Wednesday, August 14, 2013

LISTEN

Someone clears their throat at a dinner to say a few words, possibly a prayer over the food (Grace). Someone dings the side of a china glass before making an announcement or speech at a wedding dress rehearsal or other event.  A bullhorn is raised in front of the mouth of someone who stands before a mass of people who need instructions.  Someone steps up to a microphone on stage and the crowd grows silent in anticipation of his/her words.

All of my word-pictures portrayed here display a person about to speak and call attention to the fact that his/her words are important enough that your consideration via silence and attention are required. Father God and Jesus did this too!

"After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.....a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" - Matthew 17:1-2, 5

Father God says from Heaven, "Listen to Him [Jesus]!"  If your ears are not perked and your eyeballs wide open at hearing a disembodied voice all the sudden speak, something is wrong with your middle-eastern, Israeli, back-then self.  Not to mention Jesus' face shinning like the sun, his clothes white as light and a bright cloud enveloping all of them.  This sure would get my attention!  And guess what I would do?  You got it - I would obey, I would  Listen To Jesus!

When Jesus spoke about being clean and unclean in and around Mark 7:14, He thought it so important that He cleared His throat, He dinged that dinner glass, He raised the bullhorn, He stepped up to the mic (all in a manner of speaking) and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this."  Now the Son of God is also saying "Listen to me".  Get the picture that what Jesus had to say was important?  Allow me to take it up a notch.

Salvation was presented to the Jews first, but they refused Jesus as their Messiah and Christ then offered it to the rest of the world - the Gentiles.  Romans 1:16 supports this by saying, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." 

This message of Salvation through Jesus Christ is the most important message in all of history!  So, Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes about Peter addressing the Jews not listening to Jesus as their Messiah and the ramifications -  "'Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.'" - Acts 3:23  That is a pretty serious consequence!  

That level of seriousness in listening to Jesus Christ, the Word of God, needs improvement within my life and in the life of every Christian.  We desperately need to develop an "ear" for God's voice.  This translates to God's Spirit and our spirit in harmony with each other and our bodies as we hear the Word of God and read the Word of God for our daily living.  The more we engage God's Word in our everyday life, the more we will be able to hear God's voice.  Then the next step, if called for, would be to deliver what God has told us to deliver - His Rhema Word (divine word for the moment that is backed-up by His Word).  However, this would all kick-off with flying colors if we would do one thing.......Listen.