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Forgiven Friday

Dear Precious Friends,
On This TGIFF(Thank God I'm Forgiven Friday) we are thanking God for a new day, Thanking Him for the blessings He has showered upon us which include waking up, knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior, knowing we are here because He still has work for us to do, Knowing we are disciples making disciples as our #1 job description, knowing everything we own is His and we pray to be good stewards of these blessings, and knowing He has us here for such a time as this and He has chosen each of us to live in the USA the most blessed country in the world when it comes to riches, yet in many ways our country is extremely poor in regards to what matters most.
We know when we read scripture so we understand the context correctly and don't try to fit the scripture verse into what we want it to mean... we read the entire chapter and study what came before the verse, who wrote the book, what was happening when it was written, what was written after...
I absolutely love love love this image and the truth of this scripture found in John 10:27
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me"
Jesus knew his time was limited and is sharing that He is the Good Shepherd and how a shepherd cares for his sheep. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, cares for his flock (those who follow Him) .
I remember when I was pregnant with Branson (our now 23 year old son) I read an article explaining that after babies are born, they recognize voices that they heard while in the womb. So for the entire nine months, Rick and I would talk to him, read to him, pray for him, and sing to him.
It was so evident when he was born, he recognized Rick's and my voice and would turn to us when we spoke to him.
I treasure this beautiful memory. It reminds me of how God's children learn to recognize our Father's voice.
So how is it we can hear God's voice? FIRST WE MUST BECOME HIS CHILDREN.
We can only begin to hear God's voice if we become His children through His gift of new birth. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV).
Then, God speaks to us through His Word. Just as it took time for Branson to recognize our voices as he was in my womb being formed, we learn to recognize God's voice by taking the time to read His Word. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV).
His voice will never contradict Scripture—it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths.
The Holy Spirit will then bring to mind the truths of Scripture to guide our steps and to walk in His ways. "He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" John 14:26b (NASB).
The Holy Spirit prays in our behalf so that we can be obedient to God's calling over our lives.
"The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" Romans 8:26 (NASB).
He also gives us the spiritual gift of discernment, to distinguish God's voice from all the others.
When we sing songs over and with our children when they are young, our Father God sings over us. "He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing" Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV).
WOW WOW WOW!!! This is such a beautiful example of how God we hear His voice and how we as believers respond...
So today... let us be intentional about our time with the Lord, and let's be mindful of listening to His voice.
Prayer: "Dear Father God, help us to hear Your voice, turn to You, and do those things which You have given us to do. Thank You for speaking to us through Your Word, so that we can recognize Your voice, and for sending the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, and pray for us. Thank You also for the promise that You delight, rejoice, and sing over us as we learn to follow You!
May be an image of text that says 'My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27'
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