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Weekly Devotionals

Listen

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the
Lord is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength. – Deuteronomy 6:4

We have a pre-teen kid in the house, and although we love her dearly, we can get pretty frustrated with her at times because when we speak to her she may hear us talking, but she oftentimes does not listen. We can tell her a thousand times a day to clean her room, do her homework, stop bothering her little siblings, get off her phone, etc. We know that she hears us well enough, but she doesn’t listen to what we say.

There is a difference between hearing and listening. When you hear something, you receive audio signals to your ear, but you may not really process those signals as information. It’s like when you mindlessly listen to a song while you’re doing house chores – you might hear a tune in your ear, but you’re not really paying close attention to the melody or the lyrics. But when you listen, you are mindfully being attentive to the audio signal, and you process it, and allow it to influence you in thought, emotion, and action.

Deuteronomy 6:4 is a prayer that has been prayed for at least a couple of thousand years. In Hebrew it is called the Shema, for the word “Hear”, but in actuality, it’s more like “Listen”. It is a call to respond to the Lord as one true God, and love him with all of our heart, soul, and strength. It means, with every effort and every last breath, we are to love and serve the Lord. That is our first and foremost purpose to be on this earth; to love God.

Many of us hear this message. We hear it in sermons and Bible studies and small group discussions. We hear it in songs and podcasts. But are we listening to it? Are we allowing it to permeate in our heats, and our souls, and all of our beings?

Many times when we pray, we only ask God for what we want. “God, I want more money. God, I want more friends. God, I want better things in life.” It’s not wrong to ask God, but before we speak, perhaps we need to practice the art of listening to God first. When was the last time you just sat there before God in silence, and just listened?

This morning, and this week, I want to challenge all of us to find time to just sit before God, put all other distractions to the side, and just listen for God? Just think of Him and His majesty. Think of how much He loves you. Think of being in His presence. And then just listen. And when we do that, I am confident God has something special He wants to say to you today.

God bless you all!