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Learning to Listen to God´s Voice: by D-lite
Rated 4 of 5 by 5 users (Print Notes)
Topic: GODíS WORD SPEAKS TO US
Age Group: Awana Club Children age 6-12 and their parents
Goal: By the end of this lesson the audience will understand and appreciate that memorization of Scripture is the first step in learning to know Godís Son Jesus. They will learn how to listen, recognize, and obey Godís ìvoiceî through learning His Word.
Key Scriptures: John 3:16 , 10:27,14:26, Ps 46:10 , 2 Tim 3:16-17, Heb 1:2 , 3:13-15
RESOURCES: The Bible, a rock, a pincushion & pins, a videotape.
One of the emphases of the Awana Club program is to encourage children and youth in the memorization of Scriptures. Memorization is an excellent way to learn the Scriptures. However, memorization should not be an end in itself. Children and youth need to learn how to open their heart to hear God speak through His Word to their spirit.
SONG: ìOpen the Eyes of my Heart, Lordî
Awana Club is well known for the Bible memory work done by the boys and girls. Bible memorization is one of the best ways you can show that, ìApproved Workmen Are Not Ashamedî. Did you know that Awana began more than 52 years ago? Most of your parents arenít that old. Thatís over half a century ago. And did you know that today there are 391 Awana Clubs all over in Canada? And did you know that today there are 2595 Awana Clubs in 112 countries around the world? If each of those clubs has just as many kids as you do here, that would mean that there would be more than 10,000 kids in Awana clubs every week, learning about Jesus and the memorizing the Word of God. Now thatís a lot of memorization.
- God wants to speak to each one of us ñ He is not silent. All through the Bible we read about the Word of the Lord coming to Godís people. He spoke to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Joshua. He spoke to the disciples and He speaks to us today. If we are His children, then we will recognize our fatherís voice and obey His words.
- Learning the Scriptures is the best way to get to know God and His son Jesus. Jesus, in John 14:26 says this, ìBut the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.î You and I are the students and Jesus is our teacher.
Memorizing Godís Word is the first step in learning to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. We can hear Godís voice speak right to our hearts when we learn to listen and obey His words.
1. TO HEAR GODíS VOICE WE MUST LEARN HOW TO LISTEN
a) To hear Godís voice the first thing we need to learn to be still and quiet. When weíre talking, weíre not listening. When you go back to school in a few weeks one of the first rules youíll need to remember is that when your teacher is speaking, you listen. You donít talk when your teacher is speaking. If weíre too busy talking, we will not hear God speak to us. Sometimes when youíre not listening to your mom or your teacher, sheíll shout at you. But God does not shout. He speaks gently and quietly. Thatís why Ps 46:10 says "Be still, and know that I am God," because God speaks gently and softly. So we have to quiet down in order to hear Him speak to us.
b) Jesus taught His followers to know and recognize only His voice and obey only His words. Listen to the words of Jesus in John 10:27 , ìMy sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.î
- Do any of you have a pet? We have a cat at our house. This cat is a very smart cat. Every day when I come home from work this cat does something very interesting. When I drive toward our house, he hears the sound of my car coming and he quickly runs home. By the time I drive into the yard, heís running around the corner of the house and heís always there to greet me. He knows the sound of my car. Now the interesting thing is that he does not come running when a visitorís car comes onto our yard. He only comes when he recognizes the sound on our car.
Jesus says, ìMy sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.î Do you know what Jesus voice sounds like? Do you follow His voice? Do you run to meet Him when He wants to talk with you? Do you follow His voice when He wants to lead you to a place youíve never been before? Jesus says, ìMy sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.î
2. TO HEAR GODíS VOICE WE MUST READ HIS WORD
a) Heb 1:2 says, ìin these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.î To hear Godís voice we must read His Word, and learn everything we can about the things His Son Jesus said and did when He was with us on earth. Godís says that ìin these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,î so we must read and learn His Word or we will not hear Him speak to us.
- This verse reminds of a TV program I saw a while ago that was about a mother who had cancer. She had a little girl who was only a preschooler at the time. This mother knew that she was probably going to get very sick and die before her little girl would grow up. She would not live long enough to see her daughter grow up and become a woman. So, she had someone video her speaking on a tape, just as if she were speaking to her daughter one on one. She taped a special session for each birthday her daughter would have. The mother would speak to her as if the daughter were getting older year by year. I remember how she explained to her daughter about what it would be like to be going to school and what to do if she would get teased. Then she spoke to her daughter about going to high school and she taught her daughter how to put on make up. In one session, she spoke to her about going out on her first date with a boy. In another session, she spoke about the time when her daughter would go to college and another when she would get married and have children of her own. Over and over again she told the daughter how much she loved her and that she knew that her daughter would grow up to be a wonderful person. The story made me cry as I was watching this mother share her love for her little girl on this tape.
