The Reflectionary – God Speaks, and God Saves

by | Apr 27, 2023 | The Reflectionary

Does God speak to people? If we answer “no,” we may as well be agnostic or atheistic in our understanding of the world. And if we say “yes,” we immediately feel the need to start clarifying with all kinds of disclaimers about what we don’t mean by our yes.

So I’ll simply say, Yes. I believe God speaks today. I believe he’s spoken to me and will speak to anyone willing to listen.

And the only disclaimer I really need to make is that you can never, ever be 100% sure that what I or anyone else claims to be a direct word from God is infallible. After all, I’m quite fallible and subject to hearing, thinking, and interpreting things wrongly. I prove this in at least one discussion with my wife each day.

Nonetheless, for me, it boils down to the difference between God being personal and intimately involved with his creation and being present with us in each moment versus a god who is far off, removed, and silent (or no god at all). And the overwhelming witness of the Bible and Christian tradition is that God is personally present and actively relating to us.

So, two things. First, the featured message idea this week comes from John 10:1-10 and is all about how God gets personal through Jesus (see below).

Second, I wrote a deeply personal, transparent, and vulnerable post this week over at Walk Humble about the ways in which my wife has “saved” me (and continues to do so).

I wrote it in the hopes of encouraging 1.) leaders in the middle of discouragement or disillusionment and 2.) spouses who don’t know how to help their partner who is walking through these kinds of seasons.

Read: 9 Ways My Wife Has “Saved” Me

I hope you’ll read it and pass it along to someone else who might need it.

Keep on growing!

Brandon

 

This Week’s Big Sermon Idea

 

How God Makes It All Personal Through Jesus

A sermon idea based on John 10:1-10 and assigned for the Fourth Sunday of Easter in the current Year A.

God isn’t far off and removed, distant and separate from his creation. He is personally and intimately involved with us and, in Jesus, shows us just how personal our relationship with him can be as we learn to hear and recognize his voice.

Read and/or Share the Full Article »

 

Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass

My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:

Praying Through - a Creative Sermon Series Idea with Graphics on Prayer

From the Description:

This four-week adult series explores barriers to prayer, such as busyness and guilt, how to pray, and the struggle of doubt. By understanding what the Bible says about prayer, we can learn to make prayer a priority rather than an afterthought, embrace the love of God in our inadequacies, and trust more fully in God when prayer seems like it isn’t working.

Check Out This Sermon Series »

 

Links for Leaders

FEATURED – One of the practices that I’ve found life-changing is that of contemplative prayer, or “listening” prayer, in which prayer becomes a place of conversation. I speak. God speaks. I listen (albeit not perfectly by any means). And I live differently as a result of what I’ve heard.

Two books have influenced me greatly in this area. Rich Villodas’ book The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus and Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now: Learning To See As the Mystics See.

Sale
The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus
  • Villodas, Rich (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 08/31/2021 (Publication Date) - WaterBrook (Publisher)
Sale
The Naked Now: Learning To See As the Mystics See
  • Great product!
  • Rohr, Richard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 187 Pages - 09/01/2009 (Publication Date) - The Crossroad Publishing Company (Publisher)

More links and resources:

If you have a resource relevant to pastors and church leaders that you’d like for me to include, feel free to message me. I can’t always promise inclusion but I’ll definitely take a look.

 

The Latest from Walk Humble

Walk Humble is where I host an ongoing conversation about life, faith, and relationships among people brave enough to admit they don’t have life all figured out yet.

ARTICLE

9 Ways My Wife Has “Saved” Me

When Your “God” Box Gets Smashed Again

PODCAST

Podcast Episode #004: Stop Trying to Fit In

 

Miss an Issue? Read The Reflectionary Archives!

 

About the Cover Art: Tanner, Henry Ossawa, 1859-1937. Good Shepherd, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

 

All of the resources and ideas found on Preaching for Change are made freely available to anyone who benefits from them. Some pastors have the budget and means for professional development and creative resources while others do not. For those who can and wish to support this website financially, feel free to do so at the link below.

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