A Lesson in Listening

Daily Devotional.
InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Read | Luke 6:46-49

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
 1Now it happened that He was passing through some grainfields on a Sabbath; and His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating the grain.  2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why do you do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”  3And Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him,  4how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the [a]consecrated bread which is not lawful for any to eat except the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?”  5And He was saying to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”  6On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered  7The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him.  8But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And he got up and came forward.  9And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?”  10After looking around at them all, He said to him, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did so; and his hand was restored.  11But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
Choosing the Twelve
 12It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.  13And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:  14Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew;  15and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot;  16Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.  17Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon,  18who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured.  19And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.
The Beatitudes
 20And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  21“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.  22“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.  23“Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.  24“But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.  25“Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.  26“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.  27“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  29“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.  30“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.  31“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.  32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  33“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  34“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.  35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.  36“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.  38“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”  39And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?  40“A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.  41“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  42“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.  43“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.  44“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.  45“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Builders and Foundations
 46“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?  47“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:  48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.  49“But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Early in life, I learned to listen to the Lord, and this most important lesson is the foundation of my confidence in God. Moreover, because I pay attention to the Father, He has given me courage in my convictions, strength in times of trouble, and unspeakable joy.

I opened my spiritual ears because of my grandfather’s words to me. Oh, he didn’t say, “Now Charles, you’ve got to listen.” Instead, he described what the Lord was saying to him and how He was speaking. The powerful evidence of Grandfather’s faith gave me a burning desire to hear the Lord too.

No person can hear without actively listening. God taught me how, and it is this important lesson that I pass on to you. Heeding the Lord begins when I meditate upon His Word. I listen prayerfully for what He is saying to me through the passage, and I am expectant. The Lord is not secretive. He clarifies Scripture to those who desire to know its meaning and are willing to abide by it. Often I have to be patient. God reveals His truth when a believer is ready to hear. I continually return to a portion of the Bible until His message to me is clear. Sometimes that means going over the same passage for days at a time.

God will speak with clarity to anyone who listens prayerfully and submissively. He wants to speak to you! His great desire is for you to know Him as intimately as did Moses, David, Paul, and others like them. Dig into the Bible every day, and listen to the words the Lord impresses upon your heart.

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About jam4JESUS

I... 'will seek [First] the LORD my God, and I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul.' Deut. 4:29 I... 'shall love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.' Deut. 6:5 I... 'Trust in the LORD with all my heart, And lean not on my own understanding; In all ways... acknowledge Him, And He shall make my path straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6 I... 'remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you' 2Tim. 1:6 I... 'thank God, whom I serve... without ceasing... I... remember YOU in my prayers night and day,' 2Tim. 1:3 I... am to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God' Phil. 4:6 I... KNOW: 'I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.' Phil.4:13 'My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' Phil. 4:19 'My GOD will never leave me, nor forsake me.' Heb. 13:5 JESUS so loves me, this I... KNOW
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