“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12
In his book, “The Art of Divine Contentment,” Thomas Watson writes, “It is not enough for Christians to hear their duty, but they must learn their duty. It is one thing to hear, and another thing to learn.” Paul said, “I have learned.” He also cites the parable of the sower and how there was only one good ground; there were many hearers of the gospel, but few learners.
Watson says there are two things that keep us from learning: Slighting and forgetting. In slighting the word of God, we give it little importance. In forgetting, we do not “examine the scriptures.” Acts 17:11
If we go to school and take a class, reading or listening once to the teacher will not help us pass the course. If we wish to really learn the information and not forget, we must read it again and again; we must make notes on the subject. If we do this, we will pass the test when it comes.
We need to understand the importance of listening to God, either by reading the Bible or by listening to it read to us. There is a wonderful site online that is called, Daily Audio Bible. Each day, Brian reads parts from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. It is lovely to put earphones in and hear someone read the Bible. I get more out of the verses than when I read it myself.
Jesus spoke to his disciples about listening carefully to what he had to say. Here are some verses:
“So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” Luke 8:18
“Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” Luke 9:44 The disciples did not listen and understand. It was something they did not want to hear.
And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:9
After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand… Mark 7:14
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Matthew 7:24
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
We need the Holy Spirit to help us learn of God. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
In my own life, I have noticed the more time I spend reading the Bible, the more God’s words come into my mind as I go through my day and encounter different trials or problems. Then I can say that verse and be comforted and strengthened.
“Your word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11