Summary: A study on how we should properly hear the Word if we want to derive spiritual benefits from it and pave the way for greater blessings.
In our passage, this morning, Jesus says that when we hear the word, we become accountable. If we hear the Word and make good use of it, we shall benefit from it and the opportunity for greater knowledge and grace will come. If we hear the Word and do not make good use of it, we will not only not benefit from the Word we hear but will lose out on the blessings we now enjoy. We will go spiritually backwards rather than forwards.
This morning, I am going to discuss with you how we should properly hear the Word if we want to derive spiritual benefits from it and pave the way for greater blessings. I am going to point-out six ways in which we should hear the Word of God.
* With Longing
1 Peter 2:2, “like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”
The Apostle says that we need to hunger for the Word of God as a baby hungers for milk. A healthy baby instinctively hungers for milk and demands it often. If that baby does not feed on milk, it will quickly become malnourished. Its development will be diminished. The little one will eventually die.
A hunger for the Word of God, the yearning desire to hear it preached or to read it, is evidence of conversion….spiritual life. The born-again Christian instinctively desires the truths of Scripture because there is an gnawing inward void without it. It is their life-source. No spiritual growth will take place unless they are well-nourished in the Word.
No matter where a child of God is in spiritual development or in stages of growth, they should greatly desire to partake of the Word because the regenerated soul must have it. No further growth and development will come without consuming it often. Moreover, unless there is a regular consumption of the Word, the child of God will go backwards in spiritual growth. We will lose ground in our spiritual health and development. We will grow sickly and die.
Thus, we need to hear the Word of God with an urgency and yearning.
* With Faith
Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
The writer of Hebrews is talking about the Israelites whom God delivered from Egyptian slavery. He brought them into the desert of Sinai and gave them His word. They received the good news that if they trust and obey God’s Word, they will be given the ‘promised land.’ On the other hand, they were told that if they should fail to trust and obey, they would never get to their desired destination.
The writer says that we are now in a similar situation. God has delivered us from the kingdom of Satan and slavery to sin. He has given us His Word. We have received in that Word the good news that if we trust and obey, we will reach the spiritual ‘promise land’ - heaven. On the other hand, we have been told that should we fail to trust and obey, we will never reach heaven.
Sadly, out of the millions of Israelites who were rescued from Egypt and given the good news, only two of them reached the promised land - Caleb and Joshua.
Why did the others fail to reach the promised land? The writer tells us that they failed because the good news did not profit them. Why didn’t the good news profit them? It is because they did not receive it with faith. In other words, they did not trust that God meant what He said. They did not believe the Word absolutely so as to make it a part of their lives. They did not take God’s word seriously enough to allow it to influence their hearts and their minds.
Because they did not receive the Word with Faith, they did not stand on the promises of God. They derived no comfort or peace or joy from God’s promises because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. Because they did not receive the Word with Faith, they did not seriously heed the warnings of God. They did not dread God’s threats because they didn’t really believe the threats.
We need to realize that hearing the Word or reading the Word will not profit us in our lives unless we believe what we hear or read. That is, we will derive no advantages or blessings from the Word unless we place our complete trust and confidence in it.
Listen to 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”