Do You Know His Voice?

Do You Know His Voice?

By Laura Williams

Do you ever wonder if you have ever heard God speaking to your heart? Really heard Him for yourself? Or have you ever had a thought come into your mind out of the blue and thought, “Is that my own imagination? Is that God speaking to me?” Those are questions that I think we all ask. How can I know when God speaks to me? Or, on the other hand, what if I THINK God is speaking to me, but really it’s just my own thoughts?!

The verse we hear most often in reference to “hearing the voice of God” comes from Jesus in John 10:27 where He said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” This has often led me to wonder why it is that I don’t always know when I am hearing God speak to my heart. I’m left wondering how I can be His sheep and still not know His voice. But notice that Jesus said that not only do the sheep hear His voice, but He KNOWS them.

Jesus knows how to speak to each one of us, and He does this differently for us all. For example, in the Bible we can read about how the Lord spoke out loud to Abraham, but a burning bush is what caught Moses’s attention when He first heard from God. He directed the children of Israel with a pillar of fire at night, but He called Samuel in a familiar voice when he was sleeping.

It is important to know that God doesn’t want to play games with us–He is not a God who wants us to struggle to hear Him and then laughs when we make a mistake. You can read in Matthew chapter 7 how Jesus compared the love of our Heavenly Father to that of our earthly dads. He wants to bless us, He wants us to hear and know Him, and He delights in His children. You can trust that God will speak to you as a loving Father who intimately knows the way you think, the doubts you may have, and the inmost person of your heart.

Another important thing to consider is HOW we come to recognize His voice. Just as with anyone, we LEARN to recognize His voice the more we listen to Him. And the primary way that we can hear God’s heart, His voice, and His words is through the Bible! As you spend time reading His Word, you will become accustomed to the quiet way the Holy Spirit teaches you in it. When you read a passage of the Bible, and sense God’s conviction and are reminded of His promises to you, this is the voice of God speaking to you!

To become familiar with the voice of our Savior is to let His Word penetrate our hearts on a daily basis that we might begin to recognize His voice!


Another beautiful part of spending time in the Bible is that we also receive a firm foundation of truth–Jesus said to His Father in Heaven, “Sanctify me by your truth–Your WORD is truth.” So as we read and study the Word of God, the truths He teaches us will also resonate with us when we hear His voice outside of our reading time. You may be at the grocery store on your way to the car when you see an item in the cart that you forgot to pay for by accident. And a voice in your heart says, “Go back. It doesn’t belong to you. Be honest.” And perhaps this may follow with in inward dialogue on the ethical benefit of paying for the item–“Really is it worth that much anyway? I mean, Walmart already has bazillions of dollars, do they really need the $2.27 for this dish soap?!” (may or may not have been me stalled with my cart in the middle of the blazing parking lot debating this with myself last week 🙂

So, in those moments (that we ALL have, I know) we will be able to recognize the voice of God in us as the same voice we hear in His Word! Does the voice in your head match the heart of God you see in the Bible? When you feel “prompted” (a Christian word for a hunch or thought that isn’t exactly your own) to go and tell someone God loves them, or maybe to ask your waitress if you can pray for her, ask yourself, “Is this consistent with the heart of God?”It would certainly make sense for God to want to use you to share His love with someone, or to reach out and pray for a stranger. However uncomfortable that may be! 🙂 But the truth is, because God is such a loving Father, even IF it were only your own thought and you acted out of obedience to what you believed to be God speaking to you, He loves you! God is never disappointed in us for acting in faith! 

We won’t be perfect–that day is saved for Heaven, but take comfort in knowing that you have a Father in Heaven who has made His voice known to you in His Word, who KNOWS how to speak to you, and loves us even when we make mistakes. There will certainly be times we hear God telling us to take a step of faith in our heart (like speaking to a stranger or even returning dish soap) and we may not always obey. And as the Holy Spirit gently convicts us of our lack of faith or our unwillingness to listen, He always restores us and speaks to us again.

Be comforted knowing that Your Father in Heaven delights in you today. And spend time getting to know Him and His voice in His Word today. He always speaks to us there. 🙂

This post is shared from the Redemption Church Blog.

Five People You are Destined To Love

Five People You are Destined to Love

By Bruce Zachary

This post is shared from the VELO Church Leaders Page 

Who do you love? There are so many people that come to mind. Nevertheless, they might not be the ones that God has destined me to love. Have you ever wanted to know, “Lord who are the people that I am destined to love?” The author of the Book of Hebrews has some clues for us. Before I reveal your true love list, it is necessary to briefly recall what the Book of Hebrews is about.

