Grow Deep: Listen Edition

The Listen Edition

“Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:9

Just ask any parent who, from time-to-time, has experienced “selective hearing” on the part of a child or ask a person who is hearing impaired, and they will tell you that there is a significant difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is the function of a healthy ear; it happens without any conscious effort. It is passive; it occurs with or without consent. It is the process of receiving sound waves that travel through the ear to produce vibrations that are recognized in the brain as sound. But listening is active; it requires concentration and purposeful effort. It requires a conscious choice that demands our attention as the brain engages more deeply in the process of hearing to extract words, sentences and meaning from the sounds received by our brains.

Listening is a critical skill in the process of communication. It is so important in communicating with God, in fact, that Scripture says even our faith comes from listening to God’s truth and believing it. In this edition of Grow Deep, we will explore some of God’s instruction as it relates to the skill of listening in our daily relationship with Him and with others.

The first week of this edition begins on Mother’s Day and comes at a time in the church year that often includes Scriptures that give us a picture of Jesus as our Good Shepherd. The metaphors of our Savior as the Good Shepherd are beautiful and comforting, but the greater question is, “Who’s listening?” Who listens to the Good Shepherd? Who knows His voice? Who follows Him?

Our second week of this edition focuses on listening in the Body of Christ, the church. Listening in the Body of Christ is more than “going” to church or “paying attention” to the sermon. Christ’s church is a body of believers who are sharing a journey together. On this journey, we listen to the Word and that Word dwells within us and that Word is LOVE in Christ. It is His Word, His love in Christ, flowing to us and through us to others that will encourage the world to listen and know Him.

The final week of this edition includes our nation’s celebration of Memorial Day. Memorial Day weekend is so much more than an occasion to mark the beginning of summer with a barbeque or a trip to the lake. We give thanks together for those who have sacrificed their lives for our nation. In the church, motivated by the sacrificial lives of those who have followed Jesus before us, we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in our own lives. We commit ourselves to the Spirit’s call that sends us out and into our neighborhoods and communities with the love of Christ.

Listen! Grow Deep with Jesus!
Adult Ministry Team
May 2019

Many thanks to our writers, Scott Rehmer (Week 2) and Pastor Bill Geis (Week 3), who have shared their knowledge, thoughts and insights with us in this edition.