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The Voice of a Stranger

  • The Voice of a Stranger from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    (John 10:1–5 NKJV)  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

    Jesus said that His sheep would know Him and recognize His voice. They may also hear a stranger, but they would not follow them because the stranger would sound different. Some of our ears are being battered by that stranger today. I want to contrast the voice of Jesus with the voice of that stranger to remove the smoke and mirrors they hide behind.

    Jesus' voice brings clarity, while the stranger brings confusion. Jesus brings confidence, while the other brings doubt. Jesus inspires faith in our hearts, while the other instills fear. The words of Jesus bring hope, while the enemies bring despair. Jesus says, "Yes, you can!" While the enemy says, "No, you can't!" We need to learn to recognize who is speaking. Jesus spoke about us hearing His voice many times:

    (John 10:27 NKJV)  "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."

    (John 10:16 NASB)  "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd."

    I want to compare some of the words Jesus spoke with some from the stranger He mentioned. For the sake of brevity, I will summarize some of the stories here instead of quoting long blocks of scripture.

    The first mention of the stranger's voice is when he appeared as a serpent in the garden of Eden in Genesis 3:1. God had given Adam and Eve one command: "Don't eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the center of the garden. If you do, you will die."

    While the serpent was speaking with Eve, he first called into question whether God actually gave them the command at all when he asked her, "Did God really say that?" It cast a little confusion over the situation. When Eve clearly confirmed God had said it, the serpent doubled down and directly lied to her with, "You will surely not die." But, after Adam and Eve ate the fruit from that tree, they died. It was a lying snake.

    Later, the stranger appears in Job 1:8, where he has an interesting conversation with God about Job. God considers Job, a righteous man. But satan calls that into doubt and says, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face." It was more cynical lying, questioning Job's character and motives. Suggesting that Job was not righteous at all.

    Next, the stranger appears in Zechariah 3:1, where we find him accusing Joshua the high priest, while Jesus is defending him. Jesus removes the priest's iniquity and dresses him in royal garments.

    The next mention of the stranger speaking is when Jesus was fasting in the wilderness in Luke 4:3. He was trying to find a weakness in Jesus as he had in so many other men. He began just as he had with Adam and Eve. Eat something. Jesus had fasted forty days and was now hungry. On a lengthy fast, hunger subsides after the first week, typically about three days in. Jesus' appetite had now returned, which means He was beginning to starve to death. So satan asked Him to turn some of the stones there into bread. Treat yourself.

    Jesus' response should be an example to us today. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and He shined the light of God's word on the seductive lies of the enemy. If we don't know the word of God, then we are automatically at a disadvantage. Jesus countered the lies with, "It is written" three times. That about covers the lies of the stranger. Now let's look at the words and attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    While Jesus was teaching in a crowded house, a paralyzed man was carried there by his friends. They couldn't get him close to Jesus. So they took some of the roofing off the house. Then lowered their friend down through the hole to be right in front of Jesus. Instead of becoming upset at them for interrupting His teaching, Jesus told him, "Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven." (Matthew 9:2). Then He healed him. Jesus was understanding and compassionate.

    One night the Apostles were in their boat when Jesus came walking to them on the water. Peter asked if he could get out and walk on water as well. Jesus said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on water with Jesus. But the wind sprang up, and the waves became rough. Peter panicked and began to sink. When he cried out, Jesus caught him, and they walked back to the boat together. When they were safely in the boat, Jesus told Peter this: "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:29). Jesus wanted Peter to succeed, not be afraid, to walk on water anytime he needed to.

    In John 8:3, Jesus was teaching in the temple when a woman caught in adultery was dragged before Him. The Scribes and Pharisees were pressuring Jesus to condemn her to death. But Jesus told them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Apparently, none of them were sinless, and the stoning never began. So after they left, Jesus told her: "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." God understands that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. No one is better than others. It was just sinners pointing at a sinner.

    In Matthew 19:13, some people brought their children to Jesus to have Him bless them. The disciples became upset that these "small" people were taking up their Master's time. The disciples rebuked the parents and children, but then Jesus rebuked them. Jesus told His disciples, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." And He laid His hands on them and blessed them. No one is too insignificant in His sight. Jesus is not a respecter of persons, and He does not recognize positions, titles, gender, race, age, or denominations. We are all a part of one body: the body of Christ.

