Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hearing and Understanding the Word

People must hear the gospel message. That has to be the first step in salvation. They may "hear" it through the written word, the transmitted word or the in-person spoken word. Yet, many people hear it but never understand it. Many people like it but do not understand it.

Understanding the word means that fruit is produced. In fact, much fruit is produced. Understanding is much more than giving definition to the words which have been heard. Understanding is a commitment of the life of the hearer. Understanding the word is a life put in order by the word.

So many people hear the word and make a perfunctory commitment to it. They say they will come to church and do what they must yet do not understand that the commitment is not just when it is convenient. They fail to see that understanding the word is accepting the cost of the "pearl of great price." Jesus said that the person who finds this pearl sells all that he has and buys the pearl. He said it is like finding a treasure in a field and selling all that you have to buy that field.

Many people are puzzled with these words. They fail to understand the word. They fail to see the commitment that it requires. Their failure is evidence that they lack understanding.

Many people are looking for a religion which can be regulated. They want it to occupy a portion of their lives without consuming their lives. They want to be able to turn it on and off. This way they can do whatever they want when the time comes. This way they can refuse any commitment that the Lord requires of them. They want a religion not a full fledged commitment.

This is not different from other things in their lives. They have done the same thing in their marriages. They are faithful when they want to act married and unfaithful when they don't. They want to order their lives by convenience. A convenient life is a meaningless life. A convenient life does not understand the word.

Yes, faith comes by hearing but that hearing comes by the word of Christ. The word of Christ is more than knowledge. It is the same commitment Christ gave to His Father. "Not my will but yours be done."

Is this a tall order? There is none greater. There is none more rewarding. There is none that needs our Lord more. Yet, the result is an abundance of fruit. It is definitely worth it.

Matthew 13:23 (NIV)
23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

1 comment:

Royce said...

Right on the money with this one. I see it every day. Being a true christian means giving up ourselves being priority #1. It means putting all others first, and God's will should be the number one goal.