Episode 090 | How to Hear from God
What is the deal with Jesus asking us to eat his body and blood? How do we hear from God when it comes to planning out our future? And why do you do when you just don't seem to fit in with "typical" Christians? Listen in as Pastor Matt Brown talks through communion and what it really means to be "clean."
Verses and Books We Mentioned:
“…The righteous will live by faith” Habakkuk 2:4
It’s All Backward by Claude Hickman
This Week's Topics
8:31 - Can you give us some practical ways that we can be teaching our kids to fear the Lord?
Fear of God is the sense of awe and the best way to teach your kids the sense of awe is getting them into positions where they feel small. The problem is, human beings have lost the sense of awe. God is powerful and awesome and we need to understand our smallness in terms of his vastness. We don’t have to be afraid of the devil or dark things because of our awe for God. Teach your kids to understand that when we approach God we need to be humble not because of who we are, but because of who God is.
18:23 - John 15.3 says, “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” What “word” is Jesus referencing here? How does that “word” already cleanse us?
John uses basic concepts to communicate complex things. The most important verse in the book is John 20.31 and it says, “But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.” The purpose of the Gospel of John is that we would understand that Jesus is God himself. What John means by ‘word’ of God is the creative act of God in which he brings new life. We are saved and are made clean by our faith in the work of Jesus. He has done everything in us and for us and that is his ‘word’.
29:13 - Why don’t we take the Lord's Supper every Sunday?
The Lord’s Supper is a meal and that makes it difficult to do in large gatherings. In scripture the church gathered in the temple for worship and then they went into homes and shared in the Lord’s Supper as a meal. Ideally, we would gather once a month for the Lord’s Supper but not every week. Because the primary goal of the church on weekends is to communicate how to live as Christians and present Jesus as attractional to people who are not Christians. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14.26, “Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.” On the weekends we’re trying to move people to deepening or starting their relationship with Jesus. We need to have church with non-believers in mind and having the Lord’s Supper every week isn’t the best starting point for that.
42:35 - What is the meaning of John 6.53-54? It says: “So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day.”
You have to look at it in context, Jesus was intentionally being confusing and he was trying to confront the Jews’ issues with him. Jesus said these things right before the Feast of the Tabernacles which is one of the biggest Jewish holidays in the year. It remembered their 40 years in the wilderness and how during that time God sent bread from heaven to sustain them. Jesus was saying he’s the new bread from heaven. Just like you cannot live physically without food and you cannot be alive spiritually without Jesus. When we take the bread and drink the wine (or grape juice) it’s a picture of his death and resurrection on the cross. We are not saved by eating Jesus, we’re saved by believing in his work on the cross. We are saved spiritually and we remember that through the Lord’s supper.
47:44 - I often feel like I have trouble hearing the Holy Spirit and I struggle to understand God's plan for me. I've prayed and asked for counsel from my small group but still feel utterly lost. Are there any practical steps to help me hear God better?
Micah 6.8 says, “the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are. Whatever you do, do it with morality and walk humbly with God. Pick a career that allows you to serve God and serve your family and you’ll be happy. True fulfillment comes from God, not your career. God has called everyone to love Jesus and build his church. He cares less about what you do and more about who you are.
57:22 - My mother’s side of the family is Jewish in background but our faith is Christian. However, I don't know much about Jewish stuff - just Christian stuff. Does my Jewishness matter? Does it make me different than other Christians?
As a Jew you should be proud of your heritage as all cultures and ethnicities should be. I would encourage you to understand the uniqueness of your people’s role in the salvation of the world. God chose your people and chose a Jew to die on the cross. It’s something you should explore but you’re not different from other Christians. We are all one in Christ Jesus.
59:37 - I’ve been going to church most of my life but I never seem to fit in with other Christians. I know God says it’s important to fellowship but I feel like my interactions with other Christians are so forced. What should I do?
Part of your issue is the self that you’re comfortable with is not yet comfortable with Christ. Some parts of our lives God has not dealt with yet. But on the other hand, Christians can be weird. God doesn't want us to dress or act weird. We should try to be normal, where we should be abnormal is in our love, grace, forgiveness and generosity. Those are the things that make people want to be more like us.
68:16 - Why was God so concerned about "being clean" throughout Exodus and Leviticus? In the New Testament we see Jesus embrace the "dirty and sick" outcasts throughout the gospels. Did God change his mind about "being clean," or is there a theological principle that explains this?
Thousands of years before people understood why they should wash before they eat, God was providing health provisions and benefits. But more so, the purpose of the Old Testament law is to teach us that heaven is unattainable on our own. God didn’t change his mind, he has always demanded that we be clean because, in order to be saved, we have to deal with our sin and shame. But we can’t deal with our shame which is why our culture rejects it. We can’t deal with our shame, only Jesus can by his word and work on the cross. In order for our shame to be dealt with on the cross is in repentance. When you rob a culture of shame, you rob them of grace.