Listen To Him

I always have the radio on when I am in what I call my office, even though it has actually become more of a study. In our area in southern Ontario, Canada, there is a radio station which plays only classical music. In December, they played a lot of really fine Christmas music as well. When I am reading, studying, or writing, I listen to their music.

One day, I was studying the passage about the transfiguration of Jesus.

Mark 9:2-4,7 – Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" (NIV)

Since I was listening to the radio at the same time, I thought about the word "listen". We casually listen to music at home or in the car. We enjoy it at the time, but it does not necessarily stay with us. We listen to someone telling us something, but quite often, as the saying runs, "It goes in one ear and out the other."

I looked up the word "listen" in the dictionary, and it says "to hearken, to heed", in other words, to obey, to really pay attention.

When God said, "Listen to him!", it was not just a suggestion that we should listen in a casual sort of way, like we do when we listen to the radio or some music. No, it was more like a military command: listen, pay attention, obey! The words of Jesus are life-changing and timeless. When Jesus speaks, and we really listen, lives are transformed and forever altered. He tells us, "I am the way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6a NIV), and His words have remarkable power.

So often when I read the Bible — which we do together after breakfast every morning — I just read, like when I listen to music from the radio. I read the words, but quite often, they don't enter my very being. It is only when I sit down and consciously read and study that the words become more meaningful. It is only then that the words of Jesus start having real meaning. That's when I really listen to Him.

Think about that. Do you just read the Bible, or do you really listen to what Jesus says? Remember the voice from the cloud: "Listen to him!"

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we ask that when we read Your Word, we would really, really understand, comprehend, believe, and apply those words to our lives here and now. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Amen.


    So true! Thanks for the reminder to truly listen and apply to our lives God’s Word.


    Yes, Joel, listening is key. Thanks for sharing this devotional reminder with us. Blessings.


    Hi Joel, what a difference it would make if we really did what the Word says! Good word.
    Blessings.


    I don’t see this passage discussed very often and it is a very interesting one. I really appreciate the emphasis you have given it.


    Joel,
    Thank you for your very meaningful devotion. It gave me lots to think about … to really meditate upon. Blessings on your day.


    Thank you, Joel, for “Listen To Him.” Very sound admonition, culminating in the prayer:
    Our Father in heaven, we ask that when we read Your Word, we would really, really understand, comprehend, believe, and apply those words to our lives here and now. We ask it in Jesus’ name Amen.
    Amen.
    Keep writing.


    Good Morning, Joel,
    Thank you for your “stream” of devotionals that always are meaningful. Would that I had your devotion to the Word of God and the ability to translate that devotion into meaningful words for others.
    Thank you.
    (Texas)


    Hi Joel
    Your message really touched me today.
    Thanks for all your encouragements – I look forward to seeing your name when it appears.
    And thanks particularly today for the encouragement to really listen – heed – … listen to him.
    Thanks for serving us today.


    Yes indeed. Since I decided it was time to read the entire Bible again, I have found that it takes a lot of effort to really consider the words I am reading and not just do, as you have so well said, let it just pass through, like the traffic that goes by my door. Sometimes I have to go back and read again, imagining the scene, the speakers, God’s presence there, to appreciate what is being said. I don’t want to just pass over the familiar words, but to hear them again. Thank you for that encouragement.


    Dear Mr. Jongkind,
    Thank you for the many devotionals that you have prepared over the years.
    I find they usually resonate with me and have often forwarded them to friends who I think will also appreciate your thoughts and perspectives.
    You certainly draw from a seemingly very interesting life of varied travel and work experiences.
    Many thanks.
    (PEI)


    Thanks for the challenging word, Joel.


    Thank you, Joel, for “Listen To Him.” Very sound admonition, culminating in the prayer:
    Our Father in heaven, we ask that when we read Your Word, we would really, really understand, comprehend, believe, and apply those words to our lives here and now. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
    Keep writing.