Transfiguration Of Our Lord-This Is The Voice!
“Father, glorify thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28)
This is the last of three remarkable occasions during the earthly ministry of Christ when God the Father spoke directly from heaven concerning His only begotten Son. The first was at His baptism. “And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. ” (Matthew 3:17; also, Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). This thrice-recorded testimony was given primarily to the forerunner, John the Baptist, who said, “And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. ” (John 1:33).
The second was to three chosen disciples at the transfiguration. “And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:5). Years later Peter recalled, “This voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:18).
Finally, the Father spoke in the words John 12:28, in direct response to the prayer of His Son at the beginning of the final week before His crucifixion. The message was to His Son but for the people. Jesus said, “Jesus answered, and said: This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.” (John 12:30) as He spoke of His imminent death on the cross.
When God spoke from heaven, the message was to assure and encourage His own dear ones: John, the disciples, and Jesus Himself. But it has also become an exhortation to all people for all time. Jesus Christ is God’s Son, and God is glorified in Him. Hear Him!
Of all the voices we hear in a day, none is more critical to how we live our lives than the voice of Jesus! Throughout history, there have been many great orators and countless inspiring speeches, but none can compare to the words of Jesus. No one ever spoke as He did. His words are perfect, infallible and unfailing, always truthful and trustworthy. He never spoke a false syllable or struck a wrong note. The wisdom of God is concentrated in every sentence.
His words are powerful. His voice caused demons to flee and storms to evaporate.
His words are practical. He spoke the language of everyday people and told simple stories. By listening to Him, we learn how to live rich, full, and blessed lives.
His words are peaceful. He spoke the words, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.” This is more than just a saying. It is a spiritual truth—a promise from our Lord and Savior.
Hearing the voice of Jesus is the greatest listening we will ever do, yet we often struggle to discern His voice. How can we recognize Jesus’s voice better?
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. Psalm 145:18
Prayer is a great privilege, blessing, and opportunity God has provided His children. As we commune with God, He brings peace and comfort and gives wisdom and understanding. As we pray, the Lord reveals Himself to us in new ways.
Many Christians struggle to pray. In a society that teaches us to be thoroughly independent and self-reliant, prayer doesn’t seem to fit. But prayer isn’t only for requests; it allows us to learn from the Father.
If you have struggled to pray in the past, don’t languish in guilt. You are not alone. Instead, be encouraged! Take the time now to put those thoughts of self-sufficiency aside and learn to talk to Jesus in prayer.
Matthew 7:7-8 teaches us how to pray and what to expect in return. It says, “Ask... seek... knock'” According to verse 8, the Lord promises to answer when we ask. The answer may not be what we wanted, but He will respond in the way that is best.
As you come “boldly to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16), remember your prayers should be:
Personal. Take some time each day where you can quietly pray alone. Come to the Father in Jesus’ name, speaking and listening to His voice through the Holy Spirit. Express your praise and adoration to
the Father, and thank Him for His provision.
Specific. After praising God for His daily provision, name any needs you have. The Lord knows your needs, so don’t be afraid to ask. Pray with expectation, knowing God wants to answer you.
Persistent. Don’t give up! God longs to hear from His children. He honors our persistence.
Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Proverbs 8:33
When we desire to hear the voice of the Lord and want to have His leading in our lives, we need to make biblical instruction a priority.
First, find a solid, Catholic Parish.
Be faithful to attend church regularly on Sunday, go over to the Saint Helen Website and click on the Sermon Archives to reread, watch or listen to the sermon for that Sunday. Throughout the next day or week, reflect upon the message. If you recognize areas in your life that need to be adjusted, make getting it right a priority.
You can also receive excellent instruction through devotional materials and biblically based Catholic books and resources. https://pod.co/sunday-sermon.
As we study to know more about God and His Word, we gain wisdom and a deeper understanding of His life-transforming power. Biblical instruction encourages, motivates, and helps us maintain a godly attitude amid the trying circumstances in life.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice. That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Nothing can so greatly enrich and influence us in our daily life as a knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. How can we be followers of Christ if we do not know and study God’s Word regularly?
To know God and discern His voice over the noise of this world, it is vital to study the Word on a consistent basis. As you do, it will become a part of how you think and act. As we hide God’s Word in our hearts, it keeps us from sin, guides our steps, and draws us closer to the One who inspired each and every word of the Book.
James 1:19-21 gives us three practical ways to exhibit the “firstfruits” as followers of Christ. We are to:
1. Concentrate our attention and control our tongues, “swift to hear, but slow to speak ”
2. Contain our anger, “[be] slow to speak, and slow to anger. For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God.”
3. Cleanse our lives of sin, “Lay aside all uncleaness and...wickedness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
God’s Word has the power to change lives. It is filled with wisdom. As we read it, receive it, and live it, we discern God’s perfect will for our lives. Scripture contains instruction we need to live victorious Christian lives. Pick up your Bible and begin reading it today!
Prayer, instruction, and Scripture are the three solutions to hear the voice of Jesus. When we add these elements into our lives, we will:
* Build a strong connection with Jesus, our Lord and Savior
* Learn to love others the way God loves us
* Serve the Lord with all our heart
* Develop a mighty, mountain-moving faith
* Rest assured of God’s promises
* Be encouraged to stay faithful
* Find new, lasting hope in hard times and trials
* Be challenged to grow, convicted of sin, and ready to change
* Hear the voice of Jesus!
May you hear the voice of Jesus more each day as you continue your study of His life and work, drawing near to Him through prayer, instruction, and Scripture.