More Blessed than Mary?

Luke 11:28   (NLT)   28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Luke 11.28 - More Blessed than Mary.jpgWe cannot overestimate the value of God’s Word—of listening to and obeying it. It brings an exceedingly great blessedness—greater blessedness than being a channel of our precious Lord’s incarnation.

Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus in His humanity without a doubt is extremely blessed. This is a truth recognized the world over. Others emphasize the wonders and value of this experience while at the same time neglecting the glories and importance of God’s word.

A lot of people have a tendency to do this or something similar to this. We have a tendency to elevate things and people above God and His Word. Our affection, our attention, our energy, our time, and our efforts are spent towards them; our focus on God, His Kingdom, our ministry, our callings, things eternal, things spiritual, our mission—all these infinitely more important things are lessened or diminished in our estimation. We get busy doing a lot of things we find very important and big; God’s word becomes a distraction.

So much is written about the wonders and the glories of the Word of God—so many admonitions for us to listen to it, read it, study, meditate on it, commit it to our minds and hearts, and live it out. That’s one of the obvious proofs that God really wants as blessed.

We thank You Lord for Your desire to bless us, and how You have made that possible, not just for a few but for all who would act and respond to Your clear directions appropriately and in humble, grateful, loving obedience. It’s so amazing living blessed. All this is from You, and we’re enjoying it immensely.

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Listen Well

Mark 4:24   (KJV)   24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

The measure of our understanding has very much to do with the measure of our hearing. The more intentional and sincere our listening is, the more understanding we Mark 4.24 - Listen Wellreceive. Understanding, discernment, illumination—all these are from our gracious God, but it’s not an encouragement to passivity or laziness; it’s an invitation to enjoyment of our undeserved participation in His wonderful works.

The principle is God-established; it does us well when we zealously take it to heart. To whom much is given, much is required. It’s a circular blessing and response design: the more we heed what we hear, the more understanding we’re given; the more understanding we have; the more we ought to hear. If we don’t use our gifts, we lose them; if we use them, God multiplies them; if we use them for God’s Kingdom, God multiplies them greatly.

Our God is omniscient; there’s no secret He’s not privy to. He’s never at lost as to any kind of information or knowledge. He knows exactly how to approach every situation. No problem’s too big that He can’t solve; no question’s too hard that He can’t answer; no situation is too messed up that He can’t find a solution for. He has the authority, the power, and the willingness to share with us a necessary slice of His infinite knowledge and wisdom. And it’s an awesome privilege to be honored recipients of such assuring and extremely important blessing.

 

Listen Intently

Luke 8:18   (KJV)   18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

Our precious Lord wants us to be as productive as we can be. He doesn’t want our time Luke 8.18 - Listen Intentlyand our lives wasted. He cares even for the way we listen. He wants us to gain more knowledge, more understanding, and more wisdom.

We’re sincere in the way we listen to our Lord. He has graciously given us His Word so we would know our way, so we would know truth, so we can see, so we can really live. We pay sincere and careful attention to His Word. The more we do, the more He gives us wisdom.

It can be tempting to read the Scriptures and pray out of obligation—just to go through the motions. I pray you don’t get me wrong. I believe and understand the need to spend time with the Lord. But we don’t take them lightly and superficially. Not heeding how we hear is to lessen the understanding we already have. We don’t understand the divine mechanics regarding this, but we know what He says happens.

He speaks, we listen. As His sheep, we know His voice. He always guides and leads us to the right path. He wants to commune with us more than we commune with Him. He’s never too busy for us; we don’t have to wait to make an appointment with Him. And He wants to pour out more of His Word and His wisdom to us. So we sincerely seek; we intently listen, and we keep growing.

