Daily Devotion: Thursday
Psalm of the Day: Psalm 102:16-28
Wisdom of the Day: Job 21:1-16
Scripture Reading: Luke 8:16-21
We learn, secondly, from these verses the great importance of right hearing. The words of our Lord Jesus Christ ought to impress that lesson deeply on our hearts. He says, "Take heed how you hear!"
The degree of benefit which men receive from all the means of grace depends entirely on the way in which they use them.
Private PRAYER lies at the very foundation of religion. Yet the mere formal repetition of a set of words, when "the heart is far away" does good to no man's soul.
Reading the BIBLE is essential to the attainment of sound Christian knowledge. Yet the mere formal reading of so many chapters as a task and duty, with out a humble desire to be taught of God is little better than a waste of time.
Just as it is with praying and Bible reading, so it is with hearing the Word preached. It is not enough that we go to Church and hear sermons. We may do so for fifty years, and "be nothing bettered, but rather worse." "Take heed," says our Lord, "how you hear!"
Would anyone know how to hear aright? Then let him lay to heart three simple rules:
For one thing, we must hear with FAITH believing implicitly that every word of God is true, and shall stand forever. The Word in old time did not profit the Jews, "not being mixed with faith in those who heard it" (Hebrews 4:2).
For another thing, we must hear with REVERENCE remembering constantly that the Bible is the book of God. This was the habit of the Thessalonians. They received Paul's message, "not as the word of men, but the Word of God" (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Above all, we must bear with PRAYER praying for God's blessing before the sermon is preached, and praying for God's blessing again when the sermon is over.
Here lies the grand defect of the hearing of many. They ask no blessing and so they have none. The sermon passes through their minds like water through a leaky vessel, and leaves nothing behind!
Let us bear these rules in mind every Sunday morning, before we go to hear the Word of God preached. Let us not rush into God's presence in a careless, reckless, and unprepared manner — as if it did not matter in what way such work was done. Let us carry with us faith, reverence, and prayer. If these three are our companions — then we shall hear with profit, and return with praise.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, please help be ready to hear and do the Word of God when it is preached or taught.
Action Plan: One way to be a good hearer is to take down sermon notes. Try doing so this Sunday.
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.