Inspiration – Take Heed How Ye Hear

God desires us to give attention to the words of truth. We are to hear and practise them; for the truth is a message of Heaven to those who take heed. The oftrepeated charge of the Lord is, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Of the Israelites the apostle says, “The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” This opens before us the reason why so little is accomplished by the many discourses given. The words may be indited by the Holy Spirit, but if those who hear do not hear with a desire to be benefited, the words spoken do not profit them.

It makes every difference whether the word spoken is received into good and honest hearts. The Israelites had the word spoken to them by Christ from the pillar of cloud, but like many who today hear the glad tidings of truth and righteousness, they did not hear with consecrated ears. They brought guilt upon themselves by failing to hear by faith, and practise the word spoken. Selfishness and pride, murmuring and unbelief, compassed them about as a garment.

It was faith that men lacked in the days of Noah, and it was this lack that brought destruction upon them. How different would have been the result had they heeded Noah’s appeals as the voice of God speaking through him. But they were unwilling to hear and receive the word which would have saved them.

The teacher of truth is to take heed how he presents the truth. He is to speak every word plainly and distinctly, with that earnest conviction which carries conviction to hearts. If the words spoken are crowded upon each other, the impression that should be made is lost. The talent of speech needs to be cultivated, that the truth shall not be spoken in an excited, spasmodic style, but slowly and distinctly, that not a syllable may be lost.

Rapidity of speech can and should be corrected. The teacher must learn daily in the school of Christ, that he may speak in such a way as to make the best and most lasting impression upon his hearers. The appointed guardian of truth, he must conscientiously guard the sacred treasures. He is not to gather only a limited number of surface truths, but is to purchase the field, that he may possess the treasure it contains. He is to seek to improve in methods of labour, and make the very best use of the organs of speech. If the words of truth are of sufficient importance to be spoken before an audience, they are of sufficient importance to be spoken distinctly. The guidance of the Spirit never leads to indistinctness of speech. The Spirit takes the things of God, and presents them through the human instrument to the people. Then let them come from our lips in the most perfect manner possible.

When the pure gospel of Christ is cherished and appreciated, the jewels of truth will be presented as precious pearls. Every teacher, . . . every minister, . . . is to make an earnest effort to obtain knowledge from the Source of all knowledge. All are to have a daily increasing appreciation of the wisdom which is eternal life to the receiver. The teacher of truth needs to learn daily of Christ. He is not to be satisfied with human acquirements; for they are narrow and insufficient. He is to hunger for a deeper knowledge of Christ. “This is life eternal,” the Saviour said, “that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”

God would have us realize that, as His delegated messengers, we are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, until we perfect a character that is in entire conformity to His will. His attributes have been presented to us that we may cherish them, and thus learn to use the treasures of truth in such a way as to draw souls to Him.

Christ says to us, “A new heart also will I give you.” You shall act on new, strong principles. By believing and obeying, we are brought into fellowship with Christ, and we partake of the glory revealed by Him. The willing, obedient soul will continue to advance, following the Lord Jesus step by step, until he is complete in Him. God loves those who are one in Christ, even as He loves His only begotten Son.

Earnest and sincere is the Author of our redemption. He humbled Himself that He might uplift the perishing and give them a knowledge of the true God. He desires His followers to represent Him by showing a faith that works by love and purifies the soul, by telling others of the love that has done so much for them. He has made the plan of redemption so definite and complete that the attention of all who are led to look to Him will be attracted.

The words of the true Christian are a power for good; for they are the living echo of the Scriptures. When the teachers of truth learn from Christ as they should, those who listen to their words will not say with indifference, “I have heard that discourse a number of times. It is only a repetition.” If the Lord’s ambassador is what he should be,—an earnest seeker for the hidden treasure,—he will have a daily filled treasure house, from which he can draw things new and old; and if his hearers take heed how they hear, they will go from the service fully prepared to testify, Did not our hearts burn within us, while He walked with us, and opened to us the Scriptures?

Many religious teachers have opposed the precious light sent them from heaven. They have refused to obey the words, “Take heed how ye hear.” They think that they complete their work and secure their conquests by a continual repetition of fables and traditions, and by shouting, “Victory.” But their efforts are the essence of feebleness, though put forth with an authority which misleads those who do not search the Scriptures for themselves.

Through His Holy Spirit the Lord is seeking to teach men humility. Those who are privileged to hear truth need to listen with receptive minds, appreciating the precious words spoken. Those who are trusted with the presentation of the sacred oracles need to feel the necessity of being taught by the great Teacher. They must remember that instruction is often sent through their fellow-labourers and through laymen, whom the Lord has set apart to teach the truth.

Let every teacher be a constant worker; then the Lord will educate and train the soul, moulding and fashioning it after the divine similitude. Teachers may learn in many ways. They are to gather every ray of light from those whom they have reason to know have a living experience in the things of God. They are to accept abundantly from the great Teacher, that they may give abundantly. They are not to depend on old discourses which they have had for years, but they are to go on progressing, digging for the precious jewels of truth, that they may present them to their hearers.

The teacher must be willing to surrender his will to the will of God. Preparation for the gospel ministry can be obtained only by searching the Scriptures, and seeking the Lord with full purpose of heart. At the altar of God, by self-renunciation, the soul is educated to believe and receive and impart. Those who receive this education realize their own insufficiency, and the wonderful power of God.

Bible Echo, August 14, 1899.