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Hearing the Word (4 of 11)
As God's people we need hearts that are receptive to the Word so that we can hear the Word and profit from it. This was clearly James' concern as he wrote to his scattered flock. Having defended God's goodness in verses 16-18, James concluded that passage by noting God's ultimate goodness in giving them salvation "through the word of truth" (v.18). This mention of the word in their salvation now turns his thoughts, in verses 19-27, to urging them to live according to the word. In today's message we will deal with verses 19-21, "Hearing the Word." In the next message we will cover verses 22-27, "Doing the Word."
Today we have access to countless words. How can we hear from God through all of the distractions and noise? In these verses, James describes the importance of properly hearing the Word of God so that the Word can find fertile soil in us and produce fruit.
James provides three insights into how we can hear the Word.
1. Listen Quickly (1:19a)
"Everyone must be quick to hear." Keep in mind that when James wrote there were no copies of the Bible. Almost all their communication would have been oral, so listening was important. Those who did not listen well would be spiritually impoverished.
James was actually dealing with a problem that is as old as time. Many people including people in church today our non-listeners. Now that doesn't mean we don't do a whole lot of talking. All of us regularly converse with others, but we only know too well that many of the people we're talking to are not listening. Sometimes they are distracted or they have that blank look as if they were on another planet.
Sometimes they are preoccupied, watching or listening to something else. Other times they are so intent on speaking themselves, that they are not hearing what we say. And the truth is, we are probably guilty of all of these sins too. Psychologist, Paul Tournier diagnosed the problem of ...
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