Summary: Five points to practice for spiritual growth.
We need to Hear God’s Word.
We need to hear God’s Word. Turn with me to Romans 10:17 and it says “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the words of Christ.”
We need to hear God’s Word. How? Well, we listen to it. We come to church and we pay attention by listening to what the preacher is saying. Just making an appearance at church is not going to cut it. See, I used to just show up at church but I would not listen to God’s word. Oh, I would hear it but I would not listen to what was being said. When we hear God’s Word we need to do more than just hear it with our physical ear, we need to listen with our spiritual ears. (verses). Like I was saying and maybe you can relate to this, I used to go to church and hear with my physical ear but I would not listen with my spiritual ear.
So many times in our life we hear people talk to us but we do not listen to what they are saying. How many of you here have ever had someone ask you a question and then immediately say “what?” or “what did you just say?” Come on now we are all guilty of it. See we were hearing but we were not listening. I used to go to a church called Upper Room Worship Center and the Pastor was Paul Lewis. Now Pastor Lewis knew that I would often drift off somewhere, you know I would be hearing but I would not be listening and he would come right over beside me, and most of the time I would not even notice him and he would get to shouting at the top of his lungs. The first couple of times this happened it scared the daylights out of me I jumped and I looked at Pastor Lewis and he just looked back at me with his head cocked and a half a smile on his face. The next time it happened, I said “Pastor Lewis you are going to give me a heart attack.”
And he said, “Well it will be your own fault because you are not listening, pay attention”.
I said “I hear everything you are saying.”
His response was “you hear me but you do not understand me, now pay attention.”
People when we come to church or listen to someone giving the word wherever we may be we need not simply hear it with our physical ear but we need to hear it with our spiritual ears.
Even our Lord knew this same listening without hearing principle was at work because in Matthew 15:10 Jesus tells his disciples "Listen and understand..." See he wanted to make sure he had his disciples attention and that they were listening to him for what he had to tell them was of utmost importance as were all the words of Christ.
We need to Read God’s Word
Not only do we need to hear God’s Word but we also need to Read God’s Word. Turn with me to Deuteronomy 17:18-19 and it says “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of the law, taken from the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow all the words of this law and these decrees.”
As a Christian we should set aside a time everyday to read God’s Word. Everyday. I know, some of you are saying you do not have the time to read God’s Word everyday. I say make time. Why? Because as Christians we have a scriptural obligation to read God’s Word every day. Again I refer you to verse 19 “It is to be with him and he is to read it all the days of his life…” It does not say some of the days of his life or most of the days of his life it says all the days of his life.
Another reason we should read God’s Word is to allow us to focus on what God has said and is saying to us. I love the Bible because it isn’t like any other book in the world. The words of the bible are alive they are a living word and they speak to us. These words were given to us by a loving and compassionate God, who loves us so much that he gave to us his one and only beloved Son, to die on the cross, to be beaten and kicked and spit upon and MURDERED for you and for me, so that through Him we might be saved from an eternity in hell. Why? Because he cares for us and He does not want to see us go to hell. As Christians, we need to set a time aside everyday to read the Bible.