Be Careful How You Hear
Text: Luke 8:4-21 | Listen to Message
Hearing AND Doing
It’s one thing to hear the Word of God and another to actually do it. That was Jesus’ message to the crowds that followed him. The enduring practice of faith through the midst of adversity and testing is a defining quality of all who belong to the family of Christ.
Consider, from Jesus’ Parable of The Sower, how often you respond to God’s words with something other than faithful obedience:
The Indifferent Response: Many hear Jesus’ words and never let them sink in. They regard them as worthless and trample them underfoot. They ignore and reject them without ever giving them honest consideration.
The Superficial Response: Others rejoice at hearing Jesus’ words of unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness – and even appear to believe and act like Christians for a while. But the roots of their faith never go more than skin deep. And in times of testing, the shallowness of their faith is exposed, and they fall away.
The Distracted Response: Finally, still others will listen to Jesus’ words and even do them to some degree. But they’re never single-mindedly devoted to God; deep down they’re distracted by things like anxiety, materialism, and the love of pleasure. And, growing unchecked, these distractions ultimately choke out their affections for Christ.
But there’s a fourth response Jesus describes in his parable – a response of faith:
The Fruitful Response: Jesus doesn’t simply call you to growth for the sake of growth; he calls you to bear fruit. And to that end, he isn’t sowing rocks, or marbles, or gummy bears into your life; he’s sowing seed – seed that contains within it both the inherent power of life and the ability to multiply itself one-hundredfold! So give the preeminent place in your heart and mind to the words of Jesus Christ. Let them sink in and satisfy the deepest recesses of your soul.
Praise Christ for this synergy of grace that bears fruit in and through you! Rest in this hope that even as you labor to practice the words of God faithfully, it is ultimately God at work in you to will and to perform His good pleasure.