“And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away’”
-Jesus (Mark 4:24-25, ESV).
Week after week you have attended church. You recognize that illustration the preacher uses as on you’ve already heard. You’ve listened to the Scripture so many times that you might be able to quote a good bit of it if you tried. If you wanted to… Do you want to grow spiritually? To become more Christ-like? Or are you more concerned with other things? Does your attention perk up when the topic is methods and means of making money, or steps to living your best life now? You’ll go over and above for what you really want, friend? And maybe that’s not Jesus. Perhaps your problem is Christianity is part of your history, your culture. Is it an old habit, just a weak little practice without much practical use?
Have you forgotten what life used to look like when you loved and followed Jesus with your whole heart? Have you lost your first love? Or did you ever love anything or anyone other than yourself?
James says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like” (James 1:22-23). Sorry to be the one to say it, but if you’re like the person James speaks of here, then you’re a loser. You’re is losing your identity in Christ. You’re losing hope in Christ. You’ve lost your faith through natural erosion. Eventually, if not already, you’ll lose the truth you used to believe in.
Jesus said, “Pay attention to what you hear.” You will be blessed in direct correlation with how deeply and how completely you receive the Truth of God’s Word. When you measure out more time and attention to hearing and applying the Word, then God will add blessing to you. The blessing is His presence and more revelation, then all of the other (earthly) things will be added to you as well. “Seek firs the kingdom of God and all of these other things will be added to you as well” -Jesus (Matthew 6:33).
However, if you fail to listen, then even what you’ve previously heard will be taken from you. First, the Truth no longer has the depth of meaning it once did. Then you start doubt it. Then you forget it. Finally, you’ll be just like a lost person without the knowledge of the Truth. In the most extreme, and irreconcilable, case you’ll hear the Word of God and despise it. At that stage you’ll find that you have contempt for church and the Bible, and even Jesus (the Bible’s Jesus, at least, although some folks reinvent Jesus to agree with their views). Continue down this path and you will become incapable of repentance (Hebrews 6:4-8). You will begin to call good evil, bitter sweet, and darkness light. You redefine the concepts of good and right to match your worldly values. If you reach this point of rejected the Bible and the witness of the Holy Spirit, you will be lost forever, and ever.
Is this you? O, woman, o, man, make a change today! Don’t wait for the feeling to return. You’ve numbed and scarred yourself too much for feelings. If you’re reading this and can see yourself slipping, then you’re not beyond hope. If you can change your mind, do it today. Determine to follow the Truth. For if you continue to eschew wise counsel from godly people, if you continue to be unfaithful to Christ and his bride the church, there may well come a time when you no longer have any faith. If you have ears, pay attention. Act now.
“For him who has ears to hear, let him hear!”