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Jer. 17:19-23 (The word “hear” literally means “to understand”)
How many times have you offered advice, made a suggestion or recommendation, or even told of your own past experience, only to feel as if you have been ignored completely?
There are instances where trouble was spelled out in black and white but yet some still fall into a mess that they can never get out of.
Perhaps the hardest thing about being a preacher is the preaching part. What makes it so difficult is the fact that I love to preach to those who love to hear and not everyone loves to hear. You see there’s a difference between listening and hearing. (Dad used to say, “did you hear me?)
Jesus said, “He that hath an ear, let him hear.” In other words: “learn from those who know best”.
When I first began preaching I would say, “Those people wont hear a thing that I say.”
But God did not call me to make you hear me but rather to preach in such a way that it can be heard.
I’ve learned that whenever I preach from the flesh, no one hears. Though the audience is polite and even offers kind words of appreciation, the message generally falls on deaf ears if it is not preached in God’s will.
However, even if the message is exactly what God wants preached, words alone can only do so much. Because the words that are spoken must not only fall on our hears but they must make there way to our heart. Turn to Jer. 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
I want to preach tonight on, “Words alone can only do so much”. You see there are many things that words alone will not change.” First of all:
Words alone will not change:
I. The unrepented heart
A. In other words, the heart that longs for sin will never be changed by words alone.
B. I could preach till I’m blue in the face, but if the audience doesn’t want the word, the word is of none effect. Now,
C. God said, “My Word will not return unto me void”. What that means is this: His Word will never lose it’s power, but if we don’t plug into the power, it doesn’t matter how many times you hear it, it will never make a difference in your life.
D. Until you absolutely hate sin, you will absolutely enjoy it! You may say, “Preacher, I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. And now that I’m 50, I don’t want to change”.
II. The traditional heart
A. Have you ever noticed the older you get the more you hate change.
B. The older we get the more traditional we get.
C. That’s why we say, “They just don’t mak’em like the used to.”
D. You’ve heard people say, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or “you’ll never change him preacher, he’s set in his ways”.
III. The Circumstantial Heart
A. In other words, you’ve set it in your heart that your circumstances will never change.
Conclusion: James 1:22 says “but be you doers of the word, and not only hearers”.
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