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The Rev. Dr. John Yates, II: “Called to Listen” (Mark 4:1-9)

March 28, 2009

From The Falls Church in Virginia, here is an excellent audio sermon by the Rev. Dr. John Yates II, titled Called to Listen. This sermon is based on Mark 4:1-9 and is part of the series on “God Calling” at The Falls Church which has really been tremendous.  In this message, Dr. Yates lists five ways to help us hear the voice of God in our lives (from the PDF file of the text):

First, I begin taking time – I establish a habit of reading, studying and learning the word of God through Bible study. As I read the Bible, I take my time and I use resources like Encounter with God, or a study Bible, and I’m always asking three questions: “What does it say? What does it mean? How do I apply that in my own life today?”

Second, I am learning to be obedient to God in my daily decisions because disobedience to God puts a barrier between me and the Lord. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I tell you to do?” (Luke 6:46) He who hears my words yet does not do them is building his house on sand. It will all collapse! If people who love you warn you that you are disobeying God, pay attention – your life, your eternal life may weigh in the balance.

Third, if I want to hear God speaking, I have to begin paying attention to the still small voice within. If I am rushing ahead so rapidly that I cannot take time to slow down and be attentive, I may miss what God is saying.

Then fourth, ask God to guide you in specific matter. “Call unto me,” God said to Jeremiah. “Ask me, and I will show you…”  Like a loving mother or an attentive father who wants to give his dear child guidance, God wants to speak to us, and nothing pleases him more than when we ask him to speak to us, we listen. When you are struggling with something and asking God’s help, ask God specific questions, and then just be still, just wait and be attentive. Ask… wait… listen… be attentive. It requires disciplines that few nowadays have. But if God is real (and he is), and if God cares (and he does), and you need his guidance (and you ask his guidance), it will come one way or another.  And when you do sense that you are getting an answer, the last point is to seek God’s peace – peace of mind as you contemplate what you think God is saying. Isn’t that what the great Apostle said?

I thought these five points were good counsel–see what you think about the rest of the sermon.

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