Is Anybody Listening?

Posted: April 7, 2011 in QT's
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I love being a youth pastor. In fact I can’t think of anything I’d rather do. I get to hang out with students, go to concerts and events, play paintball, and talk about Jesus. I get to know them, invest in their lives, and watch them grow into young men and women. I have been doing this for about nine years now and I’m always amazed as I look at the lives of former students of mine who are now in college or are married and starting families of their own and who are serving in their churches. A few are even youth ministers themselves. Somewhere along the way boys become men and girls become women. The transformation is well, like I said, amazing.

It’s pretty cool because sometimes I have to wonder if anybody’s even listening to a word I say. For example, I make announcements about upcoming events every week. Sometimes I show videos, sometimes I hand out information, I always give the date and time (several times) and I always direct students to our youth website and yet I will still have students who don’t have a clue as to what’s going on and the day of the evnt I get inundated with text messages and phone calls filled with questions like, “Is that thing tonight? What time? How much does it cost? Can I bring a friend?” And the list goes on, so I wonder, is anybody listening? Then I think about some of my former students and how they have actually become productive members of society who love the Lord and serve Him faithfully and I think, “Okay, some of them are listening.”

As I have been reading through Jeremiah I have realized that I’m in good company. In Jeremiah 35-45 we read a pretty amazing story about some people who listened to god and some who didn’t. It goes something like this. Jeremiah was a prophet (that means God spoke through him) and God told him to tell His people (a nation called Judah, hence Jews) that if they didn’t give up their idols and turn back to Him then they would be conquered by another nation. Some of the people heard this and said, “We have to tell the king.” Well the king (a guy named Jehoiakim, yeah I can’t say it either) didn’t listen. In fact he burned the paper the words were written on. Well he should’ve listened because as it turns out, he died and another guy named Zedekiah was made king. Zedekiah didn’t do much better though. He asked Jeremiah what God had to say and Jeremiah basically told him that it was too late to save Judah but that if he would go ahead and surrender then he and his family would be spared and Jerusalem would not be burned. The thing is, Zedekiah was more afraid of the people of Judah than he was of God so he didn’t listen either. It turns out that his sons were killed in front of him and then his eyes were put out, oh and Jerusalem was burned. I’m thinking they should’ve listened. However that’s not all, you see, in the midst of all this we read about two men who did listen. One was a servant inking Zedekiah’s court named Ebed-melech. He was a friend to Jeremiah when he didn’t have many friends because he heard God’s words and he trusted God. In Jeremiah 39:18 God tells this man that he will be saved because he has trusted. The other man was Jeremiahs secretary named Baruch. He’s the one who actually wrote down everything that God said through the prophet Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 44:30 God tells Baruch that even though he’s bringing disaster on what’s left of Judah, he will save him.

I guess it’s always been the same. Some people will listen and some people won’t. Now when it comes to listening to my announcements, big deal, but when it comes to listening to what God has to say, BIG DEAL. What’s God saying to you and are you listening?


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