Having a Heart Just Like Jesus (4): A Listening Heart
By Randy Sexton
In previous articles in this series, we have talked about having a forgiving heart, and a compassionate heart. This article is about having a listening heart. Max Lucado, in his book, Just Like Jesus, likens our ears to one of the types of soil depicted in the parable of the sower. We can have ears that are “like a hard road” and unreceptive to the seed. We can have ears that are “like rocky soil” and we hear the Word but don’t let it take root. We can have ears that are “like a weed patch” and are overgrown, and too thorny. Or, finally, we can have ears that hear: well-tilled, discriminate, and ready to hear God’s voice.”
Here are some things to ponder, as you consider whether you have a heart that is ready to hear and obey God’s voice:
- If we are not giving God “a portion of undiluted, uninterrupted time listening for his voice” we are missing the lesson that Jesus taught us. Jesus “spent regular time with God, praying and listening.” I like to follow Jesus’ example of beginning his day in this way. I like to get up while the house is still quiet, before anyone else gets out of bed, and spend time with my God and His Word!
- “Listening to God is a firsthand experience. When he asks for your attention, God doesn’t want you to send a substitute; he wants you!
- The tools we need to use in learning to listen to him include: a regular time and place, an open Bible and a listening heart.
- As we study the Bible we need to study it a little bit at a time, choosing depth over quantity.
- Let me add a personal observation to the above thought. I also believe in reading through the entire Bible periodically. I have done this several times and plan to do it again in 2013. Some years I choose to read from a different version than I customarily study from. I am prepared to begin a read-through-the Bible-in-a-year plan in January. I will be following the 5 Day Bible Reading Program in 2013 and reading from the New Living Translation. This plan may be downloaded from www.BibleClassMaterial.com. This type of study covers a lot of ground but does not offer the deep study afforded by a slower, detailed study like I do for my Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes. I believe this provides a good balance by doing both.
- This is a new concept to many of us that God wants us to be still and let him sing over us. Zephaniah 3:17 says that He rejoices over us!
- I like the point made in the Study Guide that Jesus “cleared his calendar” in order to speak with his father. Christians in America have a problem with over commitment that drives them to neglect to clear their calendars to spend time with God. Most of us will find that some weeks are better than others but we must accept the challenge to keep that time slot open for time with Him!
We will continue our study next month as we present some thoughts about being led by an unseen hand, having what Lucado calls “a God-intoxicated heart”.
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