Category Archives: Missionary Diary

The most general category after “uncategorized.” Articles on the meaning, purpose and practice of Christian mission, and ours in particular.

Sermon Diary: How to Hear God’s Voice

Sheep

“My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27)

Reading the Scriptures, we understand that man’s life is dependent on his communication with God. The Creator of the universe created us to communicate both with Him and with each other. To fulfil this purpose of His, He has given us a voice and the ability to read, write, and listen. Without the use of the senses, which are the entrance to our consciousness and souls, without our much-needed communication, life is practically impossible.

God wants us to hear His voice much more than we want to because He is not ignorant of our need to be saved, as we are often. We seem to be deluded about His role and will in our lives. For this reason, we often turn away from God as He reaches out His hand to us to give us eternal love, the perfect expression of which we see in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

It is good to know that the Bible gives us many practical instructions on how to hear God‘s voice. In many cases, when we read and study the Scriptures, when we receive dreams from Him, when we converse with and receive advice from mature Christians, when we observe natural phenomena or study historical events, we can hear with our spiritual senses the words of the Lord of all things visible and invisible.

At the same time, we can rarely define God’s voice as audible – in the sense we put when we talk about human relationships. Because of our separation from God through sin, He speaks in a fallen world more covertly—often enigmatically. For this reason, it is necessary to be active in listening in order to be able to hear Him.

There are certain spiritual principles to apply when seeking to hear God’s voice, but three of them are especially effective if we apply them with faith:

1. “My sheep hear my voice”
Jesus said this: “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). These words make it clear to us that in order to understand the words of the Lord Jesus, we must be His, to be obedient as sheep, to be active in listening, for Him to know us and for us to follow Him.

2. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear…”
In many places in the New Testament, and especially in the parables that Jesus told His followers, we can read these words: “He who has ears to hear, let him listen…”. Of course, we know very well that there are no people without ears. Jesus’ call is about those who are interested in His teaching paying attention to His words and being open to receiving and reflecting on them. Only the listeners will understand the true content of what He is saying.

3. “The Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth”
The Lord declares: “And when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak of himself, but whatever he hears, that will he speak, and he will declare to you the things to come” (John 16:13). From these words we understand that even without having the intellectual capacity to perceive all truth, we will be guided into all truth by the Spirit of God. We also realize that through the words of the Spirit we will receive prophetic vision and knowledge by which we will be informed of things to come.

A Short Bible Study: Matthew 5:10

tied hands and a cross

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

This verse is part of the Lord’s teaching known as the Beatitudes. It is an encouragement to those who are under an oppressive, unjust, and cruel treatment because of their faith in Jesus. Without such a promise one would ask himself “Why am I suffering? Is it in vain?” But the words of Jesus are a promise that standing for the righteousness of God in this world has a great reward — the kingdom of heaven, where eternal righteousness and justice reigns. It is theirs, it is their home, their inheritance. They will live in it, they will be its rulers. It is at their will as they have aligned it with God’s will when it was not easy to do so. Standing with righteousness against the unrighteous, and paying a price has also a great reward.

A second notion is that wherever there is a kingdom there is justice. So the suffering under the persecution of the wicked kingdoms of this world, will be redeemed with the reward of heaven for those who are faithful.

Northwestern Bulgarian Initiative to Secede: A Cry of Despair and a Call to Mission?

map of Northwestern Bulgaria

The Northwestern corner of Bulgaria, from west to east: Vidin, Montana, and Vratza.

We have been serving with the Gospel and mission work in Northwestern Bulgaria since 2001, and by moving to serve in the local church in 2009.

Recently people in the region called for the autonomy of the three Northwestern districts in the country — Vratza, Montana, and Vidin. However, the initiative was withdrawn as its leader, a factory worker from Montana, acknowledged that his idea was to point to the devastating economic situation in the region and feeling of despair people who live there feel. Northwestern Bulgaria is the poorest statistically region of the European Union.

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The new village road

In 2010 I was hired as a legal consultant to represent a mayor of a small viallge in Southern Bulgaria. He was an evangelical Christian whose greatest issue was to have a road built for the people of his viallge. The village was in the mountains separated by 30 km (about 18 miles) from the rest of the world by a dirt road which went through private property; the owner of the property did not allow the villagers to use the path going through his piece of land.
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Bulgarian Homeschooling Update

After the August 2010 conference in a remote Bulgarian town the Association for Home Education filed papers with the local court to register as a non-profit. The registration was denied in October. The founders of the registration voted in majority not to appeal the court’s decision to the higher courts. Since then a new homeschooling family in Sofia, a Christian couple with four children, withdrew their children from the state school system.
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National Homeschooling Conference in Bulgaria – on TV

August 20-22 the whole family drove to Silistra, to the annual conference of Bulgarian homeschoolers. Viktor was the co-founder of the Association for Homeschooling earlier in July. There were families from Romania as well as the situation there is very similar to that in Bulgaria. In both countries the law supports mainly state-run education which is mandatory and the legal status of homeschooling families is uncertain.

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