Many a Christian is familiar with these verses regarding ‘a lamp on a stand’, but when I read this yesterday and today, the specific matter about listening stood out.
“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
Going back a few verses when Jesus explains the parable of the sower, you also find the explanation of what many Christian strives for: “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
Going past a few verses, when his mother and brothers come he states that “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
All this about hearing and listening to God’s word (the Bible), specifically being careful about how we do this. This makes sense, especially when pointed out, but isn’t it funny how one can stray from doing this. May we all be forgiven and God strengthen us again to consider this carefully…
Posted in Bible
Tagged Bible, hear, listen
This kind-of is a part 2 of the last post (Growing up into Him) but from a different perspective. This time, I’m going to refer to 1 Corinthians (specifically the end of 12):
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Sounds like God’s intent for the church is not to be homogeneous; not for each of us to all be the same. Some of us make good listeners, some good workers (in a whole variety of ways), some to teach, some to preach, some to care for others, etc. Regardless of what each of us think, we shouldn’t look at others that are different, and in particular, it seems clear to me that those who “seem to be weaker” are even “indispensable”! Continue reading
from Ephesians 4:11-16:
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Within the church, may we speak truth to each other in love… with the goal that we ALL grow up into (e.g. closer/deeper toward) Jesus. If we don’t have that, we don’t have anything do we?
If we have and participate in small groups, but don’t grow deeper towards Jesus… what do we have? We can be taught every Sunday for weeks and months, but if we don’t grow deeper toward Jesus… does it mean anything? If we sing praise and raise our voices for his name, but don’t in our hearts feel it and mean it … is there any value? If we serve in any capacity, but don’t seek what He intends us to learn through the work, are we growing as He intends us to through what we’re doing?
This convicts me in many ways as too much of what I have and still continue to spend my time doing certainly has not qualified in any of these ways…
“Take the time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit” – 1 Timothy 4:7
I like this translation (Philips) for this verse, in particular over the matter of how it identifies that you’re going to need to “take trouble”. It is interesting because as far as I’ve read this verse in other translations, the ‘trouble’ part is completely lost… (although I did like the Message translation)
When I initially read this it seemed odd that you’d need to involve trouble, but certainly it made sense that you’d have to dedicate time. Of course it would seem to me that in matters of spiritual fitness and discipline, one must set aside time to read the Bible, prayer and (which is where I noticed this verse – the g-group) joining with other believers and sharing struggles, praises, encouragement and more. But what’s this about trouble? Continue reading
You know I’ve heard a lot from others about reading the book of Proverbs for daily guidance, especially under the premise that you can always turn to the chapter for the current day of the month… but how often do you hear about Ecclesiastes? Maybe most of you a lot, but I haven’t. It’s odd book in the Bible; many things in there that left me scratching my head…