The Book of Hebrews makes a compelling case that Jesus is greater than: angels, prophets, Moses, the sacrificial system, the priesthood, the temple, and His New Covenant is superior to the Old. Jesus’ greatness inspires great love! Jesus’ followers are to reveal that Jesus is greater than anything else by how they live, and whom they love.

In difficult times we tend to focus more on our circumstances and selves, instead of focusing on Christ and others. Hebrews is addressed to Jewish Christians who were suffering for their faith in Jesus, and were tempted to abandon Jesus for ritual Judaism. After demonstrating how Jesus is superior, we are then challenged to live like Jesus and love others rather than being self-focused. In addition to loving Christ supremely, here is a list of your five true loves:

  1. Love other believers: Let brotherly love continue [Heb. 13:1].Love one another like a family. Before it can continue it needs to exist. If you are isolated from a true community of other believers you need to seek it and develop it. Once it exists you need to vigorously maintain it. Loving other believers and being loved by them is enriching and transforming. Furthermore, it stirs the world to jealousy. Genuine love among believers is the evidence that we are Christ’s disciples (Jn.13:35), and that kind of community is so attractive to non-believers.
  1. Love those who are unable to benefit you materially: Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also [Heb. 13:2-3]. Strangers, prisoners, and the mistreated rarely have much to offer in the material sense. Showing hospitality to strangers and prisoners is often inconvenient, and occasionally frightening. In context, the author of Hebrews was likely thinking of those who were suffering because of their faith in Christ. But the principle has broad application. We are encouraged by the unexpected benefits, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. You never know whom you are blessing. You might entertain an angel like Abraham did (Gen. 18:1-22), or simply discover the great value of loving without expectation of any return. Undoubtedly, you will show the type of love that draws people to Jesus, the source of that love.

You might be surprised that people are not always “what or who” they appear to be. One time when I was speaking at a conference, I saw a man who appeared “homeless.” I tried to show the love of Christ by approaching and engaging him in conversation. We were talking for quite a while, right up until the host introduced the worship leader for the event, and my new friend excused himself to go on stage. You just never know, it might be Jesus that you are showing kindness to (Matt. 25:35-36). So treat those in need like a fellow human being created in His image, rather than a project.

  1. Love your Spouse: Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge[Heb. 13:4]. Marriage is the most noble and blessed relationships between people. There is no other relationship designed by God to forge two distinct people into one (Gen. 2:24). Marriage is to display the love that Christ has for His bride the church (Eph. 5:32). Sexual intimacy is reserved for the marriage relationship. It is one of many fringe benefits of marriage (1 Cor. 7:2-5, Song of Solomon). Respecting God’s boundaries will display your love for Christ as well as your love for your spouse. Be faithful and don’t defile your marriage by sexual intimacy prior to marriage (fornication) or sex outside of your marriage (adultery). That type of love for Christ, and for your future or present spouse is noteworthy, and attracts people to Christ.
  1. Love your neighbor: Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lordis my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” [Heb. 13:5-6]. The principle is to be content not covetous, yet covetousness is related to our neighbor (Ex. 20:17). Coveting is primarily an attitude, but here the directive relates to behavior, “Let your conduct be without covetousness …” If I am jealous of my neighbor’s house, spouse, kids, wealth, career or other stuff, and long for my neighbor’s life (coveting) I have effectively lost the ability to show how great Jesus is.

On the other hand, when I display the reality that Jesus is greater than all my neighbor’s stuff, then it is reasonable for my neighbor to be jealous and want what I have – Jesus. You are even reminded why Jesus is better than your neighbor’s stuff. First, He will never leave or forsake you [5]. Stuff and people, are always separated from you, but Jesus never will be. Second, He is ever present to help you so you need not fear [6]. Real contentment in this life flows from trusting Jesus not things. Jesus brings greater security than stuff. When you are content in Christ, you can love your neighbor.

  1. Love your spiritual leaders: Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct [Heb. 13:7]. Those who teach sound doctrine, live sound doctrine, and lead with sound doctrine are a gift from God. Love and respect them and follow them as they follow Christ. Let them lead with joy and not grief, because ultimately it will be best for you [Heb. 13:17].

Who else are you destined to love? Share your thoughts with us.


