Summary: "Can you hear me now?" is a much asked question. God wants us to listen not just for the facts or simply to know He’s talking. He desires for us to listen with understanding. This message calls us to listen with our hearts.
Hear With Your Heart
* (TEXT) One of the funniest & truest of all slogans is the Verizon ad which says, “Can you hear me now?” Obviously, the issue is cell phone connectivity for millions. When WE PAY FOR A CELL PHONE, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE that we can be heard.
* Being ‘heard’ is something which is very important to our Lord. In fact, He gave us the capacity & has a deep desire for us to hear, listen, & understand. Scripture tells us this. As recorded in Acts 28, Paul’s ministry & life were coming to a close yet; he was still proclaiming the hard truths of God. In verse 17, he called the “leaders of the Jews in Rome” & had a day to sit under Paul’s teaching. (Read vs 23-29) Verse 27 says it all, “The people’s hearts have grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing, & they have shut their eyes; OTHERWISE they might see with their eyes & hear with their ears, understanding with their heart, & BE CONVERTED.” There is a correlation between seeing & hearing, with UNDERSTANDING. We will never understand if we refuse to hear. This is true in life as well as in our relationship with God. Your spouse, your kids, your parents, as well as your friends are all a part of this hearing with understanding. IN other words, “hearing with your heart.”
* Interestingly, our Lord dramatically points this out in Revelation 2 & 3. Writing to these 7 churches (I.E. Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, & Laodicea) He ends every letter with these words, “He who has an ear SHOULD HEAR what the spirit says to the churches.”
* What the Spirit said back then He is still saying today. This morning ‘hear with your heart’ the message which is found in our text.
1. Message From the God-head – While we don’t use this term much, it is solidly theological and is true. See God & His words;
* The Timely Greeting- We read “Grace & Peace to you” & realize this was the common greeting among believers at that time. In fact, it is still a good greeting even today. Offering someone God’s grace is literally offering that person the best God has to offer. For it is only by His grace that we are saved from hell (Eph 2:8-9). Next, the offering of God’s peace is what naturally follows. It is only through the grace of God that you can find the peace of God. Jesus says this peace is not like the stuff which the world gives, but is from a divine source & is present when the world’s peace has past. It’s not based on circumstances but on Him.
* The Triune God – The prefix of ‘tri’ means 3 & yet, we do not serve three Gods, we serve one God who we know in 3 different personages or expressions. We know God-the Father, God-the Son, & God-the Holy Spirit. Can I explain this concept to everyone’s satisfaction? NO! But guess what, that is the GOOD NEWS. Why? Because this means that He exists in ways that I cannot explain. Personally, I wouldn’t give my life, move my family, or sell out my career for a God that I could explain. Choose you today who your will serve, but as for me & my house we will serve Jehovah God, the one who I cannot explain (or explain away.) Let’s hover on the triune God for just a moment.
* God the Father – The text says, ‘from the one who is, who was, & who is coming & I am the Alpha & Omega.’ Herein is your encouragement. When Satan tries to destroy you with your past, he runs into "Alpha" & there is nothing on the other side of Alpha - when Satan tries to destroy our future, he runs into "Omega" & there is nothing on the other side of Omega. Jehovah God is the beginning & the ending! The name “Jehovah” literally means ‘the Eternal One.”
* God the Holy Spirit – The text expresses it this way, “the seven spirits before the throne.’ For the novice reader, this may be confusing as we read about the ‘seven spirits’. Does this mean that seven spirits of God exists? No, scripture is clear. Jesus told us that he’d send THE comforter while Paul tells us that we are baptized into one body by one spirit & all have been made to drink in one spirit. First, notice the number of 7. (The message in two weeks will be entitled “Numbers” because numbers mean a great deal in prophecy.) Seven is the number of completion & means the Holy Spirit from the throne is complete & possesses all the attributes & characteristics of God (Isaiah 11 tells us about these). Basically, the Father & the Spirit are in one.