Summary: If the Christian life is KNOWING God, HEARING HIs voice, and OBEYING His leading, then it is essetial that believers learn how to tune their ears to His voice.
Voices – Can You Hear Me Now?
March 18, 2005
Matthew 13:1-23 Sunday AM
Video: Can You Hear Me Now – www.sermonspice.com
Trans: Throughout our previous series, I continually stated that the Christian life is about knowing God, hearing His voice, and obeying His commands. Many of you have asked, “How do I hear God’s voice and know it is Him?”
Note: The notion of God speaking shouldn’t seem too mystical to us. In fact, throughout the Bible there are countless stories of God frequently speaking to His people. From Adam in Genesis to John in Revelation, God not only spoke, but spoke clearly to anyone who would listen. Thankfully, the same God who spoke in the pages of our Bible is still speaking today. He is always speaking; we’re just not always listening or have learned His voice.
Insert: It’s funny how quickly we learn someone’s voice once we’ve spoken w/ them once or twice. For many of you, b/c you hear my voice on a regular basis, if I were to call you at home, you’d instantly know my voice – even w/out caller I.D. Why? B/c familiarity breeds recognition.
Story: I saw this truth at work several years ago while skiing. As I was swishing down the mountain, I was blown away by a group of blind skiers. Skiing is difficult enough when you can see; imagine zipping down a tree-lined mountain w/out sight under the direction of someone’s voice. Ski guides use voice commands and a tapping technique to guide the blind skiers down the mountain. Despite the clamor of other skiers, a blind skier must be tuned to the guide’s voice b/c their well-being is completely dependent on their ability to hear his instruction.
Note: The same is true in our relationship w/ God. We have no idea what really lies beyond the next turn or crest in our lives, but He does. To make it through life, we must learn to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd.
Verse: I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep… My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. Jn. 10:14, 27
Insert: That is the key – following the direction of the One who knows and sees everything and who loves us and desires to use our lives for His glory.
Exercise – I need a volunteer (Blindfold and offer verbal direction)
Verse: Trust the Lord w/ all of you heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge, Him and He will direct your steps. Pr. 3:5-6
Note: The key to hearing God is learning how to tune our ears to His voice. Like tuning into a radio station, we have to be on the right frequency and make sure nothing is blocking the signal. That’s what James was referring to when he encouraged us to get rid of all moral filth – to clean out the junk in our spiritual ears so that we can hear God’s speak.
Trans: Over the next two weeks I want to help us learn how to tune in and hear God’s voice. If hearing God is critical to Christian living, then we must learn how to distinguish His voice among the many voices in this world. (Read Mt. 13:1-23)
Trans: You might be asking, “What does this passage have to do w/ hearing God?” Much! Eighteen times in this passage Jesus commands the people to hear, listen, or tune their ears – He who has ears to hear let him hear. Which brings up an obvious question – what does God want us to hear? HIM!
Recap: A sower goes into a field to sow seed that fell upon four types of soils:
1 Seed fell along the path was trampled and the birds came and ate it.
2 Seed fell upon the rocky ground that was scorched by the sun.
3 Seed fell among the thorns and weeds that was choked out.
4 Seed fell w/in the good soil that germinates and brings forth fruit.
Trans: This text has been used in many ways from salvation to eternal security, etc. And while those truths apply, it is important to interpret this text w/in the context of the whole. In Matthew 13, Jesus offers eight parables each w/ a specific focus concerning His will and mission. This first parable is called the Parable of the Sower and is Jesus autobiography of His mission.
I The SOWER
Note: Who is the Sower? The sower is Jesus. He came into this world to seek and to save the lost. But notice that as the sower, Jesus indiscriminately casts the seed in all directions and it randomly fell on four types of soils.