featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church during COVID-19

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: Listen, it’s good for you

Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.

To hear is to listen: to listen in a way to gain understanding, to receive what is being said and be able to respond accordingly. Listening is a learned trait we continually need to work on. I know for me, the more excited I am for a project, the more I am unwilling and don’t listen all that well. Over the years we have purchased gifts for our kids where it says on the box, “some assembly required.” I am fairly mechanical so that never bothers me as I rip open the box. The first thing I do is throw the instructions behind me and get on with the fun of putting this toy together. As I work, I am so excited at how my child will react. I think to myself, “It’s going to be so fun!” Well, on many occasions the project starts to take a lot more time than I think. I finally look back to listen in to the instructions and yes, they say I should have been done two hours ago. As I read over and seek to understand the steps, I discover I skipped some crucial points and now I have to disassemble and practically start over. Now, you think I would learn, but no, this has happened way too many times. The truth is I need to listen better to instructions because it’s good for me!

Lots of things can hinder our hearing…like when we think we have all the answers.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

We also don’t listen well when we keep talking or are only concerned about sharing our opinion.

Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

There is great wisdom in listening to what God says about life. Hearing is vital to following Jesus and living life in line with His teachings.

Proverbs 2:1-6 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 19:27 Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

Hearing involves a willing heart to gain understanding. It is to lean into what is being said. It’s asking questions of clarification and putting in our own words what we believe is being said. That is called active listening. We can practice this active listening with our Bible reading. It’s taking a passage of Scripture and asking what God is saying to us as we read the Bible. The challenge is to listen, because it is good for us. What could you do to be a better listener in life, in relationships, and with God?

Church is a wonderful place to learn how to hear from God. If you don’t already have a church, you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all of our Sunday gatherings. We do have a time change for the Cypress campus. We are now gathering at 9:00am and 10:45am. We would love for you to join in. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Seeing to be a better listener along with you,

Mike