Pearls and Pigs
"And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you – and more [besides] will be given to you who hear." Mark 4:24, AMP
Do you know that you play a huge role in how well you know God, how much revelation you have, and how life-changing and transformational the Word is in your life? You play a pivotal role in the degree of virtue and understanding you have of God and His kingdom. It’s true – you do!
The measure of thought and study YOU give to the truth you hear will be equivalent to what you receive from the Word. Jesus said it would be the measure that comes back to you – and more besides! In another passage, Jesus went so far as to tell us that those with wisdom and revelation should not throw their pearls before swine. In other words, Jesus is telling those with something precious to share to be wary – and not to give their best pieces of jewelry to those who won’t esteem them. God’s Word is His finest gift and we ought not to be “piggish” in the way we receive it.
Have you thought about that? If God’s precious Word has been boring to you – it might be your fault! If you have been saying things like, “I just don’t get anything out of reading my Bible or going to church,” it might be more of an indictment on you than anything. If you’ve been attending church for years and yet you’re still a baby Christian or spiritually anemic, you might want to check up on the measure of thought and study you are giving to the things you are hearing.
You have something to do with the measure of revelation, truth, insight, wisdom and knowledge you receive from God. You’ve heard it said that the congregation has as much to do with the success and impact of a message as the preacher. It’s true! The way we listen to the Word when we attend church will be equal to the measure we receive. If we sit in the pew half asleep, slouched, uninterested, arms folded and challenging the preacher to tell us something we haven’t heard – we won’t receive a thing.
Today, I hope you are encouraged, admonished and challenged to sit up and pay attention to God and His Word with a fresh expectancy. Consider carefully how you hear – and give more thought and study to the truth God and His messengers are speaking into your life. So, let's take a look at “5 Ways To Not Be Piggish:”
1. Don't Just Sit There – Stir It Up. Stir up your expectancy every time you approach the Word. Before you read the Bible, listen to a CD or attend church, tell the Lord that you are thankful that He still speaks through the Word and let Him know you are expecting Him to speak to your heart as you get into the Word.
2. Don't Be a Dud – Take Notes. Be active when you hear the Word. If you’re reading your Bible, listening to a CD or sitting in church – do something to absorb it. Something as basic as taking notes and underlining passages will help you. These simple acts of engagement will help you give more thought and study to the things you are hearing.
3. Snap Out of the Coma – Sit Up and Lean In. Be an antsy little kid and sit on the edge of your seat. If you can’t do it physically, do it in your heart. Let your body/heart posture be one of anticipation and expectancy. Lean in to what you are hearing. Don’t slouch, cross your arms, give off non-verbal cues of complete boredom – instead stir yourself up to lean in to what you are hearing and actively listen for the nuggets of truth God wants to give you.
4. Quit Staring Into Space – Say Amen! Don’t be silent – show some enthusiasm, engage your heart and give attention to what you are hearing by an occasional shout-out. Give a big measure of attention by telling the Lord or the preacher what you are receiving. An occasional “Amen!” or “That’s good!” or “Preach it!” wouldn’t hurt you and it would encourage the speaker to continue giving you big doses of the Word. Write in your Bible next to Scriptures that speak to your heart. You can write these types of things – “This really spoke to me.” Or, “What a good Scripture.” Or, “Lord, help this be true in my life.”
5. Don't Play Pretend Christianity – Just Be One. Don’t be a forgetful hearer – be a doer of what you hear and study. We don’t get credit for knowing things – we get “credit” and are blessed when we’re doers of what we know. Make a decision to put the truths God teaches you into practice and watch your life change!
The more you listen, the better you’ll hear. With the measure you use to hear and study the Word – it will be given back to you. The more intentional, expectant and engaged you are as you hear the Word, the more you will understand what God is telling you and the more fun you'll have walking with God!
Say It: “Father, I ask You to forgive me for being so flippant and dismissive of Your Word. I have given a poor measure of thought and study to the things I have heard and I repent. Today, I am going to begin doing what Jesus said – I will be a doer of the Word. I will begin to stir it up, take notes, sit up and lean in, say ‘amen’ and do it! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”