Are you listening?

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. – Matthew 13:12

Jesus taught everywhere he traveled. The crowds would gather, and he would teach them the secrets of heaven through parables. Some people, in tune with God, would understand the message through the Holy Spirit. Others would just hear another orator giving a speech or a teacher telling another story. The disciples asked Jesus why he taught the people through parables, and his reply was the above. It was to fulfill prophecy but also to allow into the kingdom only those whom called to be his own.

Jesus said elsewhere to people, So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say(Luke 6:46) Not everyone “hears” what God says to them through his servants: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. For that matter, every believer is a preacher. Not every person with whom you proclaim the good news of Jesus’ resurrection (Preach the gospel to every creature. – Mk. 16:15) will respond to the call of God. They are one of four types of soil. They may never understand because Satan blinds them to the truth. They may have no foundation and not withstand the tricks of the devil. Some may take root and grow but get lost in the lure of life and its associated problems. There are the few, the chosen, the called who have been permitted to understand the secrets of the kingdom of heaven.

Can you hear what God’s Spirit is saying to you? Is he calling you to come to God and know him as your Father, Lord, King, and Savior? If you know the LORD, do you hear him telling to preach the good news to everyone? To go here or there? To love this person or that one? To care for the sick? To visit the shut-ins? To feed the hungry? To house the homeless? What is God saying to you? Do you hear him? Don’t let yourself get lost in parables or caught up in thinking your God’s child but not doing what he says?

Ask God’s Spirit to open your heart to his heart and to be able to hear the truth of his message. Others are depending on you to do your part of the Great Commission. As Paul wrote,

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. (Romans 10:13-17)

Father, thank you for allowing me to understand the secrets of your kingdom  I may not know it all, but I know where to go and whom to see about finding the answers. You are the source of all things and the answer to all things. I try to do all that you’ve given me to do for the advancement of your kingdom. I can only do them through the empowerment of your Holy Spirit. Help me to hear you always and then to carry out the mission you’ve given me for the sake of others. Thank you, Sir. In Jesus’ name, Amen.