Scroll Warning – Listening to God’s Voice

By Karen Polich

Weighed down by the garbage in your life? If you find yourself on a path to an uncomfortable encounter with God, keep going. Don’t quit. What may seem like impending judgment can bring a meeting full of compassion. Fearful? Let fear work in your favor. You were created for more; more than struggles, more than sin! God created each of us for His glory, not to live a life void of His abundance.

Pastor Michael M. Cook’s sermon, Scroll Warnings, hit right at the heart of turning your life around when you feel like quitting. Listening to the podcast will take you into the story of Jeremiah and how God’s “judgement” is REDEMPTIVE. (Jeremiah 36) This is one you don’t want to miss as he weaves Jeremiah’s story into our lives. Listen HERE.

There is great danger in a calloused heart, where hard places grow from sin, hurt and exposure that de-sensitives. A hardened heart has stopped listening, hearing and caring. This describes King Jehoiakim.

In scripture we find King Jehoiakim not listening to the words on the scroll. His hardened heart leads him to burn the scrolls. While it is a tragedy for God’s people to not hear His voice, far worse is the defiance of a king, bringing down an entire nation.

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. Hebrews 4:7(b)

Ignoring the truth will not make it go away. – Michael M. Cook

Others will pay the price for a hardened heart. Listen for God’s voice. Throw the garbage out and lean in to hear what He has to say. You may just find the compassion and grace you desperately need.

The Truth About Freedom

By LuAnn Edwards

As we look back on our Independence Day celebrations, we are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy. In our church service Sunday morning, my emotions took over as the choir sang “Salute to the Armed Forces.” Maybe it’s because my dad and brother both served our country; possibly it is because I am thankful that men and women love our country enough to serve and fight for our nation’s continued freedom. Although some of our freedoms as a nation seem to be slipping away, there is one freedom that will never end. Truth.

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31b-32).

The truth of God’s Word sets us free. By spending time in His Word and doing what it says, we find freedom. This truth, however, needs to dwell in our hearts—not just in our heads.

“The truth will not set you free if you only acknowledge it and discuss it on an intellectual level. For the truth to transform your life, you must believe it personally and allow it to sink deep into your heart.” Neil T. Anderson, author1

My daughter, Libby, is a recent example of this. She accepted Christ when she was eight years old and was baptized. She will tell you, however, she was not experiencing the freedom available to believers. Her knowledge of Christ only dwelled in her head; it had not yet penetrated her heart.

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ [and] believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10). [Emphasis mine.]

Libby declared with her mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” but notice the word “and.” “…[and] believe in your heart…for it is with your heart that you believe….” Until four weeks ago, Libby’s heart didn’t believe. In the Nairobi, Kenya, airport on our way home from our mission trip to Malawi, Africa, she became a true believer in Christ. She accepted Christ into her heart; she surrendered her life to Him. She will tell you that her new life began that day; not when she was eight. She is now experiencing freedom in Christ, because she knows Him personally.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Have you accepted Christ into your heart and life? It doesn’t happen automatically just because you know about Him. You can know Him personally in your heart; knowing Him in this way brings freedom. It’s your choice.