White noise, so much noise in our world to distract us. Bombarded with tons of messages.
"Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”" Matthew 13:2-9
Parables were a new way of teaching for the disciples.
"The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them." Matthew 13:10-12
Are we getting numb to God and His word?
God spoke because someone was listening.
"This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving." Matthew 13:13-14
Some of them just don't want to hear it. We need to have intentional listening.
Intentionally listen to God.
It's easy to get distracted.
Jesus says there is a purpose.
"But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it." Matthew 13:16-17
Are we shutting God out? Are we callous to God?
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more." Mark 4:24
You listen to me -- you're going to hear something.
The more you listen the more you'll hear.
Why bother to listen?
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David." Isaiah 55:1-3
God says focus on what's important. Focus on God first.
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:18-21
If we don't glorify God and give Him thanks, we can grow hard toward God.
If God is living and active, what are we doing about this? How do we listen?
Listen through the Spirit.
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." John 16:13
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:20-21
If we want to speak we need to listen.
"However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[a]--
the things God has prepared for those who love him--
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." 2 Corinthians 2:9-10
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
The knew the shepherd so well His voice was unmistakable.
Wod of God has to be our foundation.
God's waiting for us, waiting to hear from us, waiting for us to listen.
Have you listened?
Are you listening?