Everyone has gone home. I’m exhausted but satisfied in Christ. I’m sitting in my office after four services at our two campuses and six baptisms today at one of them, with clear evidence of the Spirit of God at work in our midst. A thrilling morning. Hearing the word brings faith. And I’m thinking of the hundreds of people who heard the word of God today and asking God to give them, us, all of us, “ears to hear” which has nothing to do with those things attached to our heads and pictured to the right.
Hearing in the Bible rarely has to do with “hearing.” It has to to with obeying the will of God. And if we hear, if we really hear, our mouths will become engaged in the great task of making disciples.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching.” (Romans 10:14)
And how are we to believe … believe better, deeper, more, … if we do not regularly open our ears and long for them to be filled with the glad tidings of the gospel? We must hear it over and over. I must hear it over and over so that faith in Christ rises to the heights needed for today’s challenges and tomorrows sorrows.
The Kingdom of God is like …
Matthew 13:10-17 (ESV)
10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:
“‘You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart and turn,
and I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
“Lord Jesus, take away our dull heart, our heavy ears, and our closed eyes. Make our heart pulse with passion for you. Make our ears tingle with joy and our eyes to behold wonders in your word. Give us greater insight into your word so that our world will be changed by the change you produce in us. Make us gospel people, good news people for the joy of everyone we know believer and unbeliever alike and for the glory of your magnificent name. Amen.”