Summary: The reason why we missed many growth opportunities to kingdom greatness is our failure to listen and obey God. James told us to be doers of God’s Word.
Theme: Listening God
Text: Jas.1: 22-25
A. Last Sunday we learned that humility is one of the key principles to kingdom greatness. Humility has to do with knowing and doing God’s will. It is responding God’s call, obeying God’s Word, and giving attention to God’s promptings. So in the Scripture, “humility is listening God.”
B. Sadly, in our Churches today, we have “bunch of hearers but not doers of God’s word.” We have much teaching but less application, much knowing but less learning. We are accustomed to mediocrity and spiritual complacency.
C. James must hit us hard! He says that we should “be doers of God’s word and not hearers only deceiving ourselves.” Listening to God is all-important. It is imperative, a must to every believer. I’d like to say again: the reason why we missed many growth opportunities to become great in God’s kingdom is our failure to listen and obey the voice of God.
T.S.? I believe this truth that we shall learn this morning is so basic. How important is listening God?
A. IT DEFINES OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD.
v In John 10: 16, Jesus defines who his sheep are. He said: “they will hear My voice.”
v One wonderful trait of the sheep is its ability to unmistakably recognize and follow the voice of its shepherd. It always responds to the right shepherd. When 2 or more shepherds come at the same spot, their sheep will of course jumble together. But, believe me, it gives them no concern. To determine his sheep, the shepherd will just call out his sheep and they will respond and follow him. Remarkable, isn’t it. And we understand that it is because of his intimate relationship with the sheep.
v The imagery of this passage depicts the intimate relationship of the Lord with His people. He is the Shepherd and His sheep are His people. He defines His relationship with them by saying: “My sheep hears my voice.” In this case, “hear” means, “recognize, respond, follow and obey.” The sheep of Jesus will recognize, respond, follow and obey His voice. Listening to God attests and proves our relationship with Him.
v Oh, I’m afraid that many ordinary Christians may have falsely believed and hoped that their occasional coming to church and living the Christian life at their convenience is enough to qualify them to become “one of the fold.” I’m afraid that many Christians today don’t realize and understand that Christian life is not all about believing, but it is about actively doing God’s will. Christian Weis says, “We are called not only to believing but also to behaving.” True faith is obedient faith. It must be “Trust and obey!” The Lord says: “My sheep hears my voice.” True believers are doers of God’s word.
B. IT DEFINES OUR CHARACTER
v Today, people prefer comfort than character. We almost discard the idea of self-discipline and self-control, because bring discomforts. We like to be in cozy zones all the time, always comfortable, and do our best to be free from annoyances. Even church services are turned to be seekers-friendly, means entertaining, instead of for character building. Nowadays, the church that is most entertaining gets the most audience. And the church that constantly hammers her congregation with God’s Word will shrink in number.