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How I Know You're Really Listening, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2024 10:00 am

How I Know You're Really Listening, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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January 5, 2024 10:00 am

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.  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 the truths to penetrate my heart?”  Today, Pastor Rich addresses this question in the message titled “How I Know You’re Really Listening”.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Hebrews 12, 25 through 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. Today is the final part of the message, which was first preached on January 27th, 2013.

This is the first time that the writer of Hebrews is giving us because God is giving us an unshakable kingdom. The words are receiving. Therefore, since we are receiving, that is in the present active.

It means there. We belong there now. We are getting that now. It is a part of our being now. It is our citizenship now. In other words, of Paul in Philippians, chapter three, verses 20 and 21, our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body, that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. That's when he shakes things up. So what follows that is what he is challenging us to in this text.

Are you listening? Here's what he says in Colossians chapter three. If then, if then, Colossians chapter three, you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind, set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.

In other words, what are you looking to for your security and your satisfaction? I mean, practically every day, day to day here on the earth, the cherries come and go in season and out of season, but the tree endures. The tree is going to be rattled. And everything that does not endure will fall off of that. So the Lord is saying, do you understand what I'm giving you? Do you understand what I'm saying to you?

Why would you go looking for some something else in another place? Listen to the words of God. Listen to what God has for you. This is your God speaking. And what are the things that matter?

What are the things that last? It's what he says at the latter part of verse twenty eight. Let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. The things that really matter are serving God acceptably.

There are two things in this world that last God's word and the souls of people serving God acceptably is investing in those two. That word serve is one of my favorite words in the New Testament. It's often translated worship. It's the word latruo and it means ministry of service.

It means investing in what lasts. It's the word that we find in Romans, chapter 12, verse one. This is your reasonable service, your reasonable worship. The New American Standard translates that reasonable service of worship. It uses three words to translate one Greek word to try to get the full meaning of it. It's a good word.

That's what lasts. The word reverence. Let us have grace. That's the word kareen, thankfulness and attitude of gratitude because my service of God is an outflow. It's an outflow of who God is. It's an outflow of what he has done for me. That word reverence is the word that actually means modesty.

Modesty meaning what? Less of me. It's not about me. I serve God recognizing that I'm not the point. God is the point.

I'm not drawing attention to myself for what I do. I am drawing attention to God because my service for him is an outflow of who he is. So that reverence means the following. It means he increases. It means I decrease.

It means I become less concerned about how others perceive me and more compelled to pursue and delight in God. You've heard the statement perception is reality. Not true in the kingdom of God.

Doesn't work. God knows the heart. Perception is reality ought not to be true in the Church of God.

We don't put up facades so that other people will think of us as we want them to. God knows the heart. So you're less concerned about how others perceive you and more compelled to pursue and delight in God. So this statement, if your ambitions and pursuits draw you away from pursuit of God, can you say that you worship God acceptably?

Let me say that again. If your ambitions and pursuits draw you away from your pursuit of God, can you say that you worship God acceptably? Those are the things that will be consumed when God shakes things up in the end. And only you know what they are, you and God. We come then to, once again, the conclusion. And the conclusion is what I began the message with. How do I know you're listening? How do I know that you're listening to truth?

How do I know that you're listening to the voice of God? Well, listening can be in one of two ways. Listening can be like water going through a lead pipe.

Right? There's no absorption when water goes through a lead pipe. It just flows right through.

It leaves no effect. It just flows right through. And if you're this, if you come to church and you listen, oh, it's a great sermon. I can tell all the clothes that Rich unpacked up there. Yep, I can explain all of them.

I can appreciate them. But you don't ever put any of them on. What does that mean? That week after week, day after day, all of your interaction with the word of God, if you're not listening to the word of God, your life stays the same.

Think about how tragic that is. That you can be engaging the inspired word of the living God, the transforming power of God's word, and your life stays the same. You're not listening. You still have all the same fears. You still struggle with the same anxieties. Your responses to when things don't go the way you want them, your responses remain the same.

You blow your stack or you become passive aggressive. You're still battling the same sins over and over and over again. You've never had victory over them because you're not allowing God to mold your life. Because you're not listening. You're not really listening. You can explain all the clothes that have been unpacked, but you never put them on.

That's water through a lead pipe. And that is the warning that the writer of Hebrews gives us in verse 25. See that you do not refuse him who speaks. Don't beg off.

Don't make excuses. Let the word of God enter into your life and let the voice of truth transform you from the core. Because what Jesus said is, if you have ears to hear, if you have ears to hear, how do you know if you have ears to hear? Well, God gives you ears to hear. To whom is it that God gives ears to hear? To him, as the prophet Isaiah says, who is of a broken and contrite spirit and what?

Who trembles at my word. That is a common principle and truth that we find throughout all the scriptures and that is that God gives grace to the humble, but he resists the proud. If you have a broken and contrite spirit, if you come before God recognizing that it is his voice of truth that transforms you from the inside out, then I know you're listening and the voice of truth is changing your life.

What does that look like? That looks like when God's character flows from your hands, God's character flows from your feet, God's character flows from your mouth, his character flows from your eyes and he does so with joy. That you're not just doing these things because that's what a Christian ought to do. No, your life is an outflow, a response to the goodness of God and his holiness and his grace. And your life is responding to that because that's what worship is.

Worshipping God acceptably is a life of response to who God is because his voice of truth is changing you from the inside out. That's how I know who's listening. I'm speaking to myself too. Do you realize that I have to listen to myself? And I have to listen to myself a whole lot more than you have to listen to me because I'm in the office and I'm preparing the word of God and I'm preparing the message to present to the people of God. This is God's voice speaking and if it doesn't grip me, do I ever expect that it's going to grip you? Is the voice of truth changing your life? I know you're listening if the voice of truth is changing your life.

And it does so with joy because that word kareen is the word that means thankfulness. So it's okay for you to say that was a great message, but I want you to understand has the word of God been communicated? And then ask yourself this question.

Engage in this personal assessment. In what ways is God's voice of truth changing my life? Because I don't want you to come to church and say, oh wow, look at all those clothes, all that truth that was unpacked. I can explain every bit of that truth.

Fine, but are you putting it on? Then you're listening. That's the warning of the writer of Hebrews today. Don't just be able to know truth and explain it. Let God's truth transform your life into the image of his son Jesus Christ. See that you do not refuse him who speaks for our God is a consuming fire. That is the radiance of his purity and his holiness.

That's how he's molding us. 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 Web site, 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 / 2024-01-05 12:17:38 / 2024-01-05 12:22:20 / 5

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