FROM THE WORD

How Can We Know God's Will?

All true Christians want to know what God’s will is. In a given situation talking with a neighbor or co-worker we often wonder is this the right time to speak words of truth and faith? How can I tell if the Holy Spirit is leading me to speak? What if this person would not be receptive to words, but the Holy Spirit just wants me to be a silent witness by my kindness? How do I know if it’s God’s will to change jobs, to move, to buy a better car or to send my child(ren) to a specific school? The “what is God’s will?” question comes up big with young people who are trying to date or marry the right person and choose the right career. The variety of situations in which it would be helpful to know what God would have us to do seem to be unlimited. So, how are we supposed to know God’s will in anything? 

1. Scripture: There was a man who was very interested in a kind, thoughtful woman, and this man expressed to a friend that he thought that God was bringing her into his life to be his life companion. The friend expressed serious reservations about that because the man was already married! The Bible already clearly reveals God’s will for such a situation in the seventh commandment. It’s amazing how many situations there are that we can already know what God’s will is because the Scriptures have a command or give a clear principle by which to decide. While there are many decisions to make in life that don’t have a direct Bible verse answer, we can know if a plan or action would violate a principle of Scripture. Such a case would never be the will or leading of God. It’s amazing how often this is ignored.

2. Providential Workings: Sometimes we refer to this as God opening or closing doors. Often this way of God leading doesn’t even seem to require a decision because it’s so obvious or even miraculous to us. A job offer in one’s chosen field after graduating from college could easily seem that way. When a person approaches you asking what you believe, it’s obvious that you need to explain something that answers their question. However, that job offer may not be God’s leading, and in the obvious situation to witness, you could share the wrong thing that quickly closes the door. The man in the above paragraph thought the woman he was getting acquainted with was God’s providential working until his friend put it to the test of Scripture. How can we avoid making a wrong assumption? 

“His [God’s] voice is also revealed in His providential workings, and it will be recognized if we do not separate our souls from Him by walking in our own ways, doing according to our own wills, and following the promptings of an unsanctified heart, until the senses have become so confused that eternal things are not discerned, and the voice of Satan is so disguised that it is accepted as the voice of God” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 512).

3.Impressions of the Holy Spirit: “Another way in which God’s voice is heard is through the appeals of His Holy Spirit making impressions upon the heart, which will be wrought out in the character. If you are in doubt upon any subject, you must first consult the Scriptures” (5T, p. 512). Many people have shared how God impressed them through His still small voice. For example, a young lady told of knocking on a door doing outreach at a GYC convention. It appeared that no one was home, but that little voice impressed her to keep knocking. Finally, a very grumpy man came to the door. He was unreceptive, but she was impressed to pray with him anyway. After she prayed for the man, he changed and invited her and her friends into his house, where he broke down in tears. They had interrupted his attempt to commit suicide by the incessant knocking. When she prayed for him, he heard God speak to his heart. He realized that God cared for him. She was so thankful that she didn’t brush off those impressions of the Holy Spirit. Impressions from the Holy Spirit are not always so dramatic, but they are always important. Sometimes we forget that our conscience speaking is God’s still, small voice prompting us to avoid something wrong or drawing us to repent if wrong was done. 

4.Willingness to Obey God’s Will: The bottom line on knowing God’s will is your willingness to obey. Without the right attitude of surrender to God, persons will confuse their feelings with impressions of the Holy Spirit, misread providential workings to suit their own desires, avoid searching the Scriptures for guidance or misunderstand Scripture. This is why Ellen White wrote, “Until you have the resolution to obey God’s will you cannot have His guidance” (5T, p. 511). Maintaining a continual surrender to God is only possible through daily heartfelt prayer and time in God’s word. Without that devotional life, we really won’t care about God’s will because we will be absorbed in our own will and desires. God’s leading in your life is bound up in the time that you spend with Him. Learning to hear His voice in your devotional life is how you learn to hear His voice in every situation in life, including following His leading in earth’s final events.

Pastor Fred Dana

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This Week (January 17 to 23): 

• Tuesday @ 7:00 PM – Prayer Meeting with Pastor Fred Dana

• Wednesday @ 7:00 PM – Church Business Meeting (Chapel)

• Wednesday @ 7:00 PM - Spanish Group Prayer Meeting (Family Life Room)

• Various L.I.F.E. groups (in-home small group Bible studies) take place across Sacramento. To locate one near you contact our small groups’ coordinator, Richard Anger @ (916) 681-3990

• Sabbath @ 9:00 AM - Morning Manna – JeAnn Davis

• Sabbath @ 9:30 AM - Central Study Hour with Pastor Fred Dana + Children/Youth/Adult Sabbath School Classes

• Sabbath @ 10:50 AM - Worship Service with Pastor Chris Buttery

• Sabbath @ 1:00 PM – L.I.F.E. Group Luncheon

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Upcoming Events

Women’s Ministry Bible Study will resume this Tuesday, January 12, from 10 AM to Noon in the Family Life Room.

