November 26 – To Hear

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26 – To Hear

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:11-15)

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say." (John 8:42-43)

I get frustrated when people look like they are listening, but I know their minds are a million miles away. Nothing I am saying to them means a thing because they aren't fully engaged in the conversation.

Any speaker can tell when even a few people aren't paying attention.  The worst thing is, for me, these are the people I begin to focus on, trying to do anything to grab their attention.  I've listened as many speakers and pastors talk about these people in their congregations.  Others might be listening, but their faces turn into bland and dull images.  They don’t actively listen and participate in what the speaker is delivering.

Then, there are those who are the joy of every speaker.  Their faces light up with excitement as they become part of the process.  Their eyes reflect the emotions the speaker is delivering and react to the words.  When they agree or get excited, their body language tells the speaker that they are right there with him or her; when they don’t get it, they let the speaker know there might be need for more explanation.  But, at every moment, these people are not only actively listening, but they are hearing beyond the words, they hear something that is being spoken from one heart to another.

Jesus said that the word of God is like seed.  Some people hear it and then lose it because they have no strong roots. It’s all very exciting and they are right there with the speaker and then, they quit listening and all of a sudden, it’s gone from their lives.  There are those who hear and actively listen and are so excited by what they hear, but the world rips them apart and they can’t rise above the worries.

It isn't always easy to hear the message of God that comes to us through Jesus Christ.  In fact, Jesus says that many will never be able to hear it.  They just won’t listen with open hearts.

But for those who do listen and hear and absorb the message of love, they will not only grow, but will produce fruit that is seen by everyone around them.

Do you listen? Will you hear?