January 18

TODAY IS…

the perfect day to listen to Jesus.

“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Matthew 13:9 NLT

We have all encountered many different people who have offered us their opinions on how we should act and how we should live our lives. While some of what we have heard may have been helpful, much of it probably was not, leaving us wondering why we listened to them in the first place.

This is not to say that we should not accept counsel and advice from those around us, but we need to be sure that what we are being told agrees with what was taught by the one person God said we should listen to. And who was this person? Peter, James, and John made up the ‘inner circle’ of Jesus’ disciples and God gave them an explicit answer to that very same question: “…This is My beloved Son: hear Him.” (Mark 9:7 KJV).

Most of us are accustomed to automatically crying out to God in times of trouble. “O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.” (Psalm 5:1 NLT). We want God to hear our cries of pain, sorrow and distress. We want Him to listen to our needs and our requests.

And He loves to listen to it all.

But God wants us to listen as well. He wants us to listen to the words that Jesus spoke when He walked among us and He wants us to spend our lifetime working to understand those words and follow what He was trying to teach us.

Doing that requires a commitment many of us are not truly willing, ready, or able to make. In order to follow the simple teachings of Jesus, we need to put others before ourselves. We need to resist temptation and avoid situations where we know in advance we will be tempted. We need to devote ourselves to our spouses and our children and use the words that Jesus spoke to light the path that leads to a joyful eternity in God’s Kingdom. “… not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4 NIV).

Spending time each day with our family and friends learning the simple truths that Jesus taught will enrich us and ensure that we move in the same direction: A direction that leads to service to others in the name of God.

Every word that came from the mouth of Jesus was spoken so that each one of us could be more like Him. We should all ask for help in hearing the words that Christ spoke and understanding what He meant by them. If we listen with open hearts and minds, the true meaning of His words will fill us with a desire to be kinder, gentler, more understanding, and more compassionate.

The incredible thing about the words that Jesus spoke is that He always spoke the truth. How many of us can say that? The truths that He spoke can be used immediately in decisions we make in virtually every aspect of our personal and professional lives. If we are ever in a situation in which our actions contradict His teaching, then we haven’t been listening closely enough to what was being said. No matter how we try to justify our actions, we cannot make it right if it means that something said by Jesus was wrong. What Jesus said might be inconvenient to our human way of thinking or our personal desires, but He was never wrong.

We need to listen to Jesus, and today is the perfect day to start.

*******

Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson

About Tony Casson

" For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
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