansed!

The deaf hear!

The dead are raised!

And we all get the good news that God loves us! What could be better, what more proof do you want that Jesus is the one proclaimed to come?

But don’t we all want more? Because that is all for others, where is my piece of the pie Jesus? Where is my reward? Don’t I get something?

Yes, you get love like everyone else and set free from all that holds you down.

You get love. And love is enough.

 

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