“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.
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” Matthew 17:5
Jesus had brought Peter, James and John up onto a mountain. While up there Moses and Elijah appeared and began to speak with Jesus. At some point a cloud covered them and God spoke from the cloud. God tells them that Jesus is His Son and that they are to listen to Him.
Everywhere a person goes, there is someone talking. People can hear what is being said. While a person is sitting in a restaurant eating, a person will hear what other people around him are saying, though most likely he will not pay any real attention to what is being said. One cannot help but hear what others are saying, but they do not have to really comprehend what is being said.
In order for a person to comprehend what is being said, he must listen. He must really pay attention to what is being said. God had told the disciples to “listen” to Jesus. This is paying attention to what He is saying.
Often Jesus spoke in parables and they did not fully understand it. They were hearing with their ears, but not with their hearts or minds.
Listening to a person requires one to stop thinking about what he is going to say next and pay attention to the one talking. It also can require that the one doing the listening also obey the one talking.
In the life of a believer, Jesus is the ultimate authority. He is to be obeyed. When He speaks, the believer is to listen and obey.
Today you do not have Jesus physically standing next to you speaking, but He is still talking to you. He speaks through the words in the Bible and by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gives guidance on how to live and please God. He did not just tell some good stories to be enjoyed.
When you hear the words of Jesus or Him speaking to you in your spirit, you must listen and obey. Hear with your heart, not just with your ears. Apply what He says to your life.
God was pleased with what Jesus was saying and doing. If you want to please God, listen and do what Jesus said and did.
I pray today that you will listen to Jesus; that you will know how to apply what Jesus said to your life; that God will be pleased with you; and that you will live your life as Jesus lived His.
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.” Ezekiel 12:1-2
Ezekiel was living in the time right before God was going to destroy the nation of Israel. God was describing how sinful the people were and all the destruction that would occur because of the sin. Now He tells Ezekiel that the people he is living among are rebellious.
When people talk about a rebellious person, they usually are thinking of someone who is very openly defiant and fighting against some system or government. Teenagers are thought of as being rebellious, because they do not want to follow the rules and think that they know best. While this is true about these type of people, there are many others who are rebellious also, but do not show it as openly.
All rebellion is, is jut refusing to do what is right. People everywhere can see evidence of God in creation and life, yet, many do not want to believe it. They openly choose to refuse to believe in God, despite what they see. They do not want to see the evidence of God.
This even occurs inside the church. Believers hear sermons or read the Bible and see that God provides for them, loves them, and is in control. Yet, when a situation occurs, they refuse to believe God and get scared and run. They hear the words of God being said, but refuse to apply them to their own lives. They see what it means to follow God, but refuse to live their lives sold out to God.
Rebellion can be out-right defiant, violent rebellion, but most often it is a quiet rebellion. It is a refusal to live the way God has said to live.
You may not be the violent rebellious person that is read about in the news or described by others. But are you being rebellious in your walk with God?
Is God asking you to do something or give up something, and you are refusing to do so? This would be a sign of rebellion.
Allow God to open your eyes and ears to see and hear what He has to say, and then live that way. Do not be rebellious.
I pray today that you will hear God’s word in your life; that you will see God at work in your life; that you will live according to God’s plan for your life; and that you will not be rebellious against God.
Work on memorizing this verse this week:
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
People love to hear good news. A couple gets excited when they find out they are expecting their first child. A student loves to hear that he passed a difficult test. Fans get excited to hear their favorite team is going to the Superbowl. Voters love to hear that the person they voted for won the election. Soldiers and people love to hear that there is a peace agreement between two warring nations.
Good news is always great to hear, especially in a time when there is a lot of bad news going on all around. Turn on any news channel and one will probably hear ten bad things occurring for every one good thing.
Even in one’s own personal life, one can find a lot of negative things to talk about, if so desired. So hearing good news is what people desire.
Believers have some good news to tell, in fact, it is the best news of all time. The one thing that no person can overcome is death. It is a fact that every person will die. So telling some news that death can be overcome is the greatest news story of all time.
Death is overcome because God does reign. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, there was a peace agreement made between man and God. Salvation was purchased by the blood of Jesus for every person who believes.
As a believer you are the carrier of this great news. You are the messenger of the greatest news of all time. When you are walking through a store and see someone who looks like they could use some good news, tell him that God does reign and loves him and has salvation for him today. Be willing to proclaim that great news out loud to everyone you meet.
In a day where there is so much negative news happening, why won’t you go and tell someone the greatest news of all time? It may be the news someone is waiting to hear and needs to hear. In their eyes you will be beautiful with that great news.
I pray today that you will know the salvation God provides; that you will know that God reigns; that you will be bold in telling others about Jesus; and that you will proclaim to this world that God does reign.