Listen, Learn, Lose
by Jim Hughes
Matt. 13:11-12 Then he explained to them, “You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.” NLT
Not every child of God gets it. In fact, most don’t seem to get it at all. Most seem to be content with very little understanding of the deeper things of faith. Most do not dig very deep into God’s Word on their own. Their Bible knowledge is confined to what they may learn from Sunday School or a Sunday sermon. If they are really ambitious, they may even learn some things from a group Bible study. But, few believers are students of God’s Word on their own so they miss out on much of the deeper truths of the Word.
In order to learn the things God wants us to know, we must be open to what He wants to teach us. We must want to learn before we will learn. The more open we are to learning, the more we will learn and understand. Spiritual growth and maturity only happens when understanding takes place. The more we grasp of God’s Word, the more God gives us. There is no shortcut to spiritual growth. We must desire to learn and put in the time and effort to learn.
Jesus made a very sobering statement in this passage today. He said that if we are not listening, what we do have will be taken away from us. We may hear what God is saying, but if we aren’t paying attention to it, we will lose what understanding we have. Is He saying that we will lose the faith we have if we don’t listen to Him? Maybe. Remember, He is speaking to His disciples here.
The key point is that we must not get the idea that learning is an option for the believer; it is an absolute necessity. If we are not learning, we are dying. We will never survive spiritually if we are not listening to what God is saying and seeking to understand and live it. We cannot remain faithful on our own; we must avail ourselves of all the resources God provides for us that we can.
About the Author
I am a retired pastor having served the church mainly as a bi-vocational pastor for over 40 years. I have been married for over 40 years and we have two married children and a single son. I have an online ministry, posting daily devotionals and tweeting on faith and marriage.
I have authored a series of devotional books covering every book of the Bible and several marriage books.
You can read Jim’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 3rd Sunday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.