In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley


Monday September 20, 2004
InTouch Early Light Devotional

How to Listen to the Word of God
Nehemiah 8:1-8

There is a secret to enjoying worship services. Some people know the key, and they leave church uplifted and comforted. Others are unmoved. The difference is that the first group knows how to listen to what they are hearing.

We should eagerly anticipate listening to Scripture. It is difficult to be excited if we think a sermon is aimed at a general crowd. God does not work that way. Every time you hear from the Bible, God has something specific and personal to say to you. Certainly the once-captive Israelites believed that or they would not have gathered with such anticipation to hear Ezra read. (verses 5-6)

Furthermore, the people listened attentively. With no writing tools, they needed to commit as much as possible to memory. We often sit through a service, thinking about the time and what is for lunch, when all the while God is revealing Himself through the Scriptures. Our attention span is determined by our genuine interest in the subject. Why is it some people can watch a three-hour movie with rapt attention and yet fidget after only five minutes of Bible reading? We anticipate that a movie will be entertaining, but we often approach church with no expectation at all.

If God desires to speak to each of us through His Word, then we should be expectantly listening. He has a word of encouragement, strength, or comfort. It is the great mystery of preaching that a man can give a message about one truth from Scripture and everybody in the place hears something different - the exact point God knows each person needs.

 

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