INSTRUCTIONS FOR HEARING THE WORD 1. HEAR SELECTIVELY. "Take heed what ye hear" (Markă€€4:24). Be careful that the messages you hear come from the Word of God delivered by one of the Lordâ€™s messengers. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). Be like the Bereans who, upon hearing Paul and Silas, "searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).
2. HEAR ATTENTIVELY. Focus upon what is being read and spoken; pay attention. Be well rested physically when you attend the public ministry of the word so you can concentrate upon the gospel of Christ. Endeavor to blot everything else out of your mind.
3. HEAR REVERENTLY. This word we set forth is the very word of God so be respectful when it is being read or expounded. Paul acknowledged the graciousness of the Lord in allowing the Thessalonian believers to receive the word he proclaimed as being the word of the Lord. "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
4. HEAR BELIEVINGLY. Pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit to receive the word of God. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24). The Holy Spirit cautioned the Hebrews of unbelief, citing the fatal end of those in the wilderness who refused to receive the word. "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it" (Hebrews 4:2). Continued next page
5. HEAR PRAYERFULLY. Only He who inspired men to write the Scriptures can give the ability to hear the word with discernment and faith. Ask the Holy Spirit to give understanding of the word as He did to Lydia, "whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken" (Actsă€€16:14). "A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven" (John 3:27). Be prayerful for yourself, the speaker and other hearers of the word.
6. HEAR GRATEFULLY. Be thankful God has placed you in a location where the word of the Lord is read, respected and uncompromisingly proclaimed. You are privileged to sit under the sound of the gospel of Godâ€™s free and sovereign grace to sinners through the blood and righteousness of Christ our Lord. "Take heed therefore how ye hear" (Luke 8:18).
7. HEAR OBEDIENTLY. "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock" (Matthew 7:24). O for grace to hear the word of the gospel and submit to Godâ€™s way of salvation by grace alone through the redeeming blood and justifying righteousness of the Lord Jesus. May we obediently build all our hopes for salvation, forgiveness, acceptance and everlasting life upon Christ the solid Rock. â€“Pastor Jim Byrd
DISTINGUISHING GRACE The distinguishing grace of God is seen in saving that people whom He has sovereignly singled out to be His high favorites. By "distinguishing" we mean that grace discriminates, makes differences, chooses some and passes by others. It was distinguishing grace which selected Abraham from the midst of his idolatrous neighbors and made him "the friend of God" (James 2:23). Distinguishing grace saved "publicans and sinners" but said of the religious Pharisees, "Let them alone" (Matthew 15:14). Nowhere does the glory of Godâ€™s free and sovereign grace shine more conspicuously than in the unworthiness and unlikeliness of its objects. â€“A. W. Pink