To say I dislike mornings is an understatement. The one thing I do love in the morning is the 45 minutes to an hour I spend with the Lord. I pour my cup of coffee, pray, read, and study scripture. We see in 2 Timothy that “. . . all scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” This is a primary reason I try to be in the word daily. I pray, read, meditate, and memorize God’s word. But, there is one discipline I have often overlooked and feel many of you may have as well...
I spend most of my time reading and meditating on scripture but only recently have focused on listening to God’s word. Do we really need to listen to God’s word when we can read it for ourselves? Of course! I don’t know about you, but I know I pick up on different aspects when listening than when I read.
So, what does scripture say about listening to the word of God? In Luke chapter 11 as Jesus has cast out a demon, a woman shouts to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you...” and Jesus responds, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” We are blessed to hear God’s word. Paul also writes in Romans chapter 10, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” We can see two results we have when listening to God’s word are faith and being blessed.
You may ask yourself, what are some ways to listen to God’s word? Below, I have listed some ways you can increase your listening to God’s word. This list is not exhaustive, but it was helpful for me to begin to make listening an important part of my training for righteousness.
GO TO CHURCH
Yes. This may sound simple, but I have met plenty of college students and adults in my time that do not go to Sunday morning worship consistently. This is not only a time of worshipping the Lord together, but it is one of the primary ways we hear God’s word. You will hear God’s word by singing hymns, prayers, and by the preacher teaching the word of God. 1 Timothy 4:13, says “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” If teachers are to devote themselves to the public reading, exhortation, and teaching, we must be committed to the public listening.
LISTEN TO THE BIBLE
There are so many ways to just simply listen to scripture being read. Maybe start your day while you’re getting ready by listening to scripture. The YouVersion Bible App has many translations with audio available. One way I like listening is the StreetLights app, or you can also find all their audio versions on Spotify and Apple Music. Both YouVersion and StreetLights are free options. A paid option I like is the Dwell App which has many different voices and some other features.
PODCASTS, HYMNS, CONFERENCES
The last one I want to talk about is less the verbatim word of God but revolves more around hearing the truth of scripture through other listening mediums. If you are like me, you may spend hours listening to music, sports podcasts, or the occasional true-crime podcast. Why not spend some of that time listening to scripture through worshipful songs, bible commentaries, prayers, or even many conferences that have their teachings online. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” We should be singing psalms and hymns, so let’s listen to them as well. Below I am listing a few podcasts and conferences I know many people enjoy listening to. I also encourage you to ask friends, family, pastors, and church members what they are enjoying.
Bible Talk - a podcast currently dissecting Genesis
Pray the Word with David Platt - a short devo on one verse and a quick prayer
Ask Pastor John - a podcast where John Piper answers theological and pastoral questions
Cross Con - a conference for 18-25 year olds on how to leverage their life effectively for Christ
T4G - a conference that aims to encourage and aid ministry leaders with three days of biblical preaching, fellowship, books, and singing
I pray these resources can be an encouragement for you to make listening to God’s word a priority in your life. I pray this so that you may be blessed by hearing and keeping God’s word.