Tag: ears to hear
Scripture reading for January 21st: Mark 4
Key Scriptures: Mark 4:3-8 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on the rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty-fold, and sixty-fold and a hundred-fold.” And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.””
An old joke when I was growing up in Iowa, the land of corn, cautioned everyone to be careful what they said when in the cornfield. There are lots of ears! Jesus called on His disciples and those listening to His teaching in parables to listen. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus knew that although most people were born with ears, not everyone desires to hear what is being said. The parable of the seed and sower illustrates that it is really the soil of the heart that determines our ability to hear. Some is rocky, with the seed of God’s Word finding no place to even sprout. Others are shallow soil over rocks, causing a quick sprouting but no follow-through in growth. Others have thorny or weed-infested ground and the weeds choke out the Word with no fruit. But some have good soil and the Word of God finds a place to germinate, grow, and produce abundant fruit! “He who has ears, let him hear.”
Matthew 13:13 “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me ears to hear Your Word and listen to Your teaching with understanding. Break up any hardness or shallowness and remove all thorns that my heart might bring forth a crop to Your glory! May I sow Your Word as precious Seed finding good soil!
Psalm 126:6 “He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Scripture reading for December 2nd: Revelation 2
John was told to write down what he heard and saw and to send letters to the seven churches of Asia. Jesus, Himself, dictated the letters to each church. The letters generally contain a personal revelation of Jesus, commendation for good works, corrections needed along with warnings, and promises to those who would overcome.
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds. . . .” (Revelation 2:1-2) Jesus introduced Himself as the One holding all the messengers (angels or possibly pastors) in His hand. He also walked among the churches and knew about the light that was coming from their “lampstand.” He knew their deeds that were inspired by faith and commended them for them.
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolatians which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” (Revelation 2:4-7) Jesus also had honest correction. This church had left its first love–a love of Christ that sparked obedience and acts of love to others. Repentance was required. Only the humble have ears that will hear and heed! Overcomers will be rewarded!
Scripture reading for October 9th: Matthew 12-15
Jesus used parables to speak to multitudes of people. The knowledge of the kingdom of heaven is hidden from those with hard hearts and closed ears. Their attitudes blind them to truth that God wants to reveal to them. (Proverbs 14:6) (Matthew 13:11-15) Parables are stories about life that all people could relate to and be able to understand naturally. Jesus ended many of these stories with: ‘if you have ears, listen!”. (Matthew 13:8) The listening that Jesus encouraged was spiritual and revealed truth about the kingdom.
As a former Iowa farmer, the parable of the sower always fascinated me. Jesus described a farmer scattering his seed and it fell on different types of soil. Some fell on the path and birds ate it up immediately. Some fell on rocky soil, and sprouted quickly but died out. Some fell among the weeds and was choked out. Most of the seed went to the good ground and yielded a crop of various multiplication. This simple story that would have been very familiar to everyone in that culture held some spiritual understanding for those with ears to hear!
Jesus went on to explain the meaning to his followers. (Matthew 13:19-23) Those who heard the word but did not understand it were like the seed on the path. The evil one came along and stole it before it could produce or even sprout. The rocky soil represented those who initially heard the word but have no depth of heart. The word died out before a crop could grow. The seed among the weeds were those who received the word, but the cares of this life and deceitfulness of riches choked it out. Those who heard the word and put it into practice were like the good soil, producing a crop that multiplies!
God is the farmer and He has commissioned us to sow His word in the soils of hearts. Is the crop of eternal life growing in you? If so, are you deepening your heart’s soil so the roots go down? Are you keeping the weeds out? Is the crop bringing an increase? Could it be greater? God has blessed the seed and wants to multiply it through you!
Scripture reading for July 4th: Proverbs 1-4
For many years I read the entire book of Proverbs each month as a daily discipline. For the past 13 years, I have read the chapter of Proverbs for that day at the bi-weekly men’s accountability breakfast that I am a part of. Even though I have read or heard Proverbs many times, I am still impressed at how they speak freshly to us about our daily lives.
Hearing and listening can be two different things. Almost everyone can hear what is being said but listening in order to learn and apply truth is a different process requiring humility and a teachable spirit. As we begin the book of Proverbs, take a moment to check your hearing and listening abilities. Put your mind in a learning mode. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you new insights about successful living and decision making as well as who God is.
Solomon is the author of many of the proverbs. He was David’s son through his wife Bathsheba. Solomon was visited by God and given an opportunity to ask for anything he desired. He asked for wisdom to rule God’s people. Solomon wanted to pass that wisdom on to his sons. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7) There are those who either don’t want wisdom or are so enthralled with their own way that Solomon gives them names. Simple, fool, and mocker are the three names of those who refuse to listen and learn! (Proverbs 1:7, 22)
Listening to wisdom has many blessings. It brings knowledge and discretion to the young as well as guidance. (Proverbs 1:4-5) It brings safety and freedom from fear. (Proverbs 1:33) A person who listens to wisdom understands the fear of the Lord and finds knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:5) You will also avoid the adulterous woman and her path that leads to death. (Proverbs 2:16-19) Listening and keeping wisdom brings long life and prosperity. (Proverbs 3:2)
Wisdom is to be prized above any other treasure. (Proverbs 3:13-15) We must lay hold of wisdom by taking hold of the words given by the Father. (Proverbs 4:1-5) Wisdom is our life and health to our whole body! (Proverbs 4:22) Wisdom sounds a lot like Jesus Christ, in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! (Colossians 2:2-3)