Lord, make me a better, more-attentive listener.
Read Luke 8:16–21
A Lamp on a Stand
16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
19 Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”
21 He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“To answer before listening—that is folly and shame” (Prov. 18:13). Is this ever a description of you? Ask God to grant you patience and understanding at all times.
Recently my fluorescent kitchen light has been on the blink. Literally. And I have learned how much I appreciate a steady stable light source that doesn’t keep coming and going. Jesus here uses the image of a lamp showing light, then very quickly goes back to his theme of listening and hearing. And I wonder if my listening sometimes flickers like my kitchen light.
Many people today do not have the luxury of being properly listened to, perhaps because they are alone, or perhaps because the pace of life moves too fast.
Listening is very different from hearing. All kinds of information is playing in the background of our lives and we usually give it only half an ear. To listen properly we have to concentrate. The same holds true of hearing God’s Word. Verse 21 tells us we can’t properly hear God’s Word unless we listen carefully, and then try to put it into practice. Testing what we hear against all we already know and then acting on it is the true fruit of listening. We have to use it… or lose it.
At the day’s end, consider how much you have listened to God, and how much you have listened to others. Are the two related?
Lord, help me to be one who hears Your Word and puts it into practice.