Last week we spoke about the first goal God has in communicating and it is that we comprehend the truth. Remember, the desire of God is that we understand fully what He is saying.
A part of comprehending involves listening. There are two kinds of listeners: passive and aggressive
1) The Passive listener is one who does not come to God to hear a decision from Him
2) The Aggressive listener is one who comes to God knowing and seeking to hear diligently what God has to say
An aggressive or involved listener is always probing, searching, and comparing what they hear with previous data they have accumulated. Their desire is to be sensitive to what God is saying. Like “How can I apply this to my life?”
Paul described for us this aggressive listener in Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
They were not just saying “Oh Paul is coming” and he can tell us everything. They were investigating the Word for themselves. In so doing they were able to discern as to what Paul or anyone else might say.
James said in chapter 1 verse 25 of his epistle But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
In the NAS the word intently is used and here in the NKJV it is implied, that is that we are to listen and hear the Word of God with a fervent focus. In other words, we are not supposed to sit idly in the Word and let it just be on the surface of our lives.
Today we have a problem in the body of Christians. Too many Christians have been passive listeners for too many years. That is why say after 40 years as a believer they don’t teach Bible study or lead a class. They say they “don’t know the Word well enough”. Seriously, what have they been doing for forty years?
That passive listener comes into a church service or Bible study and never gives a second thought to what God is speaking. They are not involved in the hearing process.
If God were to send Elbert Nasworthy a letter and address it, Dear Elbert, and sign it, Jehovah God, do you think I would put it aside and wait to finish watching the news or a television show? Of course not, I would reverently open the letter and read it deliberately. When I finished I would probably start over and read it again. It would have a special place in my study, I would always have it in front of me.
The Bible is that letter to me and to you. For me, it is the first thing I read in the morning. I Journey through the Bible. I read 4 chapters every day. At the time of this blog, I am the Psalms. I love the Psalms and the way David expressed his passion for God. The manner in which he describes the majesty and power of God. Davids prayer in acknowledgment of his sin. His recognition that God can and will do as He pleases.
Matthew told us that in chapter 7 verse 24 …whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: Jesus is peaking and Matthew provides for us a clear promise. The solid foundation of our lives comes from aggressively hearing and implementing the Word of God. Nothing else will do, anything less will cause our lives to be built upon shifting sand.
We will consider the second part of God’s goal in communicating which is that we might be conformed to the truth.
Have a great week and we will see you next time.
A thought to ponder,