Discernment

2 Samuel 14:17   (KJV)   17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the Lord thy God will be with thee.

Discernment is angelic.  It’s God bestowing us knowledge and wisdom so we can determine what’s good and what’s evil, when they’re not as clear as black and white.  We don’t have to make mistakes in making decisions especially the critical ones.  Often, 2 Samuel 14.17 - Discernmentwhen it comes to major decisions in life, we don’t always have clear-cut instructions from the Word.  Even then, we end up with the right choices.

How do we believers seem to know things—truths that aren’t plainly laid out before our eyes to see?  For one, we sheep know our Shepherd’s voice.  The more intimate we are with our Shepherd, the more sensitive we are to hearing and recognizing His voice.  He gave us a very good foundation: His Word.  There, we get to know Him, His acts, His ways.  The more we know Him in the obvious, it becomes easier to sense Him in the ambiguous.

We love His Word.  We’re passionate about learning it.  It’s never a waste of our time doing so.  One Word from God in a critical juncture of our existence can radically change the course of our future.  Not one Word of His will fall to the ground without accomplishing purposes.  We draw near to Him; He draws near to us.  The nearer we are to Him, the louder we hear His heartbeat, the clearer we see His leading.  We understand He wants us to make the right decisions more than we do.  And He makes His presence closer to us than He can ever do:  He is with us—always; He’s in us—always.

Increasing Understanding

Matthew 13:12   (KJV)   12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Those of us who willingly and eagerly listen to the Lord’s teachings or His Word are given understanding, insights, and wisdom, and we keep on growing in them because the Lord continuously and generously pours them out to us.  Those who don’t want to listen Matthew 13.12 - Increasing Understandingto the Lord, more so, obey Him, whatever little understanding they have left of true spiritual matters will be taken away.

The generosity of God can’t be questioned.  His desire to bring us to the knowledge of the truth is immensely great.  That’s why He sent us His Holy Spirit to teach us all the truths we need to know.  But despite the perfection of God’s will and ways to draw us to clear comprehension of the Truth, there is sadly a significant number of people who just don’t want to do whatever needs to be done.

We don’t fully know all the reasons or motivations behind people’s refusal of Truth.  Perhaps, they can’t handle it; perhaps it’s very difficult to admit the errors of their beliefs—that they’ve been either taught erroneously, or they’ve been deceived; perhaps it’s because they want to continue in their ways that are contrary to the teachings or our Lord.  They don’t know what they’re missing.  But we know how important God’s Word is.  It’s of tremendous importance that we perceive it clearly.  And praise God, He Himself makes sure that it happens to those who truly pursue His Word.

Of Prophecy and Blessings

Revelation 1.3 - Of Prophecy and BlessingRevelation 1:3   (KJV)   3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

There’s something special about God’s revelation of His eyes and heart. It’s good knowing the truth, whether its truth about now or about the future, there’s such a refreshing blessing and satisfaction that comes with it. With the knowledge of course comes responsibility: to believe what He says and to live out what we believe. This is very important, and urgency always escalates as time gets shorter for us to accomplish our tasks.

God in His immeasurable generosity has repeatedly revealed His will and plans to us—not all of them, but those things we need to know. But God reveals what He knows will be good for us to know. He’s always done this. From the very beginning of time until now, God hasn’t stop revealing His will to us. He walked with the very first man and woman; He spoke directly to and through His people; He spoke to us through the incarnation of His Son; He speaks through us through the glory of His creation; He speaks to us through His Word, His Holy Spirit, His church, circumstances, and many other ways.

We enjoy being blessed with divine revelations; we don’t undermine the importance of truth; we don’t diminish the honor of being entrusted vessels, bearers, and vassals of His revelations. We are faithful to it. There are reasons why God reveals them to us. There’s something God expects of us, and we pour our hearts to making sure that we wisely take advantage of this privilege of knowing His mind. There’s so much going on; there’s so much ahead. We live in serious times, and the worst is still ahead. There’s a world that needs to hear about the hope we have. God prepares us. We’re not lackadaisical; we face our responsibilities; we’re ready.