As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:15
People will often harden their skin in order to be able to do more things without as much pain. In the martial arts there are some who will strike their fists into sand in order to harden the skin on their hands. This allows them to hit something harder, such as a brick, without feeling as much pain or getting hurt. In this type of hardening, it can be a good thing to do.
However, along with hardening their hands or other parts of the body, there are many who will harden their hearts or minds. Many people have hardened their hearts against someone because they had been hurt by that person. They refuse to talk or be with a family member, because of a past hurt. They have hardened their heart.
Hardening of any type, does not occur instantly. It is a slow, built up process that takes time and effort to occur. Hardening the heart or mind against someone also takes time.
One thing that many people have hardened their hearts to is God. They refuse to listen to Him and do what He says. Some have hardened and never come to hearing God’s voice in their lives. Others have believed, but hardened against Him.
This is seen in a believer who begins to purposefully live in sinful ways, refusing to repent anymore. It is seen in a believer who refuses to do what God is calling Him to do.
This type of hardening usually occurs slowly over time. They start out sinning a little. They feel God’s tug on their hearts, but ignore it and keep on sinning more and more, refusing to listen to and obey God.
Eventually, they no longer hear God at all. Their heart is hardened against hearing Him.
The writer of Hebrews repeats the words of Moses saying do not harden your heart. Take a look at your life. How well are you hearing the voice of God in your life?
As you hear Him say not to do things or to do something, how well are you following those instructions?
Do not allow your heart to get hard against hearing God. Be willing to always listen and obey God in every situation. God is always speaking. Are you listening?
I pray today that you will know God’s voice; that you will obey what God says; that you will keep your heart soft and open to God; and that you will never turn away from God.
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you–and even more.” Mark 4:24
Jesus had just finished talking about not hiding something that needed to be broadcast to everyone. Now He states that they were to be careful about what they hear and how they use what they hear. Whatever they use, will also be used with them.
As Jesus spoke to them He was giving the disciples a lot of good information on how to live their lives. There would be times that they would hear something and they would need to determine how to use that information.
It is common for people to hear something negative about another person. They then use that little bit of information against the person. They refuse to show mercy, because they ‘heard’ something about them. At times the information heard may not be true at all, but made up or misunderstood.
People love to be shown mercy in situations that they are going through, however, many people do not want to show that same mercy. Many feel that they are worthy of being shown mercy because of something that they had done in the past. Yet, they do not feel others are worth giving that same mercy too.
Believers need to think about how God treated them with the information He knew about them. Each one has a bad past that was rebellious against God, yet, He still loved them and forgave them with an everlasting love and mercy. They need to be willing to show that same love and mercy. The more that they use love and mercy, the more God and other people will give them love and mercy.
You will have times that you will hear things about other people. Some of those things will be good, while others will be negative. How will you treat that person? What will you do with that information?
God wants you to consider how you were treated by Him. Then consider how you will treat others. Jesus stated that if you cannot forgive others, you will not be forgiven by God. If you do not show mercy, you will not be shown mercy.
The more you show God’s qualities, the more He will show you those qualities. As you hear things, you will be able to show love and mercy to people.
I pray today that you will show God’s love and mercy to others; that God will guide you in what to do with what you hear; and that you will treat others as God treated you.