Summary: Listening for what God is saying is important. Listening well is essential. Those of us who seek to share with others a word that could be described as prophetic should also listen well before we speak.

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What do you hope for when you come to Church on a Sunday? I expect for most of us who come we hope to hear from God. We want to be able come away at the end of a service having heard something that changes the way we see things or feel about things. We want to know the impact of what it means to hear from God.

There are, of course, two sides to this: the speaking and the listening. And in the same way as a bridge must rest on both sides of a crossing, the listening is as essential to hearing from God as is the speaking. It was for this reason that Jesus often Jesus finished his parables with the words, 'He who has ears to hear let him hear'.

How good are we at listening for the still small voice of God? How able are we to recognise his voice when he speaks?


Some of you hear are bird watchers. I imagine that when you are out walking away from the traffic others will be oblivious to what you can both hear and recognise. You will know the difference between the call of a blackbird and a chaffinch, or a robin and a blue tit. You might hear the sound of a bird far off and know what it is. Others of us may not even be tuning in to their voices.


I expect we all miss what God is saying at times because we either haven't learned to listen well, or we filter out what God may be saying to us because it doesn't suit us.

What might God be saying to us today?

READING Luke 8:1-18


Jesus knew the value of listening well. On this particular day Jesus did not only say, 'Consider carefully how you listen', he also taught this in the parable also.


We are all inclined to filter what we listen to. We bin some of it, tune out others and select that which suits us. If we were to analyse what we were doing it would reveal a great deal about who we really are as people.

Thesis: We need to listen well to what God is saying if we are to know the truth and be strong in faith.

We do not listen well when:

i. What is being said does not suit us


Here is a transcript of a conversation between my three year old grandson and I this week:

Help put away the toys please


Come on Aaron please help to put away the toys.


Tell you what, you help put away the toys and you'll get a treat afterwards.

I'm tired.

Your stubborn

No I'm not stubborn

Oh yes you are

No I'm not stubborn

Do you know what stubborn means?


Stubborn is when you won't do what someone asks and you won't change your mind about it.

I am stubborn then.


This is the most straightforward application of the seed that fell on the path = the hard ground.

People, including the likes of ourselves, hear the Gospel, or a call to some new act of obedience in the Christian life and do nothing in response because 'it doesn't suit us'.

We can speculate as to why,

We do not listen well when:

ii. We want to believe something other than the truth is the truth

The filters: Experience good or bad, theology and shades of interpretation.


Whenever I book a hotel I check reviews first on internet sites. Liz and I booked a hotel Winchester so that we could attend my brother's wedding -- I read the reviews and the cheapest hotel we could find had reviews that didn't seem all that bad.

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