“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:3-14
Hearing begets faith. Taking in the gospel of Christ within the inspiration and regeneration of the Spirit produces understanding, which opens our minds to spiritual wisdom and the knowledge of God’s will. It plants seeds of truth and sows increasing responses of trust, surrender, application, maturation, and multiplication. Have we listened well enough to the gospel of Christ to be changed? (Luke 8:5-8; Romans 10:17)
Hearing begets love, expressed in service, care, affection, and prayer for those with whom we are connected. The more we learn, the more we care, and want to communicate in return. How eager are we to listen to stories of changed lives, and how generously do we love them and their Savior in response? How patiently and generously do we follow through?
Hearing begets praise to God. When His work and marvelous ways have been conveyed, the natural response is to proclaim His excellencies and magnify His name. When we hear of His abounding mercies, how quick are we to extol Him for transformation, fruit produced, and mission strengthened?
Hearing begets joy, which begets gratitude, when we learn of the growing faith of others. We hear because there has been an effect, a blossoming, a display of the beautiful work of God in a people and place. Do our hearts truly rejoice with those who rejoice? (Romans 12:15)
Hearing begets prayer for more good and growth. We are encouraged by deliverances given and steps taken, and are spurred on to seek God for more. How readily do I take what I hear to the throne of grace? (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19-23)
Lord, keep my ears open and attuned to all You say and keen to everything You would have me hear, and quick to respond accordingly.