But Jesus was honored

Acts 19:15-20 One time when the seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, tried to cast out an evil spirit, it replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered. The story spread through Ephesus … A solemn fear descended on the city and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored. Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices … So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.

John 3:34-35 Jesus speaks God’s words, for the Father gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.

Have you ever longed to hear Jesus speak to you, just personally to you? During a time of trouble in Brazil, I shared this longing with an older missionary friend. She said, “Well, let’s ask him.” I’ll never forget that precious moment. It has strengthened me many times since.

The thing is, hearing him speak requires being still and listening. Leanne Payne, a woman of deep prayer, used to say, “Listen for the word of love the Father is always speaking to you.” How can we hear those words when we’re so flooded by other voices?

I resonated yesterday with the urging of Kevin, one of our pastors, to take a weekly sabbath from screens. I’ve done this before, with great benefit, but had let the habit slip away. I’m excited about so again, being quiet enough for a whole day weekly to hear God’s fortifying words of love—not in general for the world, but for me.

When God’s voice is strong and solid inside me, I can handle the other voices better. Isn’t that true for you, too? Want to try this challenge with me?

By doing so, like the Ephesians, we are honoring Jesus above everything else. We are allowing him to nourish our souls.

Kevin quoted for us Mary Oliver’s famous poem, “The Summer Day,” the one that ends with “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The part that caught my attention yesterday was Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean-

After we got home from church, Dave helped me bag a huge pile of weeds I had pulled until dark the night before. He showed me a huge grasshopper-like creature attached to the brown bag he was stuffing with weeds:

I don’t know what this is–haven’t found it online yet. It’s five inches long.

This grasshopper … Thanks, Lord. Message received:

Be still. Be attentive. Let the Lord nourish your soul. Know Jesus and let him know you. Honor him by listening to his voice–his words of love for today.

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