Thursday, September 15, 2016

Listen Up!

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

When Jan and I were missionaries in Germany, we visited Hof, a small village very near the border of East Germany (Germany was divided at that time, East and West). A Captain in the military took us on a tour, but before it began, he said, “Listen up! For your safety, there are things you shouldn’t do while we are at the border.” Then he listed several things we should refrain from doing in order to avoid being hauled off by the Military Police.

When your personal safety is at risk, you listen. I think we should listen to God’s Word with that mindset. Jesus told a parable one day, and He talked about a soil, which He described as noble and good hearted people who listen and retain the Word, producing a harvest.

Let’s call them “faithful hearers.” They hear God’s Word and obey it, cling to it, retain it, and then, by persevering, produce a crop. Every Christ follower can do this by doing two things: Reading and meditating on the Scriptures. Read for consumption (because you delight in it), and for comprehension (as you meditate on it). One of my Bible College professors used to say that he preferred the “countrified” words for meditate… “chew on it.”

The Psalmist understood this perfectly. He talked about the person who is blessed—the one who finds his “delight in the Law of the Lord” and “meditates on it day and night.” What is the result of that? He is fruitful. He is like a tree nourished by plenty of water, which produces “fruit in its season” [Psalm 1].

Listen up! Fruitful trees grow in good soil, as the parable said. Good soil is made by our cooperation with the work of the divine Gardener who has given us His Word. 

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:15

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