Pastor at Calvary Nexus, Camarillo, CA. Bruce has been an ordained pastor for over 20 years. Bruce planted Calvary Nexus in Camarillo, Ca. in 1996 and continues to serve as the lead pastor of a multi-site church. Bruce is the author of 12 books. He has previously been a trial attorney, and helps direct the Calvary Church Planting Network [CCPN]


Three Ways Millennial Leaders can be an Example

Three Ways Millennial Leaders can be an Example

By Bruce Zachary

This post is shared from the VELO Church Leaders Page 

Millennial leaders can be a stellar example to existing, emerging, and prospective leaders. I thank God that I get to serve at a church with an abundance of healthy next generation spiritual leaders. Spiritually healthy next generation leaders are a catalyst to create a healthy leadership development culture. What example should a young leader give? In Paul’s letter to Timothy, a next generation leader, we discover three ways millennial leaders can be a healthy example as spiritual leaders: character, calling, and commitment.

 “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you [1Tim. 4:12-16].”

  1. Character [12-13]: Older people, and your peers, will not despise your youth if you live beyond your years and beyond reproach. See that they look up to you rather than down at you by being a pattern or an example to other believers. You can silence criticism by your character. When Plato, the great Greek philosopher, was accused of dishonorable conduct he replied, “We must live our lives in such a way that all will see that the charge is false.” The great evangelist, D.L. Moody observed, “If I care for my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”

There are six [6] specific areas of character that provide a helpful list:

  1. In word: your speech should reflect a tongue controlled by God.
  2. In conduct: walk the talk. Live a life characterized by spiritual growth.
  3. In love: by your love all will know that you are His disciple [Jn. 13:35].
  4. In spirit: excitement and zeal for Christ and His kingdom.
  5. In faith: a life characterized by confident trust in God and loyalty to Him.
  6. In purity: honesty, self-control, and chastity set against immorality of the world.
  1. Calling [13]: you will always be called to be a follower of Jesus and His ambassador. In different seasons you will serve in various areas of ministry in or alongside a local church. In a sense these areas may represent your calling in a particular season. Some will ultimately be called to the role of pastor and teacher. The best way to fulfill your calling, in every season, is to devote yourself to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Know the Scriptures and continue to read and discover more of Jesus in the Bible. Share with others what you are discovering. Apply the word to your life and encourage others to do the same with grace, humility, and respect. Make the effort to learn doctrine. You are called to be radically biblical! Right doctrine leads to right thinking, right choices, and right life.

Next generation spiritual leaders, like the next generation generally, want to radically change their world and this is a noble and good cause. Social justice matters such as caring for the poor, the widow, and the orphan are important to God and should be important to His people. Nevertheless, don’t neglect to anchor your calling in a solid foundation of doctrine. It will take effort to learn the word and sound doctrine. Be a diligent worker who can rightly divide the word of God. It will require you to do more than simply read the Bible to develop a healthy understanding of doctrine or systematic theology. Identify a mentor(s), utilize resources (books on doctrine and systematic theology, commentaries, Bible College, School of Ministry, etc), and become a mentor to others sharing what you’ve discovered.

3. Commitment [14-16]: Spiritual leaders have been set-apart for a special purpose, and must commit to three key concepts.

a. Charisma [14]: Do not neglect the gift [charisma] that is in you. God has given you a spiritual gift(s), a desire to advance God’s kingdom, and the ability to influence others for Christ. Commit to walk in your gift(s) despite the resistance from those you influence, opposition from the enemy, and the attraction of the material world

b. Consume [15]: Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. The Hebrew idea of meditating, that was likely Paul’s reference, has the idea of contemplating night and day [Josh. 1:8]. The essence of the charge is to be consumed with God’s business. The work of advancing God’s kingdom is a balance between inspiration and perspiration. The idea of your progress may be evident to all is literally to cut forward or blaze the way. Next Gen leaders who are consumed with Christ and the work of God will be trailblazers. Their spiritual growth will be evident to those who undoubtedly will follow.

c. Careful [16]: Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Sound doctrine and a godly life will lead others to Christ. Remember to care for your own spiritual condition so that you can care for others. As you accept the call as a next generation leader, be encouraged that Christ will work through you and your generation and bring salvation to many.


  1. As a next generation leader, how have you grown this year in regard to character, calling, and commitment?
  1. How would you like to grow this year in regard to character, calling, and commitment?
  1. As one who is developing next generation leaders, how can you affirm them about their example?


Pastor at Calvary Nexus, Camarillo, CA. Bruce has been an ordained pastor for over 20 years. Bruce planted Calvary Nexus in Camarillo, Ca. in 1996 and continues to serve as the lead pastor of a multi-site church. Bruce is the author of 12 books. He has previously been a trial attorney, and helps direct the Calvary Church Planting Network [CCPN].

