Be ‘Aware’ of God

 

‘I was not aware of it.’ Genesis 28:16 NIV

One night Jacob had a dream. He saw a ladder. So far, nothing strange. But this ladder had angels on it. Hmm… bit different. And it extended all the way up to Heaven. And God said to him, ‘I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.’ (Genesis 28:15 NIV) Now this is a promise anyone would want to be more than a dream: you want it to be true in real life. When Jacob woke, he said, ‘The Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’

When it comes to recognising God in your life, you can be spiritually tuned in or, like Jacob—not ‘aware’ of Him most of the time. It was business as usual for Moses the day he noticed the burning bush—not an uncommon sight in a hot desert climate. Except this time the bush kept on burning, and ‘when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him.’ (Exodus 3:4 NKJV) Some of your greatest encounters with God will happen in ordinary moments. But you have to be open and receptive, otherwise you’ll miss Him. Whether we’re aware of Him or not, God is constantly trying to catch our attention—every single moment! He wants to draw us into ever-deeper relationship with Him.

And you never know where He’ll appear, or through whom He’ll speak. After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene thought Jesus was the gardener! Paul writes, ‘Wake up, sleeper.’ (Ephesians 5:14 NIV) You can be awakened by a miraculous healing, a restored relationship, or even great trouble. Don’t just look for God in church, look for Him in the ups and downs of life, the moment-by-moment encouragements and challenges of each day.

SoulFood: Jn 1:1–14, Mt 4:12–16, Mt 5:14–16, Acts 9:1–19

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018

Today’s Readings

John 1:1–14 (Listen)

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Matthew 4:12–16 (Listen)

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15   “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16   the people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
  and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned.”

Matthew 5:14–16 (Listen)

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Acts 9:1–19 (Listen)

9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.

For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.

Sun 05 August, 2018


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