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Summary: It describes how the life of Elisha is ap[plicable to us

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This is the 15th and penultimate sermon in series on Elisha.

The episodes are particularly bloodthirsty – as they are in scripture, we cannot avoid it.

We will look at:

1. Listening before we speak

2. The people we speak to

3. The consequences

1. Listening before we speak

God has given us two ears and one mouth – Elisha could not repeat what God had told him to say unless he had listened to God in the first place

Jarsen Sparks has written: ‘When you talk, you repeat what you already know. When you listen, you often learn something.’

We need to listen to His heart, to reach out to those who are lost and those who wandered – ‘My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. (Jeremiah 2: 13)

The church can either be like a cruise liner or fishing boat – all working or just along for the ride, flabby or fit, productive or relaxing - which one are you in?

William Booth, founder of Salvation Army, commented ‘”Not called!” did you say? “Not heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonised heart of humanity, and listen to their pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.’

We can only listen if we are:

a) Reading His Word – what is on His heart (reconciliation, truth, justice) He hasalready told to us.

b) Spend time with Him – we sing ‘Take time to be holy’ (hymn), but out lives are so full of busyness.

Blaise Pascal (the French philosopher in the 17th century) wrote ‘All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.’ If we are surrounded by noise, we cannot hear the still, small voice of God.

c) Look for His opportunities for Him to talk to you - in Bible: e.g. an ass, a centurion; for you, it could be your unconverted neighbour, the person behind the cash till (warning: check out if content in line with the Bible for God never contradicts Himself).

We are to listen carefully to what God is saying, and to note it precisely and accurately. We are not to be like this illustration: After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, ‘That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys.’

God still speaks to those who take time to listen

2. The people we speak to

When we have heard God speak and we have listened to Him, we will then need to move out.


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