06/24/W – Take Care How You Listen

Deuteronomy 10:6-22; Luke 8:16-21; Psalms 70:1-5; Proverbs 17:24-25

OT: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God by walking in all his ways, to love him, and to worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul? Keep the Lord’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good. The heavens, indeed the highest heavens, belong to the Lord your God, as does the earth and everything in it… Therefore, circumcise your hearts and don’t be stiff-necked any longer. For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awe-inspiring God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the resident alien, giving him food and clothing.” (‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭10:12-14, 16-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Moses, who received the Law from God and transferred it to the people… Moses, who probably understood the Law and its intent more fully than any other man, sums up everything in this one sentence: fear the Lord your God, walk in His ways, love Him, and worship Him with all your heart and soul. His charge to the people and to us is, “don’t be stiff-necked any longer.” The holy and awesome God of the universe is merciful to us and especially gracious to the vulnerable… so don’t play with fire and don’t tease a ferocious lion. Listen to and obey God’s words and carefully live according to His ways… and love, honor, and respect the Lord completely.

NT: “No one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a basket or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in may see its light. For nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden that won’t be made known and brought to light. Therefore take care how you listen. For whoever has, more will be given to him; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.” (‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:16-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Jesus spoke this warning after He told and explained the parable of the sower – that the few people who produce good fruit with their lives are those who not only hear the words of the Lord, but listen, embrace, obey, and apply the words of the Lord. When Jesus said “take care how you listen,” He was saying to consider, contemplate, weigh carefully, examine, and experientially come to understand. We shouldn’t treat the words of the Lord carelessly or with contempt. We need to give them weight. We need to allow them to influence our lives and put them into practice. While we hide God’s word in our hearts, we don’t hide the impact and influence His words have on our lives. The whole purpose for bearing fruit is to feed others and multiply. The whole purpose for radiating light is to help others to see. If we are faithful to apply and use the words spoken to us to transform us and impact others, then we will be given more and more. If we fail to apply what we have heard and fail to multiply what we have received, then the little that we have received will dissipate and will not be renewed.

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