Are You Listening?
Information is power! But only if the information is listened to and heeded. Many people receive valuable information that can help them in a variety of ways, but instead of paying attention to it and implementing it into their lives, they ignore it. As a result, they do not benefit from its value at all. Endless examples could be cited.
Nowhere is this truth more important than in our spiritual lives. God's word states, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). Later in that chapter we read, "...fools hate knowledge" (verse 22). Still further in the text God states that some "will call on Me, but I will not answer; they will seek Me diligently, but they will not find Me" (verse 28). The reason that God would not answer their prayers was "Because they hated knowledge...they would have none of My counsel and despised My every rebuke" (verses 29-30). But the outlook for those who listen to God's instruction is far different. "But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil" (verse 33).
The Bible is not just another book. It is truly God's word (2 Timothy 3:16). It reveals to us the mind of God. In it He communicates to us information vital to our well being, both in this life and in eternity. He guides us as to how to get the most out of life in this world and how to be assured of an even better lilfe in eternity. His word instructs us as to who we are, what we're about, and where we're headed.
But we must listen! God's word is a treasure; it holds a wealth of information for us. For many people, however, it is buried treasure, for they do not live by its teachings. They never dig for its gems of knowledge or its gold nuggets of wisdom. As a result they are spiritual paupers. One cannot properly follow God without following His teachings. Jesus enunciated this fact Himself: "He who is of God hears God's words" (John 8:47).
People wonder why their faith is not stronger. Strong faith develops by listening to God's word. To paraphrase the apostle Paul, "faith comes by hearing the word of God" (Romans 10:17). But many shut their eyes and close their ears to the truths of God's word (Matthew 13:13-17). They want strong faith without having to do what is necessary to develop strong faith.
The Bible gives us vital information about forgiveness, salvation, eternal life, assurance, hope, peace...But we must listen to its teachings in order to reap its benefits. Are you listening to God's instructions communicated in His word? What a blessing to have ready access to the most important body of information ever made available to mankind! What a needless tragedy to not listen! Read God's word, listen to its teachings, and watch your life change for the better...
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Gary L. Hutchens