Do you think that this little girl will watch this video as she gets older year by year? Of course, she will. She will memorize every loving word her mother speaks to her on that video. She will memorize the voice of her mother through that precious tape. That tape will be the most wonderful gift her mother could have ever given her daughter.
Heb 1:2 God says, ìin these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.î Just like in the video the mother made, so Jesus tells us again and again, about Godís great love for us. In John 15:15 Jesus tells us, ìI have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.î This tells us that God sent Jesus to earth to speak to us and tell us all about God, so that we could learn how much he loves us right from His own mouth. Just like the little girl in that story will have memorized her motherís voice and every word she spoke to her, we can memorize Godís words that He gave to Jesus to tell us. That little girl will watch her motherís video hundredís of times in the years to come. We hear God speaking to us all the years we live by reading His Word. If we donít read and learn Godís Word, how can we hear Him speak to us today? Just like the video the mother made for her little girl, God gave us His Word, so that we could learn to know Him and His love for us. The little girl would get to know her mother through the tape, but she would have to watch and listen to the tape many times throughout the years, as she would grow up.
3. TO HEAR GODíS VOICE WE MUST BELIEVE HE SPEAKS
- This reminds me of a story that happened long ago when my son and daughter were just about your age. The winter morning was a calm, cold crisp day with sunny blue skies. I remember watching the kids play outside from the laundry room window, when all of sudden I could see them racing toward the house as fast as they could. They ran into the house breathless, both wanting to tell me first what had happened. I had been watching them and I hadnít seen anything unusual at all. Chad blurted it out first, ìMommy, Mommy God talked to us.î Cory agreed and said, ìYes, Mommy, He called out our names. Just like God called Samuel in the Bible.î We heard Him calling ëChadí and ëCoryí.î I wasnít sure what they had heard in the back yard, but they obviously had both heard someone calling their names. They were so sure of Godís voice, that they dragged me by my hand, out into the middle of the back yard, so that I could hear God too. First Chad instructed me to be very still and quiet and then I would hear God too. I stood watching him. Then he cupped his little hand over his mouth and called as loud as he could ìChadî. Then I heard it too. Chad Ö Chad Ö ChadÖChad. Then Cory called out, ìCoryî and then we heard Cory Ö Cory Ö Cory Ö Cory. They were right they had heard their names being called ñ Wow!
Because they had heard the Bible story of Samuel and how God spoke to him by name, they naturally believed that the voice they heard in the sky was Godís voice calling them. They were expecting God to speak to them and call them just like He had called the young boy Samuel. They knew from reading and learning their Bible stories that God speaks to us.
To hear Godís voice we need to believe the Bible is really Godís Word. The Bible tells us that Jesus came to show us and tells all about God. This book is the Bible and we say itís Godís Word. We say that itís Godís Word, because every word in this book comes from the mouth of God. In Matt 4:4 Jesus said that, ìÖ It is written: ¥Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.¥î and then in 2 Tim 3:16-17 says, ìAll Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So when you open the Bible to read or memorize the verses, itís just like you and God are sitting down together on the living room sofa and He starts speaking to you. You can see His lips move and you can feel His breath as He talks to you. Open your hand and put it in front of your face, real close. Now letís all say this verse together. ìAll Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.î
Did you feel the breath on your hand as you were speaking? The words and verses you memorize from this Bible is the breath of God speaking directly to you. Every verse you memorize is Godís voice speaking right to your heart. So when youíre reading or memorizing your verses and you begin to hear God speaking to your heart, donít harden your heart and ignore it. Keep your heart soft and open. What is Jesus saying to you today? What is He asking you to do today? Ask God what He would like you to do. Heíll tell you through the verses youíre memorizing. We have to believe the Bible is Godís Word or we will not obey what it teaches us to do.
4. TO HEAR GODíS VOICE WE NEED TO MEMORIZE HIS WORD
Jesus in John 14:26 says, ìBut the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.î The Holy Spirit can only remind us of the things weíve already learned. So, if we want Him to help us, then we have to memorize His Word. Then when we need Godís help, he can remind us of what weíve learned.
