Summary: Message about Christians listening to the Word of God and how to respond.
Title: Receiving the Word
Thesis: Teach the people to take responsibility for receiving the Word of God.
Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread (word of God), nor a thirst for water (spirit), but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
I want us to just try to grasp what this passage is saying. Notice first who is speaking. It is the Lord God. He promises to send a famine. The famine is not of bread. In the Bible the bread usually represents what “the Word of God” the bread of life. Second he says nor of water. The water usually represents the spirit. Finally he says the famine will be a hearing of the word. What is he taking about. What is the difference?
Where there is actually a difference between hearing the words (notice it is words) of God with our ears and really hearing the word. That is why Jesus said often times “He who hath and ear let him hear”. We it is obvious that a person who has ears, unless they are deaf can hear. But he knows that there is more to hearing in the natural a person must hear in the spiritual.
James tells us “Don’t be a hearer only but be a doer” You haven’t’ heard until you have done.
Has there ever been a time in the world that we have been hearing so many words from the Lord. I believe it is true. I believe that God is speaking.
Notice also the progression here. The Word (logos) of God is very popular. I know it is in short supply but we more going out than ever before. Yet here he is not talking about hearing a (logos) word. But a rehma word. When God speaks to our hearts.
God cannot trust you with a Rehma (revealed) word until he can trust you with the Logos (written) word.
This is a point we are at in the church. I believe that we are having a hard time receiving the voice and the word of God. I believe that we are so familiar with what God has done and what we are used to God is doing that if he looks any different then we don’t recognize him. God is speaking but too many times we are not listening.
Why do people miss the word. Look at Mark 4 with me.
There are a lot of people who have heard the word but are not doing.
Mark 4:1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine (truth that can be taught, hold on to), 3 Hearken (listen); Behold, there went out a sower (the Lord) to sow: (seed) the seed is his word)
Let us stop there and make some clarifications 1. the sower is who “the Lord”. The seed is what “the word”. How do we know?
Soil – the hearing
Mar 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
1St Level of Hearing – I Don’t Care
Mark 4:4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Mark 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Here in the first level of hearing we see that the sower sows the word but the devil comes and steals away what has been sowed. It is devoured. Now don’t think it just happens the reason he is able to do this is because we are not prepared to receive the word. It could be the preacher that is preaching. I heard one guy say, “I couldn’t hear because his tie was too bright.” Or some lame excuse. Understanding that God can use anybody.
I think the devil will use bitterness or hurt to stop it. Misconceptions.
Word is devoured. Fowls – birds are the enemies. Going to and fro looking who he may devour.
Too many people are at this level in service. God is speaking to them. Wanting to give them a word yet they are not listening.