    In Matthew 9:20, there was a woman who had been suffering from bleeding for twelve years. Because of her condition, she was embarrassed. Her constant bleeding was considered unclean, and she was not allowed to touch anyone. She eased up behind Jesus in the crowd and gently touched the hem of His garment. Jesus sensed what had happened. He turned around and saw her and said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." And she was instantly healed.

    I could cover so many more stories about the compassion and love that Jesus has for us. Jesus understands. He encourages, inspires, equips, and builds us up. The stranger only comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).

    If you hear a critical voice condemning you, reminding you of your past, casting gloom on your future, questioning your abilities and causing you to be afraid of the road ahead, IT IS NOT GOD.

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please give me discernment and help me recognize when you speak to me. Let me begin to see others through Your eyes. I want to be a part of what You are doing on the Earth today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!


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27 comments
  • 0
Debi Burton
Debi Burton I love how He encourages, inspires, equips, and builds us up. Thank you Jehovah Father for all you do in the name of Jesus’ I pray , Amen Thank you, Pastor Dion for spreading the word! God bless you and Sylvia! ❤️
November 30, 2020
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!! Alleluia!! Amen!!

November 29, 2020
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen Have A Bless Day Everyone 

November 29, 2020
  • 1
JD Austin
JD Austin

It was an appropriate message for me today as I try to discern what I am supposed to do at this time. GOD always sends us the appropita words when we need them.

November 29, 2020
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Thank you pastor Dion and Sylvia for another awesome service, I love you guys and my RHM family so much and I really look forword to hearing what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. I was wondering if maybe we could have a healing service sometime where we all touch our screens and pray for each other, I just know in my heart of hearts it feels right, and I know there are a lot of members who are hurting and suffer with all kinds of chronic issues. It's just a thought no big deal if  it's not a good Idea? 

November 29, 2020
  • 2
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Hi Scott, I'll say a prayer for you and your family. May God bless you.  AMEN

November 30, 2020
  • 2
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

I think that is a good idea, Scott. I will touch my screen now as I pray for your healing from head to toe, Amen!

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Richard Mondello
Richard Mondello

In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen, Father I Thank You so much for loving me

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Susan Petho
Susan Petho

Amen!

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walkeredited: November 30, 2020

AMEN. My Faith and Trust is with the Lord. 

Good message in the service Pastor Dion. Amen

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Brenda F
Brenda F

Amen

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Lord, please protect us from the distraction of voices that are not of You, and help us to always hear Your voice above anything else!

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

AMEN!!

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Celeste Strenn
Celeste Strenn

Amen thank you Lord Jesus open my ears! Open my heart! Thank you precious Lord.

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Amen

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Thank you Lord Jesus for speaking to me and hearing Your voice. Open all hearts and ears that all you children will hear. In Jesus Name I ask,  Amen 

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Jim Jarrell
Jim Jarrell

Amen! Thank You Lord!

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

God I love you

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Jesus,please help us to know you are taking to us ! We love and worship you. Amen.Thank you Pastor Dion.

November 30, 2020
  • 2
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Heavenly Father, please give me discernment and help me recognize when you speak to me. Let me begin to see others through Your eyes. I want to be a part of what You are doing on the Earth today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father praises to Your Holy Name forever, for giving us Your Son Jesus Christ to lead us to have a better life and to be free of the temptations of the enemy. I need to hear Your voice clearly in a way I can understand to follow Your word. In Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen. Alleluia. 

Great Vimeo Pastor, God bless you and Sylvia. 

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Cindy Holcomb
Cindy Holcomb

Amen Father, I want to be a part of what you are doing today!

November 30, 2020
  • 2
Cindy Holcomb
Cindy Holcomb

I think that's a good idea Scott.

November 30, 2020
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardleedited: December 1, 2020

Oh my Lord and God, who am I that you should take pity on me, cleansing me of all of my sins, speaking to me and allowing me to be Your child!!! Please help me to always hear and listen to Your voice, thank you from the bottom of my heart !!!  Amen and Amen !!!

December 1, 2020
  • 1
Frances Osayi
Frances Osayi

Amen 

December 1, 2020
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

December 2, 2020