“So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.” (James 1:21 TEV)
We receive God’s Word when we listen with an open, receptive attitude and then accept it. The parable of the sower illustrates how our receptiveness determines whether or not God’s Word takes root in our lives and bears fruit. Jesus identified three unreceptive attitudes — a closed mind (hard soil), a superficial mind (shallow soil), and a distracted mind (soil with weeds) — and then he said, “Consider carefully how you listen” (Luke 8:18a NIV).
Any time you feel you are not learning anything from a sermon or a Bible teacher, you should check your attitude, especially for pride, because God can speak through even the most boring teacher when you are humble and receptive. James advises, “In a humble (gentle, modest) spirit, receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls” (James 1:21b AMP).
Talk About It
Think about how your pride might have recently affected your attitude toward a message or a messenger. Ask God to help you have a more humble attitude toward his messengers.
What are some of the distractions that keep you from being receptive to God’s Word?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.