Thursday, June 6, 2013

Careless Hearers

And He said,  "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Mark 4:9, ESV

In 2011, I had the privilege of memorizing Mark 4:19. Here is The Message Version of this portion of Scripture:

"The  farmer plants the Word. Some people are like the seed that falls on the hardened soil of the road. No sooner do they hear the Word then Satan snatches away what has been planted in them. And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. The seed cast in the weeds represent the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it. But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams." (4:14-20)

I like the New Living Translation of verse 19, too: "And these are which are sown among thorns: such as hear the Word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things, entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful."

Stress strangles. Strangles what? The Word. To strangle means to suffocate, to prevent growth.  The precious Word of God is choked out and when that happens I am no longer bearing fruit.

I came across this Scripture the other day so I decided to study it again in hopes to gain fresh insight. I found Matthew Henry's Commentary of verse 19 that says, "Of the many that hear the Word of the Gospel, but few receive it, so as to bring forth fruit. The devil is very busy about {careless hearers}, as the fowls of the air go about the seed that lies above ground."

I tossed around the phrase "careless hearers" and began to ponder exactly what that means because it truly struck a chord with me the first time I read it. I asked God to show me the importance of hearing, and He revealed to me the following:

-He knows us and wants us to know and follow Him. (John 10:27)
-Our faith increases by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
-We are blessed when we hear and keep the Word. (Luke 11:28)

But what is a careless hearer? Careless by definition is: 'not paying enough attention to what one does; not caring.' A synonym for careless is 'inattentive'.  Seth S. Horowitz, an Auditory Neuroscientist said, "The difference between hearing and listening is attention."

To hear, by definition is 'to give attention to; to listen.' The English Standard Version says of Mark 4:9, "Having ears to hear involves surrender of proud self-reliance and submission to God,"

In order to hear, to carefully hear, we have to die to self, and submit to God, so that these things can happen:

-God's Kingdom can be advanced on the earth. (John 15:8)
-A consistent message of a righteous life. (Matthew 7:20)
-To show the true nature of our hearts. (Luke 6:45)

The importance of hearing is so that we can abide in Him and bear much fruit. How do we bear fruit?  Fruit only comes after  the seeds have been firmly planted.  This means that we have to abide in Him (John 15:4,5). To abide means to stay, to remain, to dwell. Having a personal relationship with Jesus is all about abiding in Him and that involves trust, prayer, obedience and joy. Without Him, we have the inability to produce spiritual fruit.

Why is this important? 1 John 2:28, NLT "Now, dear children, live in Christ. Then, when He appears we will have confidence, and when He comes we won't turn from Him in shame." This means we can have confidence when He comes back for us. We have to maintain our relationship with Christ so that we don't stray from His truths....this is why hearing is so important. We want to be ready for Him when He returns.

"God expects and requires fruit from those who enjoy the Gospel. Let us look to The Lord, that by His new-creating grace our hearts may become good ground,, and that the good seed of the Word may produce in our lives those good words and works which are through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father."-Matthew Henry

You won't be disappointed when you fully give your time and attention to God. He is worth it all and worthy of our best.  As we spend time in His Word, we can become careful hearers, able to not only hear the Word but to do it as well.

Hear the Word. Believe the Word. Bear fruit. Bear much fruit.

For the glory of God the Father.

And when we truly hear the Word and embrace it, it will produce a harvest beyond our wildest dreams.

Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

123 Days

Ahem. 123 days since my last blog post. Cue the excuses... I love to write and I have been...just not here. But, today is a new day and I'm back to share my heart here and do it for the glory of my precious Savior who is SO worth it! I thought it would be fun to share what's currently going on in my life at this very moment so we can get reconnected. I've missed writing on my blog so pray that I would be faithful with it. So without further ado....
*Thank you to Ashley @ for the cute template!