Whoever has ears, let him hear (Matthew 13:9)
Yesterday we learned from the parable of the Sower that we must be willing to heed Jesus’s words if we want to hear His words. Many people read the Bible or listen to stories from it and it appears to only confuse them. They just don’t seem to understand the meaning of the message. Scripture tells us that Jesus opened the minds of the apostles so they could understand. (Luke 24:45). After His ascension to Heaven, the Holy Spirit was given to us to enlighten us about the message contained in God’s Word (Ephesians 1:18). The bottom line is that those who do not love God will not listen to God. Those not willing to obey His Word will not understand His Word. In other words, we hear what we want to hear. If we are truly seeking God and earnestly desiring to do His will, He will grant us the understanding we need to do His will and glorify Him.
God is uncompromising in His standards; The truth doesn’t change just because you don’t want to hear it. However, God is also not dictatorial in His approach; He will not force you to hear and heed His Word. He created all of us with freewill and that includes your right to ignore God’s free offer of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Every human being has the (God-given) right to ignore God! That is good news to those who like to “do their own thing” and “maintain control” of their own life. Many people will (sadly) elect to invoke their right to not listen to the loving God who created them. Who, exactly, are these people? They are your neighbors, co-workers, family, friends, the wealthy, the poor, the immigrants and the foreigners. They come from every country, ethnicity, and vocation. They are “good people,” criminals, addicts, and professionals. They represent every language spoken and every continent on the earth. Such a vast array of humanity, how could one possibly identify the people who choose to ignore God?
It’s easy – there is a list. The list is in a book. The book resides in Heaven and it’s called The Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 20:15, 21:27). It is a GLORIOUS Book…for those of us who choose to hear and heed God in our earthly lives. You see, as believers in Jesus Christ, our names are forever recorded in that book which means we get to spend eternity in Heaven with God. On the other hand, there are those mentioned above who invoked their (God-given) right to ignore God’s gracious offer so they could “control their own destiny.” I’ll let you read Revelation 20:15 to see how that turns out for them.
Sow the seed. Tell the world the good news about Jesus Christ. Pray for the lost and pray for your fellow saints that we might all be faithful and fruitful followers who help harvest a crop a hundred, sixty, or thirty fold.
-Pastor Dave Jones