Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More about listening

Here's another one:

Jesus takes Peter, James and John up on the mountainside to pray. As he was praying, he was changed. His face changed and his clothing became dazzling white. Moses and Elijah appear with him, and they visit about God's plan for Jesus to die in Jerusalem. Then Peter suggests building three shrines for the three of them (The word shrines appears in the New Living Translation. Other translations use the word "tent."). Just then a cloud came over them, and terror gripped them.

And a voice comes from heaven saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him." (Luke 9:35)


Not hear. Not read. Not notice. Not observe. 


Have you been listening lately?


Monday, February 23, 2009

Hearing Versus Listening

I was visiting with my hubby the other day, and told him that I'd noticed something new in Ezekiel. Here it is. . .

God, speaking about his people, makes quite a distinction between "hearing" and "listening."

Instinctively, this is something every wife understands. We try to talk to our husbands over the children's noise, with the TV blaring in the background, the phone ringing, and the microwave beeping and then we wonder why they forget what we say. 

We know that there is a vital (the root of the word comes from LIFE-giving) difference between hearing and listening. God knows it too. 

In Ezekiel, God complains that his people heard the truth, but they didn't consider it. They didn't take it in, roll it around in their minds and hearts. They didn't try to ask questions, understand it, relate it to the things they already knew, and finally to apply it. Instead, like our husbands after a busy day at work, they let God's instructions go in one ear and out the other. 

Women do it too, by the way.

And then this morning I found this. Jesus speaking in John 8 says this: "Anyone whose Father is God listens gladly to the words of God."

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and teachers of religious law. They were men and women who knew the Word. They'd memorized it. They understood it. They obeyed it, quite perfectly. 

But they hadn't let it sink into the deepest places of their heart. It hadn't changed them from the inside out. Instead, they'd only let God's word in as far as their superficial behaviors. They'd conformed, but they hadn't changed. 

So, I ask you. Do you hear or listen to God? Do you think there is a difference? Do you listen gladly to God's word? Do you let it sink into the deepest reaches of your heart? Do you let it change you, or  conform you?

Are you changed?


Thursday, February 5, 2009

A free book!

So, I have a bit of time on my hands, and I'm making an offer. 

I have about forty copies of the Bible study, "Jeremiah: Bright Light in a Dark Season." And, I'm willing to give them away for free, provided you think you might want to use the book for your group study. That's all I ask.

I'd be happy to send you a free sample copy if you might use it for your own group.

Here's what you do: Leave me message here along with your snail address and I'll drop it in the mail. No cost whatsoever. 

Doesn't get any better than that. Here's a link to the publisher's page about the manuscript. 


This should give you all the information you need. Just let me know what you decide! I look forward to hearing from you.


Monday, February 2, 2009

False Teachers

So. My youngest daughter passed her RN test! My second son was accepted to dental school. My husband and I have been doing some heavy duty cleaning in a big project at our house. It's been a busy season for us. Aren't they all?

While I'm busy, I almost never, ever miss a day in the Word. Fortunately, the frequency of my blogging is no reflection of my commitment to the Bible. How about you? Do you have a regular time in the word? Are you committed to study and explore the meaning of all that scripture?

In 2 Peter 2:1, Peter tells us why it's so critical to develop a Word Habit:

"But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach their destructive heresies about God and even turn against their Master who bought them."

At some point, we are promised, we will come in contact with FALSE TEACHERS. Clever, false teachers.

How will they convince their audience? 

I can tell you. Their words will sound good. They will appeal to human logic and greed and pride. (See chapter 2:18) But the most important thing to remember is that they will use and twist scripture to make their point. 

Our job? We must know the Word. If you don't, you will fall victim to their heresy.

The Word is our plum-line to the truth. We must know it fully -- and be so firmly confident in our understanding that any alteration of its meaning or application smells to us like rotting chicken, alerting our senses to the falsehood perpetrated by those greedy teachers.

(Remind me to tell you the story of the frozen chicken that thawed seven days in my microwave oven. I'm telling you, it was BAD!)

So, how exactly do you develop your familiarity with the word? Are you reading? Do you understand? Are you learning?

Are you safe from false teaching?