Keep Listening

So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.
Luke 8:18, NLT*

Jesus’ warning here is why we need to read the Bible – daily – and to ask God to open our ears and teach us. It’s why we need to spend time with other Christians, not just socializing but also sharing what we’ve seen God do and what we’re learning.

It’s what I’m afraid of for so many people who know God but don’t spend any time with Him. I don’t want to venture into the debate over whether a person can lose his/her salvation. Different denominations have different understandings on that one. But we can definitely lose our closeness with God, lose the ability to hear Him and to please Him. Lose the chance to lay up treasure in Heaven through loving service on earth.

Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be hard. Pick an understandable translation, and begin your reading time with a prayer that God will teach you. He loves to answer that kind of prayer! A physical copy of the Bible isn’t a must. Sites like Biblegateway.com offer various devotions that can come directly to your email.

Prayer isn’t hard either. It’s being quiet with God, listening as well as speaking. It’s spending time with Him – with a willing spirit, ready to adore and obey. It’s relationship time, just like with our loved ones. I have some other posts on prayer here.

We dare not risk losing what we have just because we haven’t taken time or have been too busy for God. Oddly enough, a few minutes with Him at the beginning of the day can make the rest of it fall into place better than expected. After all, He is our Shepherd and does give us strength and wisdom when we ask.

God our loving Father, our strong and caring Shepherd, what a privilege to be in relationship with You. Forgive us for the times we allow ourselves to drift away, and please restore us to intimacy with You. Help us to be intentional in spending time with You, and to listen and obey.

Here’s an unusual song that matches our verse: “Lost the Plot,” by the Newsboys. I like the extra Scripture verses included in the video among the lyrics.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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