Sunday, February 13, 2005

Listen to God

Last week's Thought for the Week (Proverbs 3:34-35) and a brief exchange with my son this morning prompts the thought for this week:

On our way to worship this morning, my wife asked our son if he'd put the cat outdoors. He said no. His mother began to explain her instructions regarding the animals. When he resisted, I joined in to express the importance of listening to ones mother. I glanced to the back seat of the truck and saw that our son had plugged his earns with his fingers.

I gave my father a similar response some 30 years ago. Home on leave from the Navy, I'd joined my parents for lunch. I was leaving that day to see a young lady in Santa Rosa. When my father asked of my sleeping arrangements, I lied. I plugged my ears (figuratively) to hide my true intentions.

Likewise, when Stephen was brought before the Jewish council in Jerusalem to answer the false charge of blasphemy against the temple and the law (read Acts 6:9-7:60 for the whole account), the high priest and those on the council refused to listen.

In response to this and a sign from heaven, the council "cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord." (Acts 7:54-60). The council had just listened to Stephen recount the history of Israel from Abraham's calling to Moses and the giving of the law. Instead of responding to God with repentance, pride "stopped their ears" and they killed Stephen.

This brings us to today's thought for the week:

"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you (James 4:6b-7).
In a quote from the passage in Proverbs, James tells us that those who humble themselves before God receive His blessings, including the blessing of salvation from sin. Pride keeps us at a distance from God.

We must unstop our ears and listen to God as Josiah did just than when he hear the word for the first time (2 Chronicles 34:26-28). Will we unstop our ears and hear God?

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