Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 18, 2016
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, NLT
Recently a friend took me to lunch. His agenda? Just to hear how I was doing. What a gift! For more than an hour Bill just wanted me to talk about what the Lord was teaching me, how my family was doing and how he could pray for me. Like a disruptive child in timeout, his phone was nowhere to be seen or heard, his eye contact was riveting and his emotional engagement was energizing. My special friend gave me the gift of his uninterrupted presence. With unhurried interest, I felt loved, understood, valued and heard. My friend’s presence was a gift of love!
Jesus taught compellingly about the importance of truly paying attention and listening to the life lessons found in His teachings. Because He illustrated truth with everyday examples, clearer comprehension was available, but the deepest understanding only came to those who were intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally engaged in hearing what Christ had to say. For believers, being present in the presence of Jesus is not passive prayer, but proactive listening. The heart hears best when it’s been cleansed by the Spirit and eagerly communes with Christ.
“I delight in your instructions. My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver” (Psalm 119:70-72, NLT).
Suffering can be the Spirit’s megaphone to speak to our spirit. When we become too busy with our business—the Lord knows how to slow us down so we pay attention to His business. Instead of pushing through a sickness, maybe we take a few days off—rest—and be present with our heavenly Father. Better to learn what the Lord is attempting to say to our heart in a small setback, than be sidelined for a significant period of time—and be forced to give God our focused presence. Worship is awareness of God’s ever presence—and being ever present to praise Him!
Who hungers for you to be all there when you are with them? A spouse, child, friend or work associate? Being truly present is the fruit of trust. You trust other responsibilities can wait, and by taking a break from obsessing over critical issues—you can reengage, invigorated with new and better insight. By investing in being 100% in a conversation with a co-worker, you can trust the Lord is at work in ways all around you. He is moving the hearts of authorities and procuring resources to support your opportunities. Being present trusts God is presently at work! Be generous with your presence, as the Lord generously provides all that’s needed for His work.
“My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart” (Proverbs 4:20-21, NLT).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I want to trust You 100% so I can give the gift of my 100% presence.
ApplicationToday at work and home, who needs me to be totally present in their presence?
Related ReadingPsalm 16:11, 34:11-16; John 8:38; Acts 2:28; 1 Timothy 6:12
Post/Tweet todayThe heart hears best when it’s been cleansed by the Spirit and eagerly communes with Christ. #wisdomhunters #bepresent
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