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How I Know You're Really Listening, Part 12

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
January 3, 2024 7:50 pm

How I Know You're Really Listening, Part 12

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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January 3, 2024 7:50 pm

The passage from Hebrews 12:25-29 offers us a glimpse of our glorious God, calling us to experience the awe of encountering the One whose voice causes the earth to shake, a consuming fire. 

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Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Hebrews 12, 25-29 offers us a glimpse of our glorious God, calling us to experience the awe of encountering the One whose voice causes the earth to shake, who is a consuming fire. Verse 25 warns us not to refuse Him who is speaking. Sometimes we need to check in and ask ourselves, am I really listening?

Am I embracing what God says about Himself, allowing those truths to penetrate my heart? Today, Pastor Rich addresses this question in the message titled, How I Know You're Really Listening. And now I invite you once again to take your copy of the scriptures and turn with me to the 12th chapter of Hebrews for our exposition of the Word of God today, Living Out Faith.

The title of today's message is How I Know You're Really Listening. So in honor of the Lord and His Word, would you please stand with me as we seek His aid to hear and heed His Word. Father, thank You for Your goodness, Your holiness, Your greatness, that You are a merciful God, You are a gracious God. Father, thank You that You have made Yourself known to us. You've revealed Yourself to us so that we can know You and walk with You and serve You with delight. So Father, as we come to Your Word this morning, may we recognize the high calling and privilege that is ours to engage Your Word, a Word from God. Open our hearts and our minds, Father, that You would teach us from Your Word by Your Spirit.

We pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen. How I Know You're Listening. I'm going to start right off with it.

It's easy. I know you're listening if God's voice is changing your life. I know you're listening if God's voice is changing your life. Our text for today, verse 25, see that you do not refuse Him who speaks. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.

It's the warning. Do not refuse Him who speaks. In other words, make sure you're paying attention.

And I know who's paying attention and who's not. Let me make something very clear. When it talks of Him who speaks, it's not referring to me.

All right? I'm just a messenger boy. I didn't create the truth.

I didn't make truth. Him who speaks is God Himself. Remember how the letter to the Hebrews begins? God, who in various times, places, and ways spoke to the prophets, has in these last days, what? Spoken to us by His Son. It is God who is speaking.

I'm just the messenger boy. So it's like if I were to come up here this morning with a suitcase and that suitcase had truth on it, God's revelation, I would set it down. I would open it up and I would unpack it and I say, here is God's truth. This is what it looks like.

Here's what it means. And you can sit there and say, yes, okay, I recognize that's truth and you can explain all the truth. You know what it looks like. But the point of it is, are you putting it on?

What good is it for you to come in and look at a suitcase full of clothes and then leave without wearing any of it? Okay? So this is how I know you're listening to the one who is speaking. And I'm not referring to myself.

Okay? This is God who is speaking. We are speaking about the Word of God, the revelation of God. Make sure you are paying attention to God's revelation. And that is the high privilege that we have every Sunday coming here and opening up our copy of the scriptures and recognizing that God is speaking to us. You've been in conversations before, haven't you, where you're face to face with somebody and you're speaking to them and you know that they're not with you. Right? You've been there?

I'm there all the time. You know, how do you know when somebody is not listening to you? Because they're not looking at you in the eye. They might be going, they might be going, yeah, but they're looking at something else over there and they're acting, you know, their eyes are glazing over, you know, and sometimes, you know, they're, I can see that when eyes are glazing over.

I mean, this is pretty obvious, right? So, but when you're in a conversation with somebody and they're not listening to you, they're not with you, they're hearing the words you're saying, but they're not actively listening. They're not engaging what you're saying.

In other words, to them, you're just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's in one ear and out the other, right? And you say, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Yeah, I know. Mm hmm. Yeah. Mm hmm.

But you're not really listening to what they're saying. And so it is possible when you come to church week after week or you read the Bible day after day. Yeah, I know. I know. I've read that.

Yeah, I know. Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Are you listening to the one who is speaking? It says here, see that you do not refuse him who speaks. That word refuse is very interesting.

You find it, for example, Luke, chapter 14, verse eight. Remember the parable that Jesus gave where this man was putting on a big wedding feast and he sent his servants out to invite certain particular guests to the wedding? And he goes out and he invites and all of them give what? Excuses. I cannot come. I cannot come. I just bought a cow. I can't come.

