We Welcome You.

Psalm 23:6 says, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

Let us dwell in the house of the Lord. Our church is open to welcome you. Let us be in one accord to celebrate God's goodness in our lives.

Praise be to the Lord!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Listen With All Your HEART

100 times more people will hear a sermon this week than preach one.

So why are there thousands of articles, books, and classes on how to preach a message, but virtually none on how to listen to one? It's because most people think listening just comes naturally. But that's not what Jesus thought.Jesus said to "consider carefully how you listen" (LK 8:18). The state and fate of your life depends on how you listen.

Teachers are responsible for teaching well, but you are responsible for listening well. Jesus wants you to listen in a way that will change your life.So how can you listen in order to change your life? You need to hear with more than just your ears. You need to listen with your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Listening like this is an act of love, and it can change your life with God now and forever.Listening with your heart can be tough. Why? Because our hearts are messed up.

Oftentimes, we don't feel the way God feels about things, want the things God wants for us, or care about the things God cares about. Sometimes we even love what God hates and hate what God loves. As a result, God's words won't sink in.Jesus told a story that illustrates this. It's about a farmer sowing seeds onto four kinds of soil (see Matthew 13:3-9, and 13:18-23). It was a metaphor for His words being planted in four kinds of hearts. Jesus said:

1. Some hearts are Hard. They prevent God's words from sinking in, and the evil one snatches them away.

2. Some hearts are Shallow. They keep God's words from taking root, and when hard times come, His words wilt away.

3. Some hearts are Thorny. They choke out God's words with worldly worries and wealth.

4. Some hearts are Good. They take God's words, plant deep roots, grow, and multiply.The good news is God can cultivate your heart.

He can soften a hard heart, deepen a shallow heart, and clean a thorny heart. But the choice is up to you. He'll do this if really want it and if you ask Him. So pray!

An excerpt from Pastor Brian Mavis