6th February 2016

A Call To Listen

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
Hebrews 2:1 (NKJV)

How good are you at reading and listening? For most people the answer to that question might depend on a number of factors. For example, tiredness and mental exhaustion can dull our concentration considerably. Other conditions like boredom and apathy can cause our minds to wander onto other things.

Have you ever played the little game, Chinese Whispers? I did many years ago in a speech class. It starts with someone whispering a sentence to the person next to him or her like, ”If you go to the market on Wednesday morning, the fresh fish will be selling at half price.” That person then whispers the sentence to the next person in the room and on and on until everyone has heard it. Problem is, the message will inevitably alter its composition and meaning further down the line until the last person may say something like this: “There’s a market on Saturday morning and the fish will sell at double the price.”

This game serves to prove the point that humans don’t always listen well. But when it comes to God and his written word, it is very important that we not only listen to what he is instructing us, but we need to heed well. For example, Jesus told a parable in Luke 8:16-18 about the revealed light, and in it he said, “Therefore take heed how you hear...” (v.18a, emphasis mine). I’m sure that little phrase could be applied positively throughout the gospels and elsewhere.

A poignant story Jesus once told was about a rich young ruler. This young man (Luke 18:18-23) wasn’t willing to follow Jesus when Jesus encouraged him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor. His wealth was his stumbling block and, as a result, he left Jesus feeling sorrowful. He simply wasn’t willing to heed what the Master instructed him for his own spiritual good.

Is there any sacrifice too great in our quest to follow the Saviour? Let’s not be like the rich young ruler who made excuses for himself. Rather, listen and, as Jesus said, “Take heed how you hear.”

Heavenly Father, it is so easy for us frail human beings to listen, but not heed, wise instruction from your Word. Please grant us a humble and wise spirit that will accept your Word gladly.

Study by John Magowan


johnmagowanAbout the Author:
John Magowan is a member of the Pastoral Council at Grace Community Church, Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Lisburn
Ballymacbrennan School Hall
129A Saintfield Road

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Phone: 07764336760
Email:  bobbeggs@hotmail.com