Hearing the Father’s words
by Carolyn Ehrlich
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These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me (John 14:24b).
In the first two verses of today’s reading, three words jump out at me: love, obey and hear.
If we love God, then we will obey the teaching of Jesus. To do this, we must hear our Father’s voice, the words he is telling us. Note that the words belong to the Father. God the Father spoke to God the Son through God the Holy Spirit (who descended on Jesus when he was baptised).
And how are we to hear God’s word? In verse 26, we are told the Advocate – the Holy Spirit – will remind us of everything. So, we can read God’s word and the words that Jesus spoke, but it is the Holy Spirit who reminds us.
It is important to read, understand and obey God’s instructions. And Jesus has given us these words. But how do we apply them in our daily life? To take an example from the current passage in John. In verse 27, Jesus says, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’.
But what troubles my heart and the things that I am afraid of might be different for you. Or, the things that worry you today might not be the same things that troubled you last week. And what I might need to do to be obedient to this direction from God might be different from what you need to do.
Practically, then, how can we hear the words of God the Father through the Holy Spirit so that we can apply them in our daily lives? One way to do this is in your daily devotions, such as this one. But it could also be in other readings you do or in the sermons you listen to. Before, during and after your devotions, Bible readings or listening to sermons, ask God directly, ‘What are you saying to me personally, Lord?’ God has promised that his sheep hear his voice. Listen, hear, obey – all because you love God.
Father God, the words I hear belong to you; they come from you. Thank you that you sent Jesus and your Holy Spirit – who dwells in me – so that I might hear and obey. Open the ears of my heart and spirit so that I might listen to what you are saying to me personally. You have promised as one of your sheep that I will hear your voice. Help me to hear. In Jesus’ awesome name, I pray, Amen.
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