04/11/S – Pay Attention to What You Hear

Leviticus 8:18-9:6; Mark 4:10-25; Psalms 37:30-33; Proverbs 12:27-28

NT: “He also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen.” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use, it will be measured to you — and more will be added to you. For whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭4:21-25‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Earlier in this chapter, Jesus told the parable of the sower who sows seed on the ground. The seed is the gospel of the Kingdom and the word of God. The ground is representative of people’s hearts. There are 4 types of hearts: the hard heart, the shallow heart, the crowded heart, and the fruitful heart. The hard heart is influenced by the devil, the shallow heart is influenced by the flesh, and the crowded heart is influenced by the world. Only those who fully receive the word and allow it to go deep and become foundational and fundamental will produce fruit. Then Jesus spoke of a lamp stand. The only way a lamp stand can give off light is if it uses what it has been given. A lamp stand that is hidden is of no use and is producing no light. A lamp stand that will not use the oil that is in it will not burn brightly – and if the oil is not being used, it will not be replenished. So Jesus said, “Pay attention to what you hear… pay attention to what I am telling you.” You are filled with the same measure you are willing to be spent and used. If you are not putting to work the life and grace I am giving you, I’m not going to give you more. If you are continuously walking in My grace to do the things I have commanded, then you will be continuously filled. But, if you refuse to use what you have been given, then even what you have will be taken away. I see this so much in the church in the U.S. – people who want more, more, more of God… more of His presence, more of His grace, more of that wonderful feeling they get when they honor Him – but they aren’t willing to use what they have been given and obey His words. They are lamps sitting on the shelf, not willing to burn bright, but want more and more oil… waiting until they feel full enough. We don’t wait until we feel full enough to obey. God has given us what we need and will continue to give us what we need as we are faithful to Him and obey. If you want more of God, then do what God has called you to do… set your heart on fire and blaze bright… glorify God as a life poured out for Him, and you will receive more, and more, and more – as much as you need.

Psalms: “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom; his tongue speaks what is just. The instruction of his God is in his heart; his steps do not falter. The wicked one lies in wait for the righteous and intends to kill him; the Lord will not leave him in the power of the wicked one or allow him to be condemned when he is judged.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:30-33‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Why does the mouth of the righteous utter wisdom and speak what is just? Because the word of God has been allowed to get rooted in his heart. Because he has paid attention to the words of God, and by putting them to action, has allowed them to become foundational and fundamental to his life. Does the wicked on lie in wait to try to knock us off God’s path and destroy our lives? Yes he does. But the righteous one who has God’s word hidden in his heart and on his lips, compelling his steps is not easily shaken. And God will not allow the righteous person to be held in the devil’s power nor be condemned by his accusations.

Proverbs: “There is life in the path of righteousness, and in its path there is no death.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:28‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

When we pay attention to the words of God, apply them to our lives, and walk according to them in loving obedience, we find abundant and everlasting life.

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