Summary: In this sermon, we learn how to have wholly devoted ears by listening to God, listening to others, and listening to only what is good.
A. The story is told of an elderly man who stopped at a hearing aid clinic and asked about their prices.
1. The salesman said, “Well, our prices range from $25,000 all the way down to $1.50.”
2. “Wow, that’s quite a range,” said the customer, “What is the $25,000 model like?”
3. The salesman held up the hearing aid and said, “The sound is perfect and it also translates three languages.”
4. The customer said, “Very impressive. What about the one for $1.50?”
5. The salesman said, “It is a button attached to a string,” as he pushed a sample across the counter.
6. “How does it work?” asked the customer.
7. The salesman answered, “You put the button in your ear, and the string in your pocket, and you’ll be surprised how loudly people talk to you.”
8. Some of us do have problems with our hearing, and it helps when people talk more loudly, but sometimes our hearing problems are of another nature.
B. The well-known Broadway producer, Jed Harris, once became convinced that he was losing his hearing.
1. So he visited a hearing specialist who tested his hearing in an interesting manner.
2. The specialist pulled out a gold pocket watch and asked, “Can you hear this ticking?”
a. “Of course,” Harris replied.
3. The specialist then walked over to the door and asked the same question, “Can you hear this ticking?”
a. Harris concentrated and said, “Yes, I can hear it clearly.”
4. Then the doctor walked into the next room and repeated the question a third time.
a. A third time Harris said that he could hear the ticking.
5. “Mr. Harris,” the doctor concluded, “there is nothing wrong with your hearing, there is only a problem with your listening.”
6. How clearly does that describe you? “There is nothing wrong with your hearing, but there is a problem with your listening!”
C. Today we return to our Wholly Devoted Series.
1. We are exploring how to be wholly devoted to God with all that we are and all that we have.
2. The two verses that have provided our launching point are Mark 12:30 and Rom. 6:13.
a. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
b. “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:13).
3. So far in our series, we have explored what it means to have:
a. A wholly devoted mind.
b. A wholly devoted heart.
c. A wholly devoted tongue.
d. And wholly devoted eyes.
4. Today we want to explore what it means to have wholly devoted ears.
I. The Spiritual Importance of Our Ears
A. I’m guessing that you have never given much thought to the spiritual importance of your ears, right?
1. Most of us don’t spend too much time thinking about our ears at all.
2. Some people might think their ears are too big, or too small, or that they have a funny shape.
3. Others only think about ears when they are looking into having them pierced.
4. I really don’t like the new fad of having ear gages that make the hole in the ear lobe bigger and bigger.
5. I know I’m getting older because I have to spend some time trimming the hairs in my ears – I know that’s “TMI” – too much information!
B. But what does the Bible have to say about our ears?
1. The word “ear” or “ears” appears 56 times in the Bible.
2. The words “hear, hears, heard, hearers, and hearing” appear over 1000 times in the Bible.
3. And the words “listen, listened and listening” appear 87 times.
4. So you can see that the concept and importance of hearing is stressed in Scripture.
C. Repeatedly throughout Scripture, we hear God telling His people to “Listen to Me!”
1. One of the best known Scriptures from the Old Testament says: These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you.