February 28, 2018

Acts 28:28… Therefore, let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.

            “They will listen…” I have been thinking about ‘listening’ lately. For the most part, humans aren’t good listeners. I prepare my next comments while I should be listening. Or, I already know what they are going to say so I tune it out.  A good friend needs to be a good listener.  That, for me, is one of the main joys of a friend… they listen. Have you ever poured your heart out to someone and realized, they didn’t hear a word you said.?  When someone pours out their heart, the listener needs to hear with his heart. And that brings us to the message of the scripture today… Paul is saying that the Gentiles will hear with their hearts. When you hear with your heart, you absorb what you heard and it is internalized and will affect you in the future. That is how we ought to listen to God. .. We don’t just hear words; we hear the heart behind the words. God speaks to us from the heart.

            We need to learn to hear from the heart. This involves more than our ears.  It is a different style of listening.  It takes time and concentration. I find that I can intentionally concentrate on someone’s voice and words if I make that my goal. I can also not hear their heart if I so desire.  I am challenged this morning. I want to listen intently from the heart when God is speaking; but, then I feel less inclined when another human is speaking. God is speaking to me this morning, that I ought to listen to people as well as to Him. They don’t always have words of life for me but I learn to listen properly, and how nice would it be to be known as a listener? I would like to over hear that in a conversation, “Jim is a really good listener.” We spend hours learning to communicate and we gravitate to good communicators; but how great would it be if we spent hours learning to listen. Friendships would be more sincere and dependable.

            “God, I want to be a good listener. Please help me.” I speak differently when I know someone is listening. God is always listening.