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He That Hath Ears To Hear

by E. L. Jorgenson

100 Years Ago  (Reprint from the October, 1919 Word and Work)

 The most alarming thing about religious work is the indifference, even on the part of many Christians themselves, to the Word of God. It becomes increasingly difficult, especially in the cities, to get people out to church; increasingly difficult to get the fair attention of those who do come; and increasingly difficult to get those who do hear, to respond. Unless the preacher says something unusual all the time, which no man can do; or unless he performs continually for his hearers in vocal gymnastics or physical gyrations, some are sure to be whispering, playing with some baby, planning the week’s business, or taking a nap. Those who attend the “movie” are accustomed to entertainment without the expense of a thought, and they are often too lazy, mentally and spiritually, to expend that mental energy which it takes to follow a discourse through connectedly.

It is well to remember that every sound sermon heard, every tract or religious article read, is recorded to your responsibility; that you never go away from hearing God’s word as you came. That the Word is a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death, according to the way you take it. It never returns void but accomplishes that to which it is sent. Whatever is set in the sun will be softened or hardened, and so will all those who sit under the great Light of truth.

“Take heed therefore how ye hear.” The physical act of preaching and hearing are soon over; but the moral and spiritual consequences abide forever. For the Lord’s sake therefore, for your soul’s sake, away with formality, away with drowsy eyes and wandering thoughts. If you sit dead and barren under the Word, you shall someday wish that you had never seen the face, nor heard the voice, of him that preached it to you; and that which was intended for your blessing will only add to your condemnation.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear, what the Spirit saith to the churches." That is the Lord’s word to each of the seven churches in Asia, and to all churches of all time. And truly there is no better use to be made of our ears than that. We may listen to some interesting tale, or to the sweetest music; but to hear what God has said, through the Spirit, in the Scriptures, to the churches, is the most profitable employment of the hearing faculties that is possible.

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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10