Monday, April 4, 2022

Being Careful Listeners

Being Careful Listeners 
by David Brenneman 

"“Now no one lights a lamp and covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in may see the light. For nothing is concealed that will not become evident, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.” Luke 8:16-18 NASB 

This morning's reading that one thing was the first to stand out for me.  Being careful how we listen. 

Jesus in another passage taught the following:

"And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring any bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand nor remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you picked up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets you picked up? How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you about bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Matthew 16:5-12 NASB 

What do you allow into your ears?

From the conversations we have, to the television, to the radio or internet. To the sermons we ingest, we take in teaching whether or not we consider it such.  What we hear shapes our thinking and our lives. 

We don't consider words as we do food, but in relative terms it's the same consideration. Our own Bible says things on this.  

Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you. 

Be doers of the Word and not just hearers only.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Music shapes our thinking.  We don't realize the depth that it reaches into our mind and heart.  Music is what much of the book of Psalms was set to.  Intentionally so in order to go deeper into the heart and soul in ways that hearing only would or could do.  Think about that.  You can read or even recite lyrics to a song. It's not the same as you hearing it set to the right music. You receive it differently. 

What you take in, in regards to sermons and teaching shapes your thinking.  Jesus was warning His Disciples about false teachers and false prophets. We certainly have them today.  We are warned by Paul in a letter or so about this same thing. 

Being careful of what you listen to in all things will impact the whole direction of your life.

A compliment will encourage.
A disparaging remark will cast people down. 
Words that are entering the soul through listening. 

You either stand fast to your convictions or compromise due to words listened to. 

"But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:22-27 NASB 

Consider what is taught about how Jesus taught His Disciples.  He made sure they understood His teaching. He made sure they were listening. 

We listen to all kinds of music and think it's nothing but enjoyable and do not realize it taints our thinking.  You don't realize how it changes you.  It does or Jesus wouldn't be telling us to be careful about it!  Just like in everything He teaches us to be careful listeners. 

We listen to politicians, it changes our thinking or sets it in concrete.

We listen to questionable music we either overtly or subtly have our values changed to accept or allow sinful ways and behaviors.  

We listen to certain teachers or Preachers and it challenges or changes our thinking by way of our listening. 

We listen to Doctors and it changes our way of thinking about our health either for the positive or negative. 

Being careful of how we listen is evidently very important to Jesus, shouldn't it be important to you?

I have a very select set of music to listen to. Atypically it's added to after some Sunday's at Church due to its words. I added 2 from yesterday's service.  

Garbage in garbage out. What we permit our ears to hear impacts our hearts. We listen to enough songs, or in some people, a song about inappropriate relationships and it WILL change your thoughts on it to some extent. 

You listen to songs that are about patriotism and it is intended to impact your thoughts on patriotism. 

We either bolster our faith or compromise it by what we listen to. 

Solomon was the wisest man to live. Yet when he began listening to others more than he did of God's Word, it spelled his downfall. He violated Scripture by taking more than one wife. He took concubines in addition to his wives. He turned his heart from wholly serving God to giving attention to the idols of his wives.

We need to take great care in what we listen to.  Jesus taught this and we should heed it.  

We will either grow or stagnate in our walk with Jesus depending on what goes in our ears and into our hearts. 

Playlists are everywhere. What's on yours?

Churches teach...what does yours? Is it teaching Biblical principles or legalism? 

Are you listening to songs, news, instructional videos that are actually causing you to drift from your relationship with Jesus?

"Oh its not that bad!" If Jesus took the time to make sure it was's THAT bad. We are all susceptible to its impact. 

I know people who have indeed listened wrongly to others and it's, to borrow Paul's phrase, shipwrecked their faith. They are accepting of sin in others rather than having the Biblical stand they used to have.

Beware of false teachers and false prophets is the Biblical warning.  

Beware because they will teach what people think they want to hear. 

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB "For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths."  This is done by hearing. 

You need to look at just who you have listened to. It will be an eye opener for many.  It was for me years ago which is why my song list has changed to songs that direct my mind towards the things of God. I have stopped listening to the news because it can stir up my mind in ungodly ways. 

The battlefield is in your mind. The attacks are meant to reshape your thoughts.  Be careful listeners. 

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