Listening and hearing are not the same, yet they are not mutually exclusive. The Israelites were to pray the Shema prayer found in Deuteronomy 6 at least twice a day every day as a reminder. As a matter of fact, the first word of the Shema is “hear.” And the word Shema is translated in English as “hear.” In this short sermon, we study one aspect of the prayer, the word Shema and what it means to hear and obey.
We live in an age of depersonalization.Everyone is known by a number (i.e., last four digits of your social, your pin, phone number, driver’s license number, passport number, account number)
Many do not know their neighbors and feel alone.
Most people no longer stay in the same employment for years, move around every 2-3 years-discourages friendships.
There is one thing that all humans need: the know that they are loved, noticed, appreciated and important.Most of us base our level of importance on four standards:
Our appearance, our achievements, being approved by others, our wealth and power
When our self-worth is based on our appearance we set ourselves up for failure.With time, no matter how many surgeries we might be able to afford, our appearance will change.Then what will we do?When we value our self-worth on our appearance the next area of problem is being accepted by others.
When our self-worth is based on being accepted by others then we must constantly adjust to what other people like or dislike.When we add friends to our circle, that is another person we must be accepted by.This can be a problem.The other standard that most use to feel important is that of personal achievements.
When we value our self-worth based on our personal achievements we will be crushed when we realize that there is always someone that can do it better than we can, can run further than we can run, etc.This leads us to the fourth standard most people use to value their self-worth is wealth and power.
When we value our self-worth based on our power and wealth we set ourselves up for failure.It takes a lot of hard work to become wealthy and powerful.Yet it takes one small mistake to lose it all.
Gem story. $10.00, accept $15.00, was 1905 carat, worth 2.28 million
It is not healthy to value our self-worth using these standards.There’s good news today.You no longer have to worry about being important to others.You no longer need to fret about how you look.There is no need to be a people pleaser.No more!You are important to God.He values you highly!
You are important to God because He created you in His image
You are God’s highest creation!
Genesis 1:27; “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”
Psalm 8:4-8; “what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?(5)Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.(6)You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,(7)all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,(8)the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”
We are God’s offspring
Acts 17:26-29; “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,(27)that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,(28)for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’(29)Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.”
Genesis 9:6; “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.”
You are important to God because He cares for your everyday needs
God providentially cares for the needs of mankind
Matthew 5:45; “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Acts 14:17; “Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
God has put the seasons and the rain on the earth to care for all of us (Acts 14:17).
You are important to God because He loved you so much that He gave His only Son to die for your sins (John 3:16)
We are all lost and in desperate need of salvation
Romans 3:23; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 6:23; “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Ephesians 2:1-3; “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins(2)in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience–(3)among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
The coming of Jesus to earth and dying for you is proof of God’s love for you
Romans 5:10; “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
Ephesians 5:2; “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
1 John 4:10; “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Your importance to God is seen in the fact that He knows your name
God has a record of everyone who has ever lived.He knows us all by name and knows all of our deeds.
Revelation 20:12-13; “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.(13)And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.”
2 Corinthians 5:10; “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
If we are Christians, we can rest assured that God knows us personally as His children.
Matthew 10:29-31; “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.(30)But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.(31)Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
2 Timothy 2:19; “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
In this world, it sometimes is easy for us to think that no one cares about us.So many feel alone in a crowd.But there is no need to feel all alone.God cares about us!He wants us to accept His friendship.He sent His Son so that we might be forgiven.
Explain Zacchaeus:He felt down and was not liked or accepted by the people.He was short and a tax collector.Yet, Jesus said, “Come on down.I must dine at your home!.”He was important to God, and that’s what mattered.You can have supper with Jesus today.Obey the word of God.
Plan of salvation:
Hear (Romans 10:17)
Believe (Hebrews 11:6; John 3:16)
Repent (Acts 17:30)
Confess (Matthew 16:16; Romans 10:9-10)
Baptize (Acts 2:38, 22:16; John 3:5; Romans 6:3-6)