Hearing is something your body does without thought. Listening takes intentional effort and focus to process the meaning of what is being heard.
On any given day at any given moment you may receive a deluge of words and noises that your ears are forced to hear. Think about it. What does your day look like? Who are the people and voices in your life? Who’s loudest?
Everyday you hear, but do you listen?
Well, that likely depends on who is talking.
Right now, who is the most prominent voice you are listening to? Is it your roommate, parents, pastor, children, friend, Beyoncé, or yourself? The truth is, we speak to ourselves and we all have many voices trying to reach us and speak to us.
Whether you listen to the voice speaking or not often depends on who’s speaking and if you find what they have to say important. True?
If grandma said, “Your clothes look strange,” You would likely take it differently than had your best friend said the exact same thing. Or if the toddler next door yelled out, “you’re stupid,” versus if the one whom you love the most were to yell it.
I am a voice right now. I am writing to you in such a way that I hope you will listen and make it to the end of this post. That’s my goal.
So what do I have to say, anyway?
I want to say that among all the voices that you are hearing, you may not be listening to the most important voice. I want you to reprioritize your voices. I want you to place a different value on those speaking into your life.
If you’re anything like me you get tired of all of the listening. It wears you down. And if that’s true for you, please quiet your soul and LISTEN to this.
Listen to what God has to say.
“Come to me,
all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.”
Daily, discipline your ears to listen to the voice of God. For God has spoken, and continues to speak through his perfect word. And what He has to say is absolutely precisely what you NEED to hear.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.
In the book of Jeremiah we read of God’s intention for Daniel and all of those with him who have been exiled from the land of promise.
We are in a sermon series called The Whole Story, so named because we started off with the assumption, and belief really, that the whole Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. Each and every book is a bit like a chapter that contributes to the overall story that God is telling.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.