Luke 8:18 (NKJV)
18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”
Did you bring your ears with you to worship today? I know, of course, that unless you have a physical abnormality, you did of course show up with those two floppy things on the side of your head. But did you bring your ears with you to worship today?
Jesus consistently ends his parables with these words: He who has ears to hear, let him hear. One of the things that characterizes us as human beings – characterizes our interactions with one another and even with God – is that we can “hear” and yet “not hear.” We hear the words of our spouse; we hear the criticism of our employer; we hear the corrections of our parents; we hear the very words of God – but when that crucial question comes our way, “Are you listening to me?” we often have to confess, “No, I’m not.”
In our passage today, Jesus warns us to take heed how we hear, how we listen to His Word. If we hear the right way, increased blessings will come our way; if we hear the wrong way, even what we seem to have will be taken away. Hence, it is not enough simply to walk our ears into the sanctuary; we must take heed how we hear.
So how are you listening? How have you been listening? Are you taking heed how you hear? Are you coming to worship week by week expecting to hear the very voice of God? Expecting God to correct you? To comfort you? To challenge you? To sanctify you? Do you petition God to help you understand more of Him, more of His word, more of His world?
Or are you coming to worship just because? Just because your parents make you? Just because that’s what good people do? Just because it’s beneficial for your kids? Do you find yourself bored, disinterested, expecting only to hear the voice of a man and not the very words of God? “And when will that guy stop preaching,” you say to yourself, “so that I can start talking to my friends? So that I can get home and rest? So that I can listen to my music, watch my movie, play my game?” Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.
Reminded of our need to bring our ears with us to worship and that we often leave them behind, let us confess our sin to the Lord and petition Him to pour out His Spirit upon us, that He might give us ears to hear. And, since we are confessing our sins, as you are able, let us kneel in humility before our Lord.