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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Your statutes.”—Psalm 119:155 (NKJV)
Have you ever engaged in conversation with someone who doesn’t seem to be paying any attention to you? Or maybe you’ve encountered someone with selective hearing. It’s so frustrating to interact with this kind of person! My fellow-parents might relate to me on this . . . or even married couples!
Communication is a two-way street. In order for effective communication to take place, the person communicating must be clear. But those on the receiving end have a role to play, too. They must intentionally listen and be willing to receive what’s being conveyed.
When it comes to the Word of God, it’s clear the individual authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit as to what to write. There are no contradictions or questionable commands. Certainly there are many theological interpretations surrounding the truths of God’s Word. Yet it is the responsibility of the reader to sincerely lean into these truths so they might accurately receive what’s being expressed.
There is no place for selective hearing when reading the Bible. Unfortunately, we tend to compartmentalize the Word of God based on our personal agenda. Our American culture is highly humanistic or anthropocentric. This is a philosophical position that places emphasis on human fulfillment and authority in the natural world while simultaneously rejecting belief in God and the authority of His Word. 2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV) says it best: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
Friends, make no mistake about it. We are living in the “times” referred to by the apostle Paul in the above text. Interestingly, this narrative has always been prevalent as we see it play out in John 8:37-40. We also see the psalmist refer to this in Psalm 119:155.
Here is the way I see it: You show me a man who has been savagely beaten go to a cross, hang on that cross, die on that cross, and have his lifeless body placed in a tomb. Yet this same man resurrects Himself from the dead after three days and tells me He did it all because He loves me. I’ll tell you what—this guy would definitely have my attention, and I’m certainly listening to and submitting to everything he has to say! Wait, Jesus did that!
DIG: Read John 8:37-40.
DISCOVER: Do you compartmentalize God’s Word? Do you turn a blind eye to the Scriptures that might challenge your faith as well as your walk with Christ?
DISPLAY: Display obedience to God’s Word by not despising the Scriptures, but sincerely seeking to understand and obey them.