Ears to Hear
Those who have ears to hear let them listen… Be honest, we have used ears for a few things other than hearing. I’ve grabbed my kids by their ears. Some of you have multiple piercings so that you can carry around valuable pieces of jewelry. But those words came out of the mouth of Jesus — the one we sometimes call “The Word.” There is something incredibly vital about listening for those who follow Jesus. I’m not sure we really understand the power of the words that come from the mouth of the Living God, the one who creatively spoke the world into existence. Time and time again in the Bible, we are confronted with the power of the words of God.
In fact in Psalm 107:19-20, the Psalmist writes… “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he saved them from their distress; he sent out his word to heal and deliver them...” The words of God bring healing. But if we don’t listen we’ll miss it.
Or how about Romans 15:4… Paul writes, “…everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” The words of God bring hope. But if we don’t listen we’ll miss it.
Then there’s Ps 199:105-107… “The Psalmist writes, Your word is lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I have suffered much, renew my life, by your Word O Lord.” The word of God brings renewal and revival. New energy, new love to redeem old hurts. But if we don’t listen we’ll miss it.
One more… 2 Tim 3:16-17, for those of you who have big dreams for what God might do through you, who want to go out and do good with your life, who want to not only discover but live out the calling God has for you.. Paul writes, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” If we don’t listen we won’t be prepared to do good.
Last weekend at Calvary we talked about the parable of the soils. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can read the story in Mark 4 or you can listen to my talk entitled
God still speaks. There are many ways that God speaks to his people…dreams, visions, prayer, circumstances, other people, the Holy Spirit. But there is one avenue, one living avenue of communication that must form the foundation of our listening relationship with God. It’s the Bible, the Word of God. The Word of God is a seed that gives birth to new life. It is living and powerful.
Last weekend at Calvary, I gave a challenge, take an hour, listen to God. Read the gospel of Mark. When you come to Mark 4, stop and ask God what kind of soil is filling up your heart. Then respond, read some more, listen some more. God still speaks and there are few things that will change your life like letting His words go deep in your heart.
“out of the blue”, I had an opportunity to talk with a friend who has never set foot in a church. that’s right. never. she thought only those “born again” people did that…and as the conversation unfolded, and I asked her if she would like to go to church with me, her response made me stop and think about the “soil” in Mark 4. “How do you go to church?”, she asked. Really, she was asking about the physical aspect…how do you enter a church? This is a brilliant woman, transplanted to the US, with an extremely limited exposure to “christians”. It’s crazy cool…to think of helping usher someone onto “soil” that they have never walked on. crazy cool. See ya at church!