• Matt Beaney

#411 - QUICK TO LISTEN - (9/8/21)



During this LEARNING TO HEAR series I’m taking a different approach to these devotionals. I want to us work harder at searching the scriptures for ourselves. We will use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily’ method below to help us with this. It’s well worth the hard work involved!


TODAY’S TEXT

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)

I’ve included my reflections on today’s text below. However, I encourage you to pray and spend time reflecting (writing can be helpful) using the 5 questions below before reading my thoughts.


i. †GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- What does this text reveal about salvation through Jesus?

ii. UP – What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?

iii. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?

iv. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?

v. DO - This has two components. Firstly, list as many possible ways that you can think of that one might apply the text (actions or attitudes). Secondly, hear - Pray about how the Holy Spirit is leading you, specifically, to respond.


MY REFLECTIONS


1. †GOSPEL

We are to be ‘quick to listen’ to the gospel again. It’s this message that ‘brings about the righteous life that God desires’. Through the message of the cross - by hearing and believing - we are justified. However, this message also gives us new spiritual life that leads to a sanctified, holy, life. Human anger - reliance on self-will - cannot bring about any true righteousness.


2. UP

God is a speaking God. He has desires that He wants us to hear and do. God loves righteousness and loves to see us living righteously in response to His voice.


3. IN

We are to be ‘quick to listen’. Oftentimes, we are speaking and becoming angry in our desire to see our wills being done. We have a vision for something and there is always the danger of coercing people into doing it as close to our way as possible. We can resort to using anger in various forms in order to get our way.

The Christian life is to have an emphasis on listening to God. Reading the Bible is to be an act of listening. Prayer is an act of listening and then seeking to pray according to God’s will. Our relationships in the church are to be rich in listening; we listen to one another because God speaks through the other; we listen to the other whilst seeking to discern God’s voice.


4. OUT

Oftentimes, many Christians are angry with the world outside the church (they are often angry with the church also!). We feel threatened and persecuted and this can lead to fear and outrage. However, ‘anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires’. Attacking the world will not save or change them. Our community will be changed as we listen to God and take the gospel message to them in love.


5. DO? - Here are a few examples of application that I’ve come up with:

God wants us to listen to Him and so live the righteous life that He desires. Are we reading the bible, or hearing teaching, whilst listening to God’s voice? Are we seeking to do what we hear?

Leading on from this, are we ‘quick to listen’? Are our lives rich in hearing the word of God?

Are we fuelled by anger? Are we seeking to get things done through pressure and manipulation? How does the Spirit want you to lead and bring change to the places that God has put you?

HEAR - Pray about how the Holy Spirit might want you to respond.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY



During this LEARNING TO HEAR series we are going to take a different approach to learning from the Bible together. We will use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily Method’ together (Gospel, Up, In, Out, Do) - you will have to do all the work!


1. Icebreaker - How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week? (During this LEARNING TO HEAR series, we are seeking to develop a culture of listening to God out of His word)


2. Select a text of scripture. (You could use the text from Sunday’s message or something of your choice.)


3. Read and recall. (Read the text and ask each person in the group to put it into their own words.)


4. Please go through these questions together:

i. †GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- What does this text reveal about salvation through Jesus?

ii. UP – What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?

iii. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?

iv. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?

v. DO - This has two components. Firstly, list as many possible ways that you can think of that one might apply the text (actions or attitudes). Secondly, hear - Pray and share (if it’s appropriate) about how the Holy Spirit is leading you, specifically, to respond.


5. SIV - Finally, it would be helpful to talk and pray about how we are doing in regard to Serve, Invest and Invite. Do you have any encouraging stories or any plans in this regard? How do you want to pray in regard to our mission?







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