The Purpose of Worship – Part 2

The Purpose of Worship – Part 2

By Bruce Zachary

This post is shared from the VELO Church Leaders Page 


Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the site of Jacob’s well in her village. As Jesus asks her for a drink she is surprised that a Jew would ask for a drink from her since she is a Samaritan and a woman. Typically, the Jews avoided the whole area of Samaria, and would bypass the area on the way to Galilee. Furthermore a rabbi would not generally speak alone with a woman. Jesus explained that He needed to go through Samaria [v.4], and we learn that His purpose was to seek this woman. Jesus explains to her and to us that the Father is seeking true worshipers [see, verse 23]. How wonderful it is to know that God is seeking us to worship Him. He is in pursuit of us, because he is looking for worshipers.

I remember when our kids were small and we took them to a warehouse size toy store. We were looking at some items on a shelf, and when we looked down our oldest boy was gone. We started looking up and down the aisles, and our hearts started to race. Soon we were running up and down the aisles looking for him. That’s how God is seeking us… passionate pursuit.

Interestingly, when we found him, his first words were, “Where did you go?” Sometimes that is how we are with God. We leave our fellowship with Him, and then we ask, “Where did you go?” It is comforting to know that God is looking for me.

The Greek term proskuneo, that we translate worship, can be defined as a kiss toward one in a token of reverence. Our worship is a reverent kiss toward God. God desires that relationship, He requires that relationship, and He is seeking that relationship.

We need to honestly consider whether we are seeking Him? Do we desire to stay close with Him? Do we find ourselves easily lost and separated from our Father like a child in a toy store? Has it been difficult for us to find our way back to Him?


Fruitful worship is a spiritual experience that cannot take place solely in our emotions or will. Jesus revealed this truth to the woman at the well:

John 4:23-24

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Twice Jesus repeats this principle that worship must be in spirit and in truth. The Jews, unlike the Samaritans, had knowledge of God, but there was something missing in their worship. Fruitful worship must be inspired and directed by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God creates a desire to draw near to God in worship, and enables us to worship.

Later in John’s Gospel, Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as living water that will flow out of the hearts of those who believe in Him [John 7:38-39]. The flow of living water is necessary for worship. Similarly, the Apostle Paul explained to the church at Philippi that true believers worship God in the Spirit [Philippians 3:3].

A.W. Tozer remarked, “If God took His Holy Spirit out of this world, what the church is doing would go right on and nobody would know the difference.” If the Holy Spirit was removed from our worship, and there were no notable difference, then we were not worshiping in spirit and in truth. Ideally, worship is distinctly spiritual, and not merely an emotional or intellectual experience.

We cannot truly worship God apart from the Spirit of God in our lives. A good litmus test to see if our worship is inspired by the Spirit is whether we are seeking to draw near to God. Imagine a car radio. Trying to hear the radio without an antenna is impossible. Similarly, trying to worship God without the Spirit is impossible.

In addition, you can have an antenna, but be tuned to the wrong frequency. Fruitful worship is spiritual in the sense that the antenna is up, and we are tuned to the right frequency. In other words, we have the Holy Spirit, and we are seeking to experience God. We need to consider fundamentally whether we have received Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our lives. Next we need to consider whether we are tuned to the right frequency. Do we truly desire to hear from God? Is this desire truly evident in the decisions we make? For example, how we spend available time. How much time do we spend in prayer, reading the Bible, going to church, fellowship with other believers, and praising God? Similarly, how much time are we spending tuned to a known “wrong” frequency such as the wrong music, movies and merrymaking? As the Spirit directs our lives we seek more satisfaction in the things of God than the things of the world.



Pastor at Calvary Nexus, Camarillo, CA. Bruce has been an ordained pastor for over 20 years. Bruce planted Calvary Nexus in Camarillo, Ca. in 1996 and continues to serve as the lead pastor of a multi-site church. Bruce is the author of 12 books. He has previously been a trial attorney, and helps direct the Calvary Church Planting Network [CCPN].

Christmas: Daniel Williams Meals Matter

Christmas: Daniel Williams – Meals Matter

Once you have known the love and mercy of Jesus in your life, there is no greater joy than sharing His love with someone.

Jesus commands us to go into all the world and make disciples,and nothing brings greater fulfillment than stepping out and helping a person grow in their relationship with Jesus. (Matthew 28:18-20, John 20:21) I want nothing more than to obey my Savior and tell someone else about how much He loves them and what God has already done for them! But have you ever found yourself feeling ill-equipped or maybe you just don’t know where to start when it comes to discipling someone or even sharing Jesus? ! !

