"Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." James 1:22 (NKJV)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week 7: Listen to Him!, Part 1

"This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!" ~Mark 9:7b

I spend about 250 hours per year commuting back and forth to work (five hours per week for fifty weeks each year). It will actually be slightly more than 250 hours per year now that I've committed to driving the speed limit. I spend about half that time listening to talk radio. Sometimes talk radio is entertaining. Very rarely it is informative. Most of the time, it's absolutely idiotic.

God cares about what we listen to. Jesus frequently reminds his disciples to listen carefully to his words. The Book of Proverbs is full of instructions about listening---listen to wisdom, listen to instructions, listen to rebuke, and don't listen to fools.

The James 1:22 Project is about doing what the Bible says, but the Father's command reminds me that I must not forget to listen to the word. James says "do not merely listen to the word," which assumes that we will first listen. James also says, "Everyone should be quick to listen." James 1:19.

This week's assignment is about listening to Jesus. The Father, in an audible voice, told the disciples to listen to Jesus. I don't think the Father intended for us to merely listen to Jesus's words. The sort of "listening" the Father commands is the sort of listening from which an active response follows---the same sort of listening that is commanded in James's epistle. It is also safe to say that we can obey the Father's command by reading the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels and doing what they say.

I want, however, to respond to this command in a rather literal way---by changing my listening habits. I am going to begin the practice of listening to the Bible on CD during my commute. What difference would it make in my life if I listened to the Bible instead of talk radio? If I spent just half of my commuting time listening to the Bible, I could hear the entire Bible every year.

For this week, I want to kickoff my Bible listening regime by getting saturated in the words of Jesus. I'll listen to the Gospels during my commute, starting with the Gospel of John. I also plan to read all four of the Gospels this week. And, I plan to cap off the week by watching Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. I'll tell you about the experience in my next post. Until then, grace and peace to you.


  1. Great idea! I just had another friend tell me about how she has decided to use her commute time this year to read through the Bible. She rides a bus, so she has her hands free and can actually turn the pages. But, I think I should download something to my ipod so that I, too, can use time in the car to listen to the Word. Thanks for the challenge!

  2. I splurged this week and bought The Word of Promise Audio-Bible, New Testament. It's a dramatic reading of the Bible with first-rate actors, sound effects and a musical score. It's like listening to a movie. Fantastic. I'm hooked, and I highly recommend it. If you're downloading from I-tunes, make sure you DON'T get the "next generation" version of the Word of Promise. It's lame. You want the grown-up version.