Take Care How You Hear
August 16, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
Good bye Summer. Hello Fall.
Whether or not you have students in your home, the changing of seasons impacts your schedule. As much as we may become creatures of habit, adjustments can be made to our schedules. Have you taken stock of your schedule lately?
All kinds of areas can be examined in our schedules. I have in mind specifically our time in God’s Word. What place does God’s Word have in your daily schedule?
In Luke 8 Jesus gives the well-known parable of the sower. Seed, which Jesus says in the Word of God, is scattered on four types of soil with varying results. Each soil represents a different group of people distinguished by what they do with the Word. Only the “good soil” bears fruit. What distinguishes the good soil? “They are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience” (8:15).
Jesus goes on to press this point: how we handle the Word makes all the difference in our lives. He says in verse 18, “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” In other words, be very careful how you hear God’s Word for it has bountiful blessings for those who hear well; but you are empty if you do not hear well.
Again, in verse 21, redefining “family,” Jesus says, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” The family of God is a Word-centered family.
What place does God’s Word have in your daily schedule? Do you “take care how you hear” God’s Word? Let me encourage us to reinvigorate careful hearing of God’s word as we embark on a new season.
- Be Frequent. Jesus was a student of the Psalms. Psalms 1 and 119, with their emphasis on being saturated in God’s Word, would shape Jesus’ communication of the word “hear.” What does it mean to “hear” God’s Word? “On his law he meditates day and night” (1:2). “I have stored up your word in my heart” (119:11). Frequent reading, listening, pondering, and discussing God’s Word are vital to hearing well.
- Be Submissive. Careful hearing is not only listening to the Word, but also holding fast to it (Lk. 8:15) and doing it (Lk. 8:21). This is submission to the Word as authoritative in our lives. Scripture is God-breathed… sourced from God himself. It is his will revealed to us. Do we come to God’s Word looking for our agendas and perspectives to be affirmed or do we come humbly, ready to submit our agendas and perspectives to God’s authority? We must come with a submissive heart in order to hear God’s Word well.
- Be Christo-centric. Part of submitting to God’s Word is submitting to his purposes behind his Word. It is not a book primarily about you and me. It is not primarily about dos and don’ts that we need to follow. God’s Word, primarily, is about Christ and all that God has done for us in and through Christ. We need to hear God’s Word with Christ at the center of our listening.
- Be Patient. Jesus adds this further distinguishing mark of the good soil in verse 15: “bear fruit with patience.” Why patience? Jesus knows the human heart and our natural tendency to get distracted and to chase after lesser pleasures and fulfillments because we become impatient. God’s timeline, working through his Word in our lives to bear fruit, often is different than our timelines. Patience in submitting to God’s timeline is essential to hearing his Word well.
Join me, as we launch into another busy season, to “take care then how you hear” God’s Word.