If your mom sends you to the store to buy some groceries, can you remember what she wanted you to buy if she didnít first tell you? Of course not ñ well thatís just the same with Godís word. In order to be reminded of the things Jesus has said to us in His Word, we first have to read and learn His Word. How can the Holy Spirit remind us if we havenít even learned it? Thatís why it a very good idea to memorize Godís word, so that the Holy Spirit can always remind us exactly when we need to listen and obey, so that we donít make wrong choices and do bad things.
I remember the very first time I went to club at church. I was probably about as old as some of you. A friend had invited me. The first thing the teacher did was to ask all the kids to recite the verse they had memorized during the past week. There were about 15 kids in my group. Because this was my first night at clubs, I had no idea that everyone had to say a memory verse. As the teacher went around the circle of girls, each one recited a verse. One of the first girls to say her verse recited John 3:16 , ìFor 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.î For some reason, that one seemed to stick with me. So, as the teacher was going around the room asking each girl to recite a verse, I quickly memorized that verse. I was the last one and the teacher looked at me with a question on her face, not sure if she should ask me if I had a verse ready, because I was the new kid. I quickly volunteered John 3:16 , ìFor 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.î It took me only a few minutes to memorize this verse that evening, but it took me many years to learn what it really meant and to obey it.
I was just 10 years old the first time I memorized that verse. But it was like a CD that God played over and over again in my heart and mind. Years later when I was 18, another friend told me how I could apply that verse to my own life. My friend said that I should put my name into it, ìFor God so loved _____ that he gave His one and only Son, that if ______believes in Him, ______shall not perish but _____will have eternal life.î
This friend helped me understand that the ìworldî is made up of individuals and that verse is telling me that each individual in the world can believe and receive Godís Son, Jesus. God gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross and His love and His blood is powerful enough to forgive every sin ever committed by every individual in the whole world. Thatís how strong and powerful Godís love is. Wow! It took me only about 8 minutes to memorize that verse, but it played in my heart for another 8 years until I finally listened and obeyed what it was telling me to do ñ to believe and receive Jesus as my Savior. Every verse we memorize is God writing a CD in our heart and that CD will play over and over again as we learn to listen and obey the words He has spoken to us.
5. TO HEAR GODíS VOICE WE MUST A SOFT AND OPEN HEART
Did you know that a hard heart is a closed heart? A soft heart is open and the Word of God can easily penetrate an open heart. In my hand, I have a rock and little pincushion. No matter how sharp my pins are, I can not stick them into this rock. But I can easily penetrate this soft little pincushion with my pins. Itís not difficult at all to get my pins into this soft little cushion. Thatís the way it is with Godís Word. If we ignore His words then we harden our hearts like this rock. Nothing can penetrate it.
Heb 3:13-15 says, ìBut encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin¥s deceitfulness Ö ëToday, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heartsÖ.íî Sin makes our hearts hard as stone and then we have a difficult time hearing Godís voice. But if we keep our hearts soft and open, and obey His Words, He keeps speaking to us.
CONCLUSION: God wants to speak to each one of us ñ He is not silent. Memorizing Godís Word is the first step in learning to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. All through the Bible we read about the Word of the Lord coming to Godís people. He spoke to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Joshua. He spoke to the disciples and He speaks to us today. We can hear Godís voice speak right to our hearts when we learn His Word and listen and obey those words. If we are His children, then we will recognize our fatherís voice and obey His words.
We can learn to recognize Godís voice when we follow Him closely:
i. To hear Godís voice we must first learn how to listen ñ to be still and quiet. God speaks gently and quietly. Ps 46:10 says "Be still, and know that I am God."
ii. To hear Godís voice we must read His Word. Heb 1:2 tells us that ìin these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.î God sent Jesus to earth to speak to us. So that we could hear in our own language and see how much God loves us. If we donít read and learn His word, weíll never know how much God loves us.
iii. To hear Godís voice we need to memorize His Word. John 14:26 says, ìÖthe Holy Spirit will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.î The Holy Spirit can only remind us of the things weíve already learned. God promises to remind us if we have learned His Word, if not He canít help us.
iv. To hear Godís voice we must believe He speaks. 2 Tim 3:16-17 tells us that ìAll Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
v. To hear Godís voice we have to have a soft and open heart. Nothing can penetrate a hard heart. If we ignore His words then sin has harden our heart. Heb 3:15 says, ìToday, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heartsÖ.íî
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