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      The Voice – Which Voice Will You Listen To?

      Which voice will you listen to? The one that says you are not needed, or the one that says you matter? I heard both these voices the other night. I choose to hear that I matter.

      Let me explain.  Sunday night, I was helping out at the youth group by serving as one of the adult leaders.  I’ve been volunteering with RIOT (the name of the group) since I went to Guatemala with 25 of the students from the group.  Over the past several months, I’ve seen lives changed and relationships strengthened.

      Part of the life change I’ve seen is when students make a decision to follow Christ and get baptized.  On Sunday night, one of the students made that decision and was baptized at the end of Sunday night.  As the baptism service was starting two older gentlemen walked in who weren’t normally part the adult volunteers.  I figured they must be related to the girl getting baptized, so I walked over and tried to help them to the front so they could get a better view of the baptism.  As I asked if I could help them, I was quickly reprimanded.by the older man.  He told me, “I don’t need your help.  If I needed your help, I would have asked for it.”  Okay.  I was just trying to be helpful.

      This was one of the voices I heard the other night.  I could choose to dwell on that voice – a voice telling me I’m not needed.

      As I was leaving the church Sunday night, I heard another voice.  Our youth pastor grabbed me as I was walking out the door, and he said “What you do matters.  Thank you for being here tonight.”

      What a contrast!  It was as if I had two different people sitting on my shoulder.  One was saying, “You stink.”  The other was saying, “You’re the best!”

      We hear voices like this all the time.  “You can’t do it.”  “Get away from me.”  “You’re a loser.”  “You’re not wanted.”

      But there’s another Voice we need to listen to.  Sure it could be a youth pastor, a good friend, or a family member.  But there’s a Voice we all need to hear.  It’s God’s voice, and he wants us to know we are special – we’re made with a purpose – we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  What we do matters.  And more importantly, you and I matter to God.

      For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.Psalm 139:13-14

       

      “For I know the plans I have for you,”declares the Lord,“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11

       

      The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.Zephaniah 3:17

       

      I don’t know your history or what you’re going through right now, but this is the Voice that you need to hear right now.

      Who has been a positive voice in your life?  What have your heard from these voices (and from The Voice)?