The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up and let none of his words fall to the ground. I Samuel 3:19 

Whoever listens to you listens to me Luke 10:16

Listening – sounds so simple to do. Just be quiet and pay attention to the speaker, or the music, or the movie. Having a conversation with someone involves listening. How often are we not really listening so much as thinking of what we want to say next? Or maybe thinking about what we are fixing for supper? Often, we don’t really hear what is said.

Listening can also happen while reading. I have had students who dutifully read the text or articles I assigned, yet they didn’t seem to glean any information from them. They weren’t “hearing” the words that were on the page or screen. They didn’t take time to really listen, think, and ponder on what was being said. As we read the Bible we need to take the time to actually listen to what is being said in the words. Once we have done that, we now need to speak. How can we know that anyone will actually listen to our words?

Samuel is assured of God helping him speak from a young age. In I Samuel 3 he is sleeping and hears his name called. He runs to Eli each time who says, nope, I didn’t call you. Finally Eli realizes who is calling Samuel and tells him to respond to the voice. When he does, when he really listens,  the Lord is able to communicate. Samuel goes to Eli, shares the message, with a little fear I would think, and Eli says let it be as the Lord says. Samuel’s words are heard, and the Lord assures him that the words He gives him to speak will be hears.

Jesus tells the large group he sends out in Luke 10 that they will be listened to. That those who listen to  them will really be listening to Jesus, to God. What wonderful assurance that we too have. When we truly listen for God’s message and share it, we will be listened to.

Heavenly Father you speak truth and love. We regret how poor we are at listening and following through. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who helps our hearts and minds stay attuned to your word. Let your words be our words today. Speak through us as witnesses to your power your love and your saving grace. Help us to reflect your love so others can hear your Word.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Chris Gabel