BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

LISTENING vs. HEARING

James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Those who listen to the word but do not do what it says are like people who look at their faces in a mirror and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like. But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continue in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

          There is a major difference between listening and hearing. We listen to things being said all day long, but at times hear very little of it. What we hear should have some impact on us, whether positive or negative. That which we hear should cause us to reflect, to ponder, even for a moment. We sit in pews each Sunday morning and would probably be hard pressed to tell someone afterwards what the sermon was about. We were listening but not hearing. It seems preposterous to us that we could look at ourselves in a mirror, walk away and seconds later forget what we looked like, but that is exactly what James is saying to those who listen yet do not hear. The word of God gives freedom. It provides instruction when things are difficult and hope in the most desperate of times. We are largely guilty of not allowing it to change us. God’s word brings us freedom. It gently massages the heart of the reader and gives it new life. We cannot begin to understand all that God has in store for us, yet because His return is delayed in our eyes and the problems of life have weighed us down, we slow down to a crawl and eventually sit by the roadside exhausted. The word of God, when intently digested a little at a time each day, is designed to make us a little more like Christ. We are to remember what we read and hear so that it can serve us well at a time when we need it most.
          We are also not to be hearers alone, but doers. With all the societal pressures and family responsibilities we take on throughout our lives, doing the word of God can be a challenge. However, we are not asked to do it all immediately. Hearing the word of God should begin to slowly make changes in our moral fiber and in our value system. We should take the lessons scripture provides and apply them to our own lives so that we are changed from the inside out. Our outward man means little to God; it is what is in our hearts that makes our engine run. Will our engine run efficiently or will it sputter from disuse. Our Heavenly Father promises us that we will be blessed if we do as we are instructed. I can guarantee you it will not be a blessing that the world will find any use for, but it will be a blessing that we can utilize to the glory of God and the building of His kingdom. All blessings are not necessarily visible. Many times the blessing could come in the form of peace or joy which is bestowed upon our spirits. God knows what we need and when we need it. His timing is precise and His wisdom is infallible. Being inspired is one thing, but allowing change to come into our heart, mind, soul and spirit is imperative to our spiritual growth. Allow God to work on you this very moment. Don’t just listen, hear and be changed.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!