I just married a wife. I can't come. They can have excuses.

Literally, the word means to beg off. Yeah, don't bother me with that. I've got something else going on right now. Yeah, I'll come to church and listen, you know, and I'll listen to a good sermon. And when I go out and shake the pastor's hand at the end, it's a really great sermon, pastor.

Don't do that to me because I'm going to ask you a question. Is God's word changing your life? I had a few after the first morning service, some people came up to me and said, Rich, that was an awful message. Thank you.

Why? Because it's not, I'm not up here giving you my opinion. At Grace Bible Church, the word of God sets the agenda. We are unpacking the word of God. Who is the one who is speaking? It is God.

Look what he says in verse 25. For if they did not escape, who refused him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven. Who is the speaker? Him who speaks from heaven.

The speaker in this context is the infinite sovereign creator. He is speaking. See that you are paying attention. Your maker is talking. Are you paying attention? He is the one, as it said earlier in Hebrews chapter four, verse 13, the one with whom we have to do, the one before whom we must give account.

Understand this, one day you will be face to face with one who made you and designed you for one very specific purpose and that was to know him, to fellowship with him and to enjoy him. Are you listening? Consider then the power of his voice, the power of his voice. Look at verse 26, whose voice then shook the earth.

What is he referring to? His voice shook the earth. He is referring back to verses 18 to 21, where at Mount Sinai, when God was speaking and he was establishing the covenant with his people Israel, God's presence, God's very presence came down to the top of Mount Sinai. There was thundering and the whole earth was just shaking and the people were scared out of their wits and they said to Moses, Moses, we can't handle this.

You go talk to God. And what was Moses's response? Look at it there, verse 21, Moses said, I am exceedingly afraid and trembling. He was shaking in his boots because he recognized the awesomeness and the majesty of the one he had to go face to face with. This is the one who is speaking.

Now, what is he telling us in this verse? Not only did he shake the earth then, but he says, I'm going to speak another time. And when I speak another time, it's not just going to shake the earth. It's going to shake the whole cosmos. The whole thing. He's going to shake things up a bit.

He's quoting, the writer of Hebrews is quoting Haggai chapter two, verses six and seven. I'm thinking, what illustrates that? You know, what things fall when they're shaken? Well, we lived in Michigan for a while and up there, there's a lot of cherry orchards. We love cherries. We miss the cherries from up there.

You can get them really inexpensive and they're very, very good. You get them fresh. You know how they pick cherries? They don't go pick them off the tree one by one. This huge machine comes up to a cherry tree and then it puts this arm out and wraps around the trunk of the tree.

And then it spreads out this big canvas webbing underneath it. And it literally rattles the tree. It shakes the tree and all the cherries that are ripe fall off the tree into that canvas webbing and it sends it onto a conveyor belt. You see, the cherries, they come and go, they come and go, they come and go. The tree endures.

The tree is there all the time. The cherries, they come and they go. And this is the sense that God is going to be doing. That which endures stays.

That which comes and goes will fall off. And when God shakes things up, that which does not endure will be falling away. Consider what he says in second Peter chapter three, verses 10 to 13. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat. Both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of person ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire and the elements will melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. For this reason, I believe in global warming.

This is biblical global warming. God's going to shake things up. The things that endure will remain. The things that do not endure will be taken away. Now, what are those things?

Let's consider that for a moment. He says once more, when he says yet once more, God's going to shake not only the earth, but heaven, the whole cosmos. He's going to shake things up. It means once for all.

It'll be the last time that he shakes things up like that. The removal of those things that are being shaken. The cherries come and go. They come and go in season, out of season. They come, but the tree endures.

The tree remains. What are the things that are going to be falling away? All the things I've trusted to satisfy me and keep me safe.

Where are they? Gone. Notice I said all the things I've trusted to satisfy me and keep me safe. They're gone. All the things I've done to look good and impressed others.

I'll be stripped bare. All the things I've pursued that are not God's character and purpose will become like, Psalm 1 says, the chaff which the wind drives away. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-03 22:53:38 / 2024-01-03 22:58:53 / 5

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