Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hearing the Shepherd's Voice

Dear Father,

What would You say to me?

My son, I have chosen you. I have called you. Rise up and be strong. Strong in my power. Strong in my might. My hand is on you my son. You are an ambassador for me. Tom, I love you, and my love is not based on your performance. I love you because you are my child. You have been brought back from the dead. You were dead in your sins, now you are are alive unto Me. Come and worship me. Come and receive my great love for you. My blessings are all yours - bought with My Son's blood.

You too can hear God's voice. It's not as impossible as it seems. If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. He wants to talk to you. We have been given the Bible as our number one means of hearing God's voice, but our Lord also wants to have intimate conversation with all of his children. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice (John 10:4). He also said that the voice of a stranger His sheep would not follow. Our Lord wants to speak to us, and He will help us to test what we've heard (what we hear must always align itself with Scripture, and it will always lead us to peace and not confusion).

One good way of learning to hear God's voice is journaling. Journaling is writing down our conversations with the Lord. Habakkuk 2:1-3 says, “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
We can write down a comment or a question and then wait for His response. God's response to us usually comes in the form of a picture in our mind or a spontaneous thought in our heart.  He will not tell us all we desire to know but He does want to speak with us.  Sometimes we hear messages of affirmation. At other times He may compassionately correct us or give us direction. The Lord loves His children. It is His desire to speak to us. Another helpful scripture along these lines is 1 Corinthians 14:3 which states, “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. This is the spirit with which our Lord will always speak with us.

I understand that this may be a new concept for some of you, but I hope you will start the adventure of learning to hear the Shepherd's voice. Please let me know if you have any questions concerning this.


Tom Toya

Monday, February 15, 2016

Lesson from a Dandelion

 Here is a post from the past that I believe will encourage you to make a difference in the world...

“The sower sows the word.”  Mark 4:14

As a child in the summertime, I loved to pluck up dried dandelions – the ones that held the white seedlings set in the form of a globe – and blow.  I would watch the wind escort these seedlings to faraway places.  My father discouraged me from doing this, so I practiced this pastime away from our own yard.

I did not realize that when I blew these seeds into the atmosphere, I was acting out a principle of the word of God. Jesus said, “The sower sows the word.”  Like farmers we are to scatter the seed of God’s word all around us.  We are to tell others about the goodness of God. 

Each of us has a story to tell about how we received Christ into our hearts.  And directly or indirectly, someone sowed the word of God into each of our lives to bring about the miracle of salvation within us.

When I was a new believer, I would look at a crowd of people and feel guilty because I was not reaching them for Christ.  I am more grounded now in God’s love for me and I realize that I can’t reach everyone with the gospel, but I can do my part.  One of the things I have done is to create my own tracts.  I pass them out at restaurants and places of business.  I simply hand them out with a smile and say, “I’d like to give you this.  It is something I have written and I believe it will be an encouragement to you.” 90% of the time they receive it gladly.

Jesus told us to go and preach the gospel to all creation.  He wants us to be encouraged in the unique ways that He has made us.  We each have gifts and talents that God wants us to use to win the unsaved.  Won’t you pray and ask God to show you what your part is in the Great Commission?  He is waiting for you to draw near to Him.  He desires to use you to scatter the seed of God’s word in your sphere of influence.  Who knows, He may even use you to reach those in far away places. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Grace Gets the Prize

As gentle as a wisp in the wind
Alighting on my shoulder
Grace like a perfect fitting coat

Lifted me from the mire
Untied me free from many strongholds
Set me high upon a rock
I return back to that foundation after many falls

When I rise to authority
It is Your grace that wins the medal
When I learn to succeed
Grace gets the prize

Praise be to Jesus!
Full of grace and truth