It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Can You Hear Me Now?

And Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Mark 4:9

Numerous times Jesus includes the equivalent of saying, “Listen up!” when He speaks. His expression, He who has ears to hear,”makes us realize how often we use our ears for other purposes—to secure sun glasses, to keep our hats from falling over our eyes, and to hang jewelry. But we’ve got ears in order to hear. Jesus wants to provoke attention, even though He knows some will not listen.

When we look at the reasons why people don’t listen, we can group them into four categories. As you read them, do a spiritual hearing check-up by asking yourself, Am I like that?

Immaturity. People of all ages can have this problem. Immaturity is the inability to connect actions and consequences. The immature person doesn’t get it. They can’t make the connection between their choices and what comes because of those decisions. They need to discover the unbreakable law of cause and effect that God has established in the universe. If you choose to sin; you choose to suffer. That’s what’s coming. People frequently say, “I’m going to beat the odds. I’m going to cut the corners.” Then they hit a brick wall or disappear in a bottomless pit. Often, painful experience is the only effective teacher to improve an immature person’s hearing.

Rebellion. “My will. My thrill. You chill.” Those are the proud declarations of rebellion. “No one’s going to get between my will and my thrill! This is what I want to do. You back off! Don’t tell me anything.” Rebels won’t listen and they try to cut off any attempts by others to help. They are stuck in overdrive, headed for a wall—and they don’t care! But hardship and humiliation can make a rebel’s heart attentive.

Woundedness. Hidden hurts close hearts and ears. They can’t hear because something happened that left unseen scars. Sometimes in a family or a church things happen that few know about. The person holds it all inside and drifts away. They’re hurting, but don’t bring it out in the open. They can’t listen to reason because all they hear is their hidden wound.

Relationships. Peers could be the problem. Peers in the ears block fears. Warnings we should hear and be afraid of don’t register on our radar. Like a teen who feels the need for speed, with a friend in the passenger seat shouting, “GO!! GO!! GO!!!” There are many times we should be afraid, but we’re more concerned about impressing our friends and the people around us.

Most of us can relate to one or more of the reasons above. But He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus’ words remind us He has spoken even when we are not listening. And His Word is always ready when we’re ready to use our ears for their designed purpose—to listen. Until we’re willing to respond to the truth He has for us, we’re not really listening.

How did you do with the hearing check-up? If you realize you are being influenced not to listen to the Lord because of one or more of these causes, it’s time to let God do some hearing correction. Ask Him to tune your ears to hear His voice.

Pastor James MacDonald

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Marriage and Sin

Anyone planning on getting married soon?  If you’re afraid to face your sin, don’t get married, because marriage will expose your sin like no other relationship known!  This is what happens when two sinners live under one roof!

Many times people get married with the idea that the “other person” will make them happier.  What if God designed your marriage to make you holy . . . even more than to make you happy?  This thought certainly puts a different perspective on marriage.

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Holy or Happy?

For the most part, people marry because they have the mindset that the other person will “make them happy”.  However, nothing could be further from the truth – spiritually.

Possibly the most difficult station in life, a woman or man could choose, is to be a husband or a wife.  So, when it comes to marriage, remember there isn’t anything else to marry but another sinner.  To say you have a “difficult marriage” is redundant.

God uses the other spouse to grow and stretch us beyond what we can fathom.  It is marriage that will or will not create a picture of Christ to a lost and dying world.  Perhaps God created marriage to make us holy more than happy.

Think about it!

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Dry Eyes and Dry Hearts

The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the blindness of the Church, grieved at the corruption in the Church, grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. When you see Christians in the church having adulterous relationships, in bondage to immorality, to pornography, to sexual sins and wrong relationships and it’s going on and they’re sitting in church as if it’s just nothing, does that break your heart? Does it grieve you? It’s not hard for us to cry, but are we crying over things that really matter? If our eyes are dry, could it be because our hearts are dry? You see, tears flow naturally from broken and contrite hearts.

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