June 08, 2009

Listen Up!

Mark 4:1-20

“Listen! …”
Mark 4:3


Listening is one of the most difficult things to do. To really listen requires openness, focus, and concentration. Listening carefully to someone shows that we think what they are saying is important. If we don’t care what they are saying, we probably won’t listen. How we listen reveals what is going on in our hearts.

Jesus’ parable of the sower is about how people listen to the word of God. When Jesus told this parable, his very first word to the crowd was “Listen!” We can hear him pleading with people to listen carefully.

Why the concern about listening? Well, it’s by listening to the Word that we learn about God, his kingdom, and salvation. It’s by hearing the Word that we learn to understand ourselves, our deepest needs, and the world God placed us in. To refuse to listen is to reject God and eternal life.

Jesus knew his audience. He knew that some people would reject his message right away. Others would receive it enthusiastically, but if it caused them any trouble, they would walk away. For others, the world’s competing messages would choke out what they heard. But then still others would receive the word deeply and be changed forever.

How carefully are we listening to God’s Word? Do we realize it’s a matter of life and death?

Lord, make us good listeners to your Word. By it, build our faith, cleanse our lives, and make us fruitful in the work of your kingdom. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!