Consider carefully how you listen!

Consider carefully how you listen!
(J.C. Ryle)

“Consider carefully how you listen!” Luke 8:18

We learn from this verse, the great importance of right hearing. The words of our Lord Jesus Christ ought to impress that lesson deeply on our hearts. He says, “Consider carefully how you listen!

The degree of benefit which men receive from all the means of grace–depends entirely on the way in which they use them.

Private PRAYER lies at the very foundation of religion–yet the mere formal repetition of a set of words, when “the heart is far away”–does good to no man’s soul.

Reading the BIBLE is essential to the attainment of sound Christian knowledge–yet the mere formal reading of so many chapters as a task and duty, with out a humble desire to be taught of God, is little better than a waste of time.

Just as it is with praying and Bible reading–so it is with LISTENING. It is not enough that we go to Church and hear sermons. We may do so for fifty years, and be nothing bettered, but rather worse! “Consider carefully,” says our Lord, “how you listen!”

Would anyone know how to listen aright? Then let him lay to heart three simple rules:

For one thing, we must listen with FAITH, believing implicitly that every Word of God is true, and shall stand. The Word in old time did not profit the Jews, “not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” Hebrews 4:2

For another thing, we must listen with REVERENCE–remembering constantly that the Bible is the book of God. This was the habit of the Thessalonians. They received Paul’s message, “not as the word of men–but the Word of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13

Above all, we must listen with PRAYER–praying for God’s blessing before the sermon is preached, and praying for God’s blessing again when the sermon is over. Here lies the grand defect of the hearing of many. They ask no blessing–and so they receive none. The sermon passes through their minds like water through a leaky vessel, and leaves nothing behind.

Let us bear these rules in mind every Sunday morning, before we go to hear the Word of God preached. Let as not rush into God’s presence careless, reckless, and unprepared–as if it did not matter how we listened. Let us carry with us faith, reverence, and prayer. If these three are our companions–then we shall listen with profit, and return with praise!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I have thought of this many times…vain visiting and listening in church, only to forget the sermon theme as soon as we leave church. Did we gain nothing? Did the Word not change us? Did we not put it into practice? Where we just making mental list while the pastor poured out the lesson he spent hours all week or more preparing? Oh Lord, help us and forgive us, for we know not the depth of our waste!

    1. YES…you said it so well! It is a wake-up call for all of us. Thanks for sharing! aj

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