We hear preachers tell us about all the promises that are in the Bible for us.  We get real excited when we hear how God wants to bless us.  But after the sermon is over, do we get our Bible out and study to see if these things are really so?  In most cases, it doesn’t happen.  For some reason, when church is over, we tend to put our mind back in “world mode” and four hours after church, most people can’t give even a reasonable recap of the sermon they just heard.  And if we can’t even remember what was said, we’ll say, four hours later, how in the world do we expect anything in our life to change the other six days?  The truth is, we can’t.

 Romans 10:17 says, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. 

             When the preacher stands up there taking, we hear him.  How is it then we are so quick to forget what we heard?  Hearing and listening must be two different things.  The act of hearing does not necessarily mean we are paying attention.  To do that, you must listen.  Had I been Paul, I would have worded Romans 10:17 differently, to read, So then faith cometh by hearing and listening to the Word of God, because if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll miss it!  

            When you are really listening to teaching, you will still be thinking about it long after the sermon is over, and coming up with your own questions and points to consider, and things you want to study in reference to what you heard.  And most certainly, you will want to find out if what you heard is really so, and not just the opinion of some man or woman.           

            People have told me that I’m a miner in the Word of God, digging up nuggets to give to people.  Personally, I probably spend as much time trying to disprove a subject, as trying to prove it. Then, after gathering all the facts, it’s time to see where the weight of evidence falls.  I would compare it to being a lawyer in a court case representing both the prosecution and the defense.  Of course, in real life that doesn’t happen, but you know what I mean.  Getting both sides of the story is really important to me, because without all the evidence, I will never be satisfied I have come to the correct conclusion of a matter of doctrine, or a promise in the Bible.  And that could cause me to waver if my decision is questioned.  So I do everything possible to settle the matter permanently, so there is never any reason to have to look back and say, “But what if…?.” 

            For example, immediately after I was saved, the Lord told me to look up Psalm 103:2-3, so I did.  It says, Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases.   At the time, I was dying of cancer, but after reading that God had forgiven all my sins and healed all my diseases, I went home and researched everything I could find in the whole Bible about healing.  No matter how I tried to prove healing was not for today or that healing ended with the Disciples, like some teach, all the evidence pointed to the contrary.  The harder I searched, the more it was proven to me that, regardless of how I looked, or how I felt, indeed, by the stripes of Jesus I was and am healed.  Why?  Because God said so, period.  So, .that was put in the “settled forever” file, and the cabinet was locked, and the key was thrown away.  Done, time to move on.

             Would just “hearing” have been enough to convince me?  No.  I remember thinking “Say WHAT??” when reading Psalm 103:2-3.  I had to know for myself if these things were really so.  You will have to settle these things for yourself, too.  It is not enough for me to be settled, for that will not help you when the devil is breathing down your neck, doing everything he can to convince you that the promises of God are not for you.  Certainly, the devil will test your faith, and if it will not stand the test, you will fall. And you’ll be back at square one, trying to settle yourself again.  Let me tell you, getting re-settled is hard, once you’ve been blown out of the water, because the devil will always be there, casting doubt, nagging you, and saying, what if you’re wrong this time, too?            

            You owe it to yourself to ask “Are these things really so?” about everything you hear or study from the Bible. If you never ask, you’ll never learn.  Not that you will ever catch God not keeping His word,  but what you will do is get rid of any and all doubts you have about the subject of your study.  And, most importantly, you will sift out any false doctrines of men.  Then, when someone tries to dissuade you, or the devil comes calling to beat you down, you know where you stand, and stand you will, indeed!  For God’s word is true, but it’s only going to benefit you to the extent that you ”know that you know”, and you refuse to be moved from your faith.          

            Don’t think it’s wrong to question what you hear.  It won’t insult me in the least for you to pick my teachings apart with a fine-toothed comb.  In fact, I hope you do, for in the end, it will result in you having a much stronger, working faith, because you will be living by your faith instead of my faith.  

            As it is written in 1 Peter 5:10,  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.