January 25 - Lord, Help Us Listen


By Nancy Stevens

Today's Scripture: Matthew 16:13-17:9

Central Thought: When we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, He will help us to control our mouths.

    Peter ascended the heights of revelation, only to fall into the pit of being used by Satan to rebuke the Savior! One moment Christ was commending Peter, and the next He was calling him a stumbling block (Matthew 16:16-23).

    Six days later, Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus up on a high mountain. Jesus was transfigured before them and talked with Moses and Elijah (17:1-3). Once again, Peter opened his mouth, and without thinking about what he was saying, suggested that they build three shelters. This time, God spoke from a bright cloud that enveloped them. "'This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!'" (17:5).

    Why is it so much easier to blurt out whatever we're thinking or feeling than it is to listen? Like Peter, God may use us to speak His message to someone, to give wise counsel, or to encourage. Yet, five minutes later, we may be complaining, criticizing, or judging someone else. One moment we are led by the Holy Spirit, and the next we are succumbing to our imperfect human nature.

    The moment God convicts us of giving in to our human tendencies and saying something that we should not say, the wisest thing we can do is to stop talking and listen. We need to really hear what He wants to tell us and take it to heart, and then do whatever He directs us to do. Listening and obeying are the keys to living a consistent Christlike life.

Devotional Prayer: Father, we want to be like Jesus. Help us to listen to Your voice, to be quick to repent, and to immediately obey.

Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 50:1-Exodus 2:10; Matthew 16:13-17:9; Psalm 21:1-13; Proverbs 5:1-6