Mar 12

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There are many How To… books, telling how to do various jobs. However, one of the most important “how to’s” is found in the Bible. When Jesus spoke the parable of the sower, He was illustrating the different ways in which a person hears and responds to the preaching of the Gospel. After giving the parable’s lesson, He warns, “Take heed therefore how ye hear.”
A warning pertaining to our hearing?! Seeing as how three of the four hearers were lost (two of them being Christians), yes! –a warning pertaining to our hearing. How then, must one hear and not hear?
One must not be an indifferent hearer. The tragedy of the Laodicians was their lukewarmness (Rev. 3:16). Upon hearing the Gospel, they heard what they were supposed to do, but they did not take it seriously. They were half-hearted, lukewarm, indifferent. Because of this, they were to be spewed out of the body of Christ, that is, out of the Church (Eph. 1:22-23). They were lost because they were indifferent hearers. Of such, we must not be. We must take heed.
One must not be a forgetful hearer. James warns against a hearer who hears only casually. He doesn’t take seriously what he has heard. He goes on his way and as other matters gain his attention, he forgets what he had heard. In contrast, God is pleased with those who “looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (Jas. 1:25).
One must not be a hearer with itching ears. To be a hearer with itchy ears, is to be a hearer who, in disregard for the truth, seeks and receives only that which he wants to hear (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Of this, we must not be!
One must be a receptive hearer. We all need to have the attitude of Cornelius who said to Peter: “Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God” (Acts 10:33). Truly, each of us must be ready and willing to receive what God has spoken to us through His holy Word.
Yes, we must “Take heed therefore how ye hear” (Luke 8:18). Let us then not be hearers who are indifferent, forgetful and those with itching ears. Rather, may we all benefit ourselves and be pleasing to God by being a humble receptive hearer.

Gary Henson

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