Summary: The divine character demands that we listen

James 1:19-20

“Extreme Makeover: What Looks Good to Jesus? Big Ears”

“The divine character demands that we listen.”

Sunday Morning Sermon


Intro: (Start with Sermon Title)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt got tired of smiling that big smile and saying the usual things at all those White House receptions. So, one evening he decided to find out whether anybody was paying attention to what he was saying. As each person came up to him with extended hand, he flashed that big smile and said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." People would automatically respond with comments such as "How lovely!" or "Just continue with your great work!" Nobody listened to what he was saying, except one foreign diplomat. When the president said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning," the diplomat responded softly, "I’m sure she had it coming to her."

It seems rather incongruous that in a society of super sophisticated communications, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners. -- Erma Bombeck

The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting. – Fran Lebowitz, 1950 –


God wants you to pay attention. God wants you to hear his word this morning. Sometimes I wonder if we are listening to the word of God, or something else. Do we hear him whisper over the noise we surround ourselves with? James has something to say about listening. God wants you as a Christian to have Big Ears.

Turn with me to James 1:19-20 (read) (Advance)

I see three things this morning – if we are trying to have big ears for Jesus. We must do three things: (Advance)

I. Be Quick to Listen

Isaiah 51:1 – "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;

a. Being a person of God means:

i. That you listen (Advance)

“The divine character demands that we listen.”

1. To those around you

Why do people talk? Sometimes I wish my dog could talk – tell me what she’s thinking.

You talk because you want to be heard – is that right? You talk because you have something to say. You talk because you have an experience to draw upon, because you want the approval of another person. A wise preacher told me one time, preach because you have something to say not because you have to say something. People like to hear those who have something to say. Being a person of God not only means that you listen, but church it means

ii. That you listen quickly.

1. Without hesitation

2. Without rebuttal

3. Without getting your word in first

Anyone can talk – it takes someone after the very heart of God to sit down and listen to the pain and struggles of another person. To celebrate in the good times, and cry in the sad times. Take time this week

b. To listen to God

i. What he is saying to you?

ii. Can he speak freely – or does he have to make an appointment?

I like the radio loud in the car. Each and every time we get into the car, especially with Hailey, I turn down the radio. The noise is too much for her to handle.

c. Our personal noise

i. Is sometimes too loud

ii. When we hear the opinions of people over the word of God

iii. When we hear the wishes of those around us rather than the will of God.

You can tell how loud your personal noise is by testing yourself --

d. Do you look for the will of God – but never seem to find it?

e. Have you had times when you felt – “in touch” but now you feel disconnect?

God has the desire for you to feel “in touch”. God has the desire for each and everyone of us to understand his clear will in our lives – but why do Christians, people of God go through times of spiritual drought? I want to suggest something:

f. It’s because we don’t listen

g. It’s because we don’t hear God above the noise and the busyness in our lives.

God will not compete with your family, your spouse, your children, with your job, with your desire to make more and more money. God will not compete with your free time. The more and more we put into our lives, the less and less time we have for the one who knows us best. You don’t hear, you don’t understand – because you are not listening.

Here’s how to fix it:

h. Pray –

i. Not just “rubba, dubba, dub, thank you for the grub”

W. Graham Scroggie once said, "Pray when you feel like it, pray when you don’t feel like it, pray until you do feel like it."

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