When my family came to Florida to start a church, we did not know anyone. We had no team, no church to invite people to, and wanted a way to form relationships and share Jesus with people who so desperately need Him. We had always loved having people over to our house to eat, and we decided to continue using this approach to building relationships and see what God would do through it! ! !

Meals are a practical and powerful means of connecting with people. ! ! Jesus used meals as an opportunity for ministry throughout His life. Robert Karris said, “In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.”! !Luke 7:34-35 says, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.” ! !

God is constantly using the everyday world around us to show us things about who He is. So, it makes sense that Jesus used every opportunity to teach those around Him, including meal times. It is amazing to note the number of times we hear some of the greatest teachings of Jesus come from a time sitting around a dinner table.

The act of inviting someone into our home is becoming more rare as people are busier and connecting more and more through social media and texting rather than face to face. We have had many people tell us that our home was the first “real home” they had been to in years! Tim Chester wrote a book on this subject called “A Meal with Jesus.” “Few acts are more expressive of companionship than the shared meal….someone with whom we share food is likely to be our friend, or well on the way to becoming one.”!! ! We eat an average of 21 meals per week.

It is a reasonable and attainable goal to plan out 1-2 of these meal times each week to connect with someone for the sake of discipleship! In a natural setting, eating a meal is an intimate and comfortable environment for real conversation.! ! So be encouraged that this is something you can do! Sometimes we may feel like what we are doing is not enough, or we feel at a loss in how we can better pour into someone’s life.

This is a great starting point. Just as Jesus used meal times to pour into those around Him, we can begin to look for ordinary opportunities to do the same!

Daniel Williams started Redemption Church Delray Beach in 2012 in Delray Beach, Florida. Where he lives with his wife, Laura, and their two children.

He currently serves as the Lead Pastor. For more information about him or Redemption Church visit

Hugo Limón: A Planter’s Prayer Update

Hugo Limón: A Planter’s Prayer Update

Here is a prayer update from a recently sent Calvary Chapel church planter to his sending church and prayer support team. 

Once, I heard that planting churches was like an extreme sport, and it’s proven to be true!

I had no idea of what to expect when we were starting Calvary Chapel Culiacán. The only thing that I was sure of was that the Lord had called us to do it and that it was His timing. So we started. Everything started to change.

The Lord kept taking us through ways that we had not planned, but it was very clear that He was in front, leading, and surprising us. It was much more than what we could ever imagine.


Originally, the plan was to start training the core team, almost 30-people whom the Lord had called to be part of. But before starting, we realized that we were not going to fit in a house, so we rented a reception hall just for Sunday mornings.We began to meet and study verse by verse the letter to the Ephesians and to sing worship songs to our Lord. Little by little more people began to come. The core team began to bring their friends, family members, and acquaintances. Even people who happened to be passing by during our gathering simply came in and stayed in. So we had to change the plan and focus in all of the new people who kept coming and decided to have separate meetings with the core team.


After 6 gatherings, I can say that people are hungry! Our last service had more than 100 people gathered to listen to His word. We are being impacted with what the Lord is doing. The people are hungry for God’s word. It’s like a revival where people are crying out for the true word of God. I see it as an awakening of the city with a thirst for the living God and for his counsel. It’s men, women and children surrendering their lives to the Lord and being transformed.

Honestly, I don’t know what awaits us, but I do know it’s very exciting. The Lord has placed His finger in this city and has decided to bless it by bringing His light and salvation. We are deeply grateful with Him for having you and us in doing this mighty work.


Thank you to all of you who have partnered with us in this work. We love you, and we ask that you keep praying.

Prayer Requests:

  1. -For the core team, that the Lord will continue preparing their lives and take them to the next level which is where they will be serving in different areas.
  2. For the ministries that are about to start: women’s, men’s and youth.
  3. For the city of Culiacán, that the Lord will continue to draw hearts towards Him.
  4. For the Limón family, for unity and harmony in midst of all of the activities and keeping their family as a priority.
  5. For me, that I will continue to be guided by God to coordinate everything in my family, church and work.
  6. For the new believers and sheep that have been coming longing for Him, that the Lord will feed them and restore them.
  7. For the negotiation with the owners of the building where we meet, we plan to rent if full time.


Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:47


Pastor Hugo Limón, his wife Brenda and their daughter were sent out from Calvary Chapel Rosarito to plant Calvary Chapel Culiacán  in August.