The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

07/23/2009

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How To Hear - Or Listen


"Therefore, be careful how you listen" (Lk. 8:18).

There is an age-old battle between the words "hear" and "listen." Its almost like talking about the heart as our guide. Everyone knows that we are not talking about the organ that pumps blood through the body, but when we use the word in that way, we always know what is meant. I guess hear and listen are about the same. We usually tie in the word listen with obedience. Do you remember hearing your mom say, "Now you listen to me?"

Jesus, in Luke chapter 8, devoted a very important parable to hearing. We all know that listening is what is really meant, but for the sake of using the term that it used here, lets just stick to the word hear. After all, as He explained the parable He said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (V 8). The parable of the sower represents four kinds of hearers. The "side of the road hearer" that has Satan snatch the word out of his heart. The "rocky road hearer," who is affected by outside influences and has the word crowded out. The "thorny ground hearer," who allows internal influences to destroy the soil. Finally, the "good- ground hearer" that is productive.

If we are not careful, we can become poor hearers. We can get like the hearer of James 1:22-25. that looks into the mirror, sees himself, and later forgets what he saw. We cannot let ourselves become forgetful hearers. The forgetful hearer actually hears the truth and then forgets to practice it. Jesus quotes Isaiah in Matthew 13:15 when he says, "For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears." They may be those that we tend to call, "selective hearers." Then there are the hearers of Acts 7:57. "And the covered their ears and yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him." These were the mob that stoned Stephen. You know that kind of hearer. He's the one we see holding his hands over his ears and shouting, "I can't hear you, I'm not listening!" That's simply a refusal to hear the truth.

The Bible explains to us what kind of hearers we ought to be. We should be obedient hearers. "Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear" (Prov. 25:12). From the book of Proverbs also comes one who almost went to ruin because, "I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors" ( 5:13). There are the "swift hearers" of James 1:19 that we should imitate. Cornelius, (Acts 10) the Ethiopian, (Acts 8) and the jailor (Acts 16) all obeyed quickly when they were presented with the truth of Jesus....How we hear almost always determines how we act...It is very important..

Have a great day..Go about doing good... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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