Jeremy Jernigan – Executive Pastor of Creative Arts
This weekend we continued our sub-series in Luke called “A Prophet Among Us.” Our passage for this week, Luke 8:16-21, is an incredible application of last week’s parable of the soils, found in Luke 8:1-15. Here Jesus points out that the condition of our heart is what matters when it comes down to whether or not God’s Word will produce fruit in our lives. If this is the case, then we will naturally want to live out what is in our heart, but if our hearts are hard and not producing fruit, our tendency will be to try to hide what is in our hearts.
As Jesus explained, we must consider carefully how we akouo (listen and apply) what we hear from God’s Word. Here are some other quotes used:
“When it’s quiet, ears will adapt. The quieter the room, the more things you hear. You’ll hear your heart beating, sometimes you can hear your lungs, hear your stomach gurgling loudly. In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.” Steven Orfield
“We are, by nature, receivers. Even if we have a desire to learn God’s Word, we still listen from a default self-centered mind-set that is always asking, What can I get out of this? But… this is unbiblical Christianity. What if we changed the question whenever we gathered to learn God’s Word? What if we began to think, How can I listen to his Word so that I am equipped to teach this Word to others?” David Platt, Radical
“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community… But the reverse is also true: let him who is not in community beware of being alone.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
When we produce spiritual fruit and begin to live more and more in the light, we will naturally fit into the community of others who are doing the same. When we hide what is in our hearts, however, we isolate ourselves from the true community of faith.
Here are three questions to determine whether you are listening to God’s Word the way in which Jesus is describing:
- Does my reality change depending on whom I’m around?
- What do I experience when I’m alone?
- What is the result of my listening?
This week, our hope is that you will reflect on this personally and with your Life Group: what is in your heart and how can you bring it into the light to be transformed by Jesus?