Have An Open Heart Today

Scripture: Psalm 95:8a, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’

 

Observations: The psalmist starts by praising God (v1-2), for he is the Great God (v3), to whom all things belong (v4-5). And he calls us to worship God because he is our God and we are his people (v6-7). But then the psalmist makes a sudden turn, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’ And he gives some examples of how God’s people had hardened their hearts during the Exodus and as a result weren’t allowed to enter into the Promised Land (v8b-11). This verse has three things to say to us. Firstly, it presumes that God still speaks today. Secondly, it presumes that we can hear his voice. Thirdly, it pleads with us not to harden our hearts. The concept of hardening one’s heart is pretty common in the Bible. It means to ignore, or reject, God’s will. When we know what is right, but chose to do the opposite it is evidence of a hard heart. People who reject God he will discipline, as he did his people in the wilderness. And people who reject God’s discipline will face his judgment, they will not enter into God’s rest, which is a euphemism for heaven.

 

Application: Firstly, it is possible for you to hear God’s voice speak today. God speaks to us through his word, or through his people, or through his Holy Spirit. If you aren’t hearing God’s voice you have to ask yourself three things. Firstly, am I reading God’s Word? Secondly, am I spending time with God’s people? And thirdly, am I asking God to speak to me through his Holy Spirit, who helps us understand and apply God’s word? Secondly, do you have a hard heart, or an open heart? Do you ignore God’s word, or do you obey it? Speaking about this verse the writer of Hebrews says, ‘Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Heb 3:12-13)’ Today, don’t have a hard heart, but be open to God’s word, and encourage others to do the same.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I am so sorry for the hardness in my heart, that although I know what is right I ignore Your word and choose my own desires instead. Lord, today may I listen to Your voice. Help me to hear what You are saying to me through Your word, and through Your people, and ultimately through Your Spirit. And may I not just hear your word, but may it sink deep into my heart and change me. May I be a doer of Your word. Help me to be obedient. Help me to become more like Your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name I pray. Amen.

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