The Gospel According to Paul: Faith Comes by Listening to the Word of God. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 05.02.2018” on Spreaker.

“…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

The Voices in Your Head

To what are you listening? Are you listening to the voices of naysayers who don’t have your best interest at heart? Do you immerse yourself in the news which seems to find pleasure in sensationalizing tragedy? Are you listening to your doubts and fears? Are you listening to reflections of unresolved emotional pain?

With all of the many voices vying for our attention, it is difficult to pull away and listen for the voice of the Creator at times. While the whirlwind of wars, political infighting, economic ups and downs, swirl about us, it takes extreme discipline a fortitude to draw aside to give a keen ear to what God has to say. While others are typing away with their thumbs in social media, speaking away with the many podcasts, and publishing away, the many books that may not be as edifying as we had hoped, our God has something to say. Are you willing to listen?

Faith Comes by Hearing

The keys to all of the world’s woes are in the Word of God. Faith comes through hearing the God’s Word. The ancient Jewish mindset, which I am adopting was that hearing and doing were synonymous. This is why some would literally stop up their ears when they were unwilling to do what was being said.

Let me ask you again: “To what are you listening?” If you find that you are in need of encouragement, guidance, wisdom, comfort, peace, and instruction in righteousness, hear and do God’s Word. Establish a pattern of asking God to write His Words into your lifestyle and habits. Ask Him to teach you truth, make you more loving and kind, and to surrender your all to Him. If you do this consistently, be on the lookout for power you may have never experienced before in your life. Give thanks that God is still willing to speak life into you so you can be saved.

I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?

Listening For The Heart Of Fellow Human Beings

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 10.12.2016” on Spreaker.

“Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:5–7, NLT).

Listening has become a rare form of communication. I know it seems odd that I would include listening as communication, but the fact is most people misunderstand one another because we are too busy formulating our own views and rebuttals while others are expressing themselves. We don’t listen for word choices. Sometimes we miss what might be intended by what was said. In our listening, we miss the physical cues and don’t hear the accompanying voice inflection. We don’t listen for what was not said. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

If we invested double the time listening as we do speaking, we would be far better off. After all, the Lord did give us double the number of ears and eyes than He gave mouths, right? Not listening to the hearts of our fellow human beings fuels racism, hatred, malice, family dysfunction, war, and a host of other evils.

How To Become Wiser

Solomon said that we should listen to holy proverbs and become wiser. He said that we should devote ourselves to exploring their meanings. But get this: he continued by saying reverencing YHWH is foundational to true wisdom and knowledge. Do you realize that the fools who reject and despise wisdom and discipline are not mere idiots in the Proverbs? This is not a discussion of intelligence. The fools who turn their backs on knowledge and discipline are evil (that is what the term here actually means). They lack judgment and repentant hearts.

In light of today’s words of wisdom, our focus should be to listen actively, explore the meaning of God’s Proverbs, reverence Him and embrace the foundation of all wisdom and discipline. If we all do this, we will make the areas of our influence safe places where abuse, racism, political bickering, malice, and evil have no place.

Get Ready For God’s Richest Blessings

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, April 17, 2016

This Week’s Devotional Focus is, “God’s Blessings.”

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” (Deuteronomy 28:1–2).

How can we position ourselves for the richest possible blessings available today? This seems to be on many people’s minds. There are tons of books (motivational, spiritual, and otherwise) that focus on the subject. There are self-help series, webinars, and even events scheduled costing tens of thousands of dollars, all promising to link you with great wealth, material prosperity, wisdom, etc. Televangelists promise blessings and instant wealth if you will simply pay the low, low price of [fill-in the blank] dollars to sow your seed. There are paid TV series focused on neuro-linguistic programming, self-hypnosis, and managing the energy you send out into the so-called universe to determine your level of blessings. But is there a biblical way of guaranteeing one’s blessings? If so, how can we position ourselves for the richest possible blessings available today?

How can we position ourselves for the richest possible blessings available today?

It is very interesting that even most of those who use Scripture to suggest how one might become blessed seldom mention the principles God taught His children as they prepared to go to the Promised Land. He said we are to listen diligently to God’s voice and do all He commands. This is a tall order. Listening diligently is a tall order! Most do not have that gift. Most want to talk more that we listen. However, if we accept God’s power and faith so we can indeed listen diligently to His every word and do all His commandments by faith, He promised that blessings would overtake us. Do not miss the point. He said the blessings would run us down and take hold upon us.

The key to receiving God’s richest blessings according to God’s design is keeping Him in first position in our lives and doing all He reveals in His Word and by His precious Holy Spirit as He gives us strength. By no means does this preclude us from trials. In fact, those who diligently follow the Lord wherever He leads will have trials in this world. But we are admonished to rejoice and be of good cheer, because Jesus has already overcome the world.

We will have a look at some of God’s blessings in this context this week. Get ready to believe God for and receive His richest blessings!