Two Types of Listeners

" As soon as it was night,
the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea.
On arriving there,
they went to the Jewish synagogue.
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians,
for they received the message with great eagerness
and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Many of the Jews believed,
as did also a number of prominent Greek women
and many Greek men. " Acts 17:10-12
Two Types of Listeners
Dr. Charles Stanley

In order for the Holy Spirit to do His work, we must truly make an effort to hear God when He speaks. It is possible, for example, to "listen" to every word of a sermon, while actually not hearing a word of it. Sadly, there are some vacant parishioners like this in churches every week! Their bodies may be in the pew, but their minds are obviously somewhere else. In fact, there are two types of listeners in practically every church in the world: passive and aggressive.

A passive listener is one who attends services--maybe even every week--but just sits in the pew and lets his mind wander. He watches people, notices the way they dress and act, socializes with friends, and makes lunch plans. He doesn't go to church to hear from the Lord. He shows up out of habit, or because the simple act of going makes him feel better about himself.

An aggressive listener, on the other hand, walks into the sanctuary excited about what the Lord is going to say. He has a Bible, notebook, and pen in hand, ready to capture the meat of the message. He scribbles down as much as he can, trying desperately not to miss a single point of the sermon. Throughout the message, he asks himself, How does this apply to my life?

The Lord communicates in many different ways, and when He speaks, we must always listen aggressively! If you find your mind wandering during worship, perhaps you are approaching God passively. Ask Him to refocus your thoughts, and decide to be an aggressive listener from now on.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit
He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, "'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'"
Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."

He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." "Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you--and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."
Mark 4:11-25 NIV

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