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God is more ready to talk to you than you are ready to listen. You can learn to hear the direct, loving, weighty voice of God through scripture. Over thousands of years, God’s voice is consistent. Pastor Mark shows us how we can know God’s voice today.
Every day, we are bombarded by voices that compete for our time, attention, and our hearts. In a sea of competing voices, how do we discern the one voice that leads to abundant life?

Listening

April 28, 2019
God's voice can be difficult to hear, as the boy Samuel found out. However, Samuel was able to discern God's voice through the help of his mentor Eli and through praying this prayer: "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." Often, the first step needed to hear God's voice is simply to listen.
On Friday, Jesus was crucified, and his followers were overcome with pain. On Saturday, they waited, and nothing made sense. But on Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead, and they experienced deliverance. Whether you find yourself in a time of waiting or pain, Easter means that Jesus still delivers us from death to life, hope, and love.
Sloth is painful to watch, but easy to fall into. When we give in to sloth, we become indifferent to those around us. But throughout his life, Jesus models a better way—the way of diligence.
While it's easy to see greed as a temptation only for the very rich, the desire for more affects all of us. Instead of accumulating as much as possible and holding on for dear life, though, Jesus teaches that generosity sets us free from greed and lets us live lives of blessing for others.
Whether it's food, shopping, or scrolling on our phones, we all struggle with wanting more than is good for us, and the excess leads to ruin. But God desires our freedom, and through the virtue of temperance, helps us trust that Jesus is enough. Find sermon notes and more at https://acts2umc.org/sermons/gluttony-and-temperance/.
Envy can cause us to resent and even have contempt towards others. We can, however, find true, authentic contentment in God. In the presence of God, we have all that we need, and our envy begins to vanish.
Lust can wreck our relationships and reduce our capacity for love. The virtue of chastity helps us overcome lust so that we no longer see others as object for our use, but as people with whom we can have real relationships.
It's easy to respond with anger when things don't go our way, but patience allows us to let go of the anger that ensnares us. 
Pride distorts our sense of self and prevents us from seeing clearly, but when we humble ourselves before God, God's truth leads to life, freedom, and connection with God, self, and others.
How can we best love our families? In the conclusion to “Relationship Bootcamp,” we look to the latest research and biblical wisdom for dealing with parents, children, and in-laws.
We all have difficult people in our lives, and we struggle to know how to be in relationship with them. The Bible gives us guidance for how to relate to wise, foolish, and evil people. When we follow this teaching, and we set and maintain healthy boundaries, we grow in our ability to love others and ourselves.

Relationships are the greatest source of both joy and pain in our lives. But before we can begin to improve our relationships, we have to start in the right place—the love of God that makes possible our love for others. Our ability to love begins with the recognition that God first loved us.

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