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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

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Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

ARE YOU LISTENING?

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ARE YOU LISTENING?
"This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. LISTEN TO HIM!"
Matthew 17:5
ARE YOU LISTENING? Sometimes it pays to listen a very long time. Especially, when it comes to listening to God in His Word. We should never stop listening to the Word of God.   Someone said, "Talk and you say what you already know, but listen and you learn something new."
ARE YOU LISTENING? If so, then you are learning. And we all need to learn more about life, about others, and especially, about the Lord!  It pays big dividends to listen to the Lord and learn from Him whether through a sermon, a Sunday School lesson, a radio program, or through your own personal reading of God’s Word.
Matthew 13:18-23  The parable of the sower Jesus speaks of four different kinds of hearers or listeners.  1- The hard-hearted listener  2- The shallow-hearted listener3- The clutter-hearted listener4- The good-hearted listener
I. THE HARD-HEARTED LISTENER
Matt. 13:19 "When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path."
The hard-hearted listener is hardened to the Gospel because they can’t seem to understand it or grasp it. Satan snatches any little bit or piece was sown in that person’s heart before it can start to grow and bear fruit.  I would imagine this is the casual hearer that comes to Church only a few times a year.  If God allows them to hear a good message and the Holy Spirit convicts them of something they need to change in their lives, they soon forget it.  If God encourages them to use their gifts and abilities to help someone else, they easily become distracted and lose their desire.
II. THE SHALLOW-HEARTED LISTENER
Matt. 13:20-21 "The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away."
The shallow-hearted listener doesn’t have any staying power. They are quick to believe, receive and rejoice, but they don’t stay with the program or the person, that is Christ.  As soon as someone hurt their feelings or they did not get their way, they quit serving the Lord.  Many people lack staying power when it comes to anything in life. 
III. THE CLUTTER-HEARTED LISTENER
Matt. 13:22 "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful."
The clutter-hearted listener has cluttered up his life with the things of this world. The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God says to us and through us.  We need to do as our Lord Jesus did when He left the busy activities of His life and went to the top of a mountain to pray.  There He gave us the example of how to get new strength and focus to do the work that His Heavenly Father had called Him to do.
IV.  The good-hearted listener hears the Word, understands it, and bears fruit. 
The good-hearted listener sees himself in the mirror of God’s Word and doesn’t like what he sees. Consequently, he does something to change that image. He believes and obeys the Word of God. He allows God’s Word to bear fruit in his life.
The Lord Jesus has invested a lot of time, energy, and even His life to give you all you need to live a victorious Christian life.  A life full of blessings, and He is trying to send you seeds to grow in your life.  The more you listen, the more faith you will receive, and in turn the more blessings you will receive and the greater blessing you will be to all those around you.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
Are you listening? Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. He is knocking in many ways and by means of many people. Do you hear him? Are you listening? He is not saying, "let’s do lunch." He is saying, "Let’s do life together." Are you listening?  When we fail to listen to someone, we cut ourselves off from them. So when we fail to listen to God, we cut ourselves off from Him.
Jesus said in Rev. 3:20  "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
Take time this week to listen to the Lord Jesus.  His power contains the solutions to all your problems.  His love contains the source of power to help you overcome your weaknesses.  His Word contains all the instructions you need to “love God and love our neighbor as yourself”.
ARE YOU LISTENING?  He is speaking to you.  Listening will keep you out of a lot of difficulties.  It will bring you a lot of blessings.  And it will bring you closer to the God who loves you.
“HE THAT HAS AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS..” (Rev 2:7)