Church Business Meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, January 20 at 7 PM in the chapel. All members are welcome. Please join us to receive the latest information happening at Central and learn about plans for the upcoming year.

The next Healthy Plate Cooking Class, Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices, is Monday, January 25 at 7 PM in the Camellia Room. The presenter, Elizabeth Pancoast, R.N., is a certified Lifestyle Educator and Counselor from Uchee Pines. She explains going from good to better to best in making healthy lifestyle choices. We will be demonstrating how to make healthy veggie burgers. You’re welcome to join us for a donation of $5.

Central Church Retreat. Plan now to join us for our annual church retreat at Leoni Meadows, March 4-6, 2016 with featured speaker Randy Skeete. Activities for children and youth.  Applications can be picked up at the church office, hostess desk, or on our website www.saccentral.org/church-retreat.

Ministry Opportunities

Audio Training: All existing team members and anyone else who would like to be involved in this exciting ministry are invited to an interactive training event on Tuesday, January 26 at 6:30 PM with Dale Kasperson. For more information, contact Michael Aldrich at mikejaldrich@gmail.com.

Family Matters

Member Profile: It’s that time of year again to provide our church clerk with updated personal information. Please complete the form and turn it in at the church hostess desk, or in the church mailbox. We will be collecting these over the next couple of weeks. Thank you for your prompt response.

Smart Thrift is looking for volunteers to help with several easy tasks to help get clothing and the like out on the store floor.  If you are interested, please contact Teri Harper at (916) 457-6500.

Watch Us on Television! Enjoy viewing Central’s flagship programs, Central Study Hour, every Friday night at 8 PM and Sabbath morning at 6 AM (PST) on 3ABN Proclaim! Also enjoy our Receiving the Word, 30-minute programs weekly on Sunday at 11 AM, Tuesday at 11:30 AM (NEW TIME), Wednesday at 8:30 PM, and Thursday at 9 PM (NEW TIME) on Sacramento Faith TV. These can also be viewed on our website (www.saccentral.org) and our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/thecentralconnection). Let everyone know where they can receive timely Bible messages!

Podcasts Available! If you didn't know, every Central Study Hour and worship service can be viewed and downloaded by going to our website (https://zqh.orf.mybluehost.me/saccentral/sermons). This is an easy way for you to invite friends and family to listen to important Bible messages coming from Central church. The podcasts are uploaded a week after the live presentation.

If you want others to enjoy receiving this e-newsletter as much as you do, please invite them to sign up by going to https://zqh.orf.mybluehost.me/saccentral/central-happenings/ 

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BULLETIN BOARD - An assortment of happenings, announcements, and resources from around the world Seventh-day Adventist Church

It Is Written (IIW) will celebrate 60 years of soul-winning media evangelism this year, and as part of their celebration have chosen a new logo - a modern adaptation of the iconic quill. To watch IIW television programs, go to www.itiswritten.com.

January 17 to 23 will be Religious Liberty Week and the NAD Religious Liberty offering will be collected on January 24. Resource materials are being mailed to each church in NAD this month. The offering will sponsor Liberty magazine subscriptions to high-level government officials, federal, state, and provincial judges, and prominent social and religious leaders throughout the division. It will also be used to support the NAD litigation fund used for defending and preserving your religious liberty rights in court when necessary. A portion is returned to local Unions to aid in religious liberty promotion and education. 

Watch "Life on the Line," Loma Linda University Health’s national TV show that will air nationwide on WORLD Channel in January on Tuesdays at 7 PM ET.  “Life on the Line” is an inspiring look into Loma Linda's mission to further the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.  Go here for more information: http://lifeontheline.tv/

Adventist Christian Fellowship/Public Campus Ministries (PCM) is one of the church’s best resources. It is estimated that over 80% of Adventist young people attend non-Adventist colleges and universities. Many of these risk getting disconnected with the church during their tertiary education if efforts are not made to engage them. Finding these young people, connecting them to their nearest church, encouraging them in their faith, and deploying them as co-workers with Christ are equally important aspects of PCM. To learn more go here.

Resources

Believe His Prophets, the sequel to Revived by His Word, is a five-year program reading through the Bible and selected Ellen White writings, including Steps to Christ, Christ’s Object Lessons, Patriarchs and Prophets, Prophets and Kings, The Desire of Ages, The Acts of the Apostles, and The Great Controversy. You can receive daily Bible readings, participate in interactive blogs, and read select inspirational writings by going to http://www.revivalandreformation.org/bhp

New Evidence Leaves Macroevolution Dangling. Read the full article here.

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