Are You Listening?
2 Timothy 2:1-2
Verse 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
Remember as we began this study of abiding we said that to abide is to dwell in or to be fixed on. So far we have focused on how abiding should have us bearing fruit. Today we start looking at some of the ways we can do that.
Yesterday we talked about how we can ask to grow more abundant amounts of fruit, but if we ask shouldn’t we listen for the answer? And since we know that the answer is yes, shouldn’t we listen for the directions He gives us to make it happen? Of course! Just as our word “abide” gives us the direction to dwell in or fix our focus on, we need to be attentive to what He teaches us during our time of abiding in Him.
Bearing fruit isn’t just about receiving the needed nutrients, it is about applying them. To apply these nutrients we need to know what God wants us to do with them. We need His direction and that takes listening to what He has to say. There are multiple ways that we can “listen” to the Father. First of all He has given us His Word. How much would we grow like Him if we put more time into getting to know Him and applying what He says?
He also gives us Christian leaders who help us learn the deeper truths of the Word that we may miss if we read it without studying things like the background and culture of the time we are reading about. And we need to use wisdom in who we listen to so that we know that they are giving solid Biblical teaching and not just trying to encourage us without helping us repent and grow. This is not to say we don’t need to study it on our own, using the various reference tools available to us. We will remain spiritual babies if we never learn to eat for ourselves. A toddler that only drinks milk will soon become malnourished and the same is true for us as we grow spiritually.
As with anything, the first step is to start. For us to start abiding we need to begin the process of listening to His teaching and applying it to our lives. The more we listen to Him and apply what we are learning, the more we will find the nutrients of the Vine are flowing consistently in our lives.
Making It Personal
How often do you study, not just read, the Bible? How does that time compare with the time you spend enjoying entertainment? Could your growth be increased by swapping the amounts of time you spend in the Word and what you spend with entertainment?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you have a Bible reading time in your family? If you can read, do you read the Bible by yourself? If you have questions about what you have read, who can you ask to help you understand it?
Father, thank You for speaking to us through Your Word. Give us an ever increasing hunger for You and Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.