An online magazine for pastors and church leaders.

Take a little break these days in December and re-center yourself with these devotions from the Sunday| Mag contributors.

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, ?Come over to Macedonia and help us.??And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. (Acts 16:9-10, ESV)

I met the Lord in a very personal way in July 1988. I had just moved to Cleveland, Ohio post-college. I was visiting a friend near Dayton and went to church with her and her family. The message spoke directly to me, and on the drive home that night, Christ captured my heart. As I began looking for a church to attend closer to home, I looked for what I knew: something like that one church I had attended. I found another church of that denomination in the Cleveland area, but it was on the other side of the city?a solid 45 minute drive.

I went one week and loved it. The people were friendly and I felt like I was home. But it was 45 minutes away. I started wondering if I should try to find something closer. One night, I was reading the book of Acts and came across that passage. Did I mention the church in question was in Macedonia? When I read that, it was clear to me that God wanted me to make that church my home. I did, and less than two years later, I moved over there. I had the immense privilege of helping a church grow from 80 people in a middle school cafeteria to a thriving ministry that?s still growing to this day. Those years set me on the course I still follow today.

Throughout the Bible, God speaks to people in all sorts of ways. Dreams are popular, as are angels. Then there are the outliers like the donkey and the burning bush. But those are just the ways we know about. Over and over, as we read Scripture, we see people doing things that don?t make any sense from our perspective. Yet they do it, and God blesses it. It?s almost as if God was speaking to them.

Today, some lament that God doesn?t speak to people the way He did in the Old Testament. But I propose that for every burning bush there were dozens if not hundreds of times God spoke to someone in a still, small voice. And I think that?s how He speaks today. Sometimes it?s through a passage that speaks to you, or an idea you couldn?t have come up with on your own. It may even be through on online devotional.[quote]For every burning bush there were dozens if not hundreds of times God spoke to someone in a still, small voice.[/quote]

We simply have to be prepared to listen, believe, and then act. That means we need to slow down and listen. That can be hard this time of year, but I truly believe that if you take some time every day to hear from God, you will get more done, be less stressed, and enjoy the journey more. And who knows, perhaps you?ll hear something that will set the course for the rest of your life.

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