“Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” Mark 4:23-25
Momentum is a physics term that means mass in motion. Anything that is on the move has momentum. The heavier the mass and the greater the speed the more powerful is the momentum. A Boeing 777 flying at 500 knots has much greater momentum than a child on a bicycle riding casually down the street. Momentum does not occur without activity. The same can be said of our life and the success we receive in it through God’s Word, especially in the area of preaching and teaching of God’s Word.
Jesus is very specific about the momentum gained in our lives that is directly tied to the teaching and preaching of Scriptures and our application of what we hear. In Mark 4:23-25 Jesus presents these words to the disciples, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
…Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” If we are going to experience the power of God through the teaching and preaching of His Word, then Jesus tells us four critical things that must occur in our lives for that to happen. How do we gain God ordained momentum in our lives that is far beyond that of Boeing 777?
Attitude: In verse 23 Jesus states this to His audience, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” Were there some in the crowd that did not have ears? Perhaps. But that is not Jesus’ point in making this statement. This is an invitation to those who have an attitude to truly listen to what He has to say. Many people heard the teachings of Jesus but only a few had that right attitude toward His words and wisdom. Many rejected Jesus’ teachings. The religious leaders worked constantly to discredit and distract Jesus. Their attitude was not one of receiving Jesus’ teaching but rather to completely destroy Him. We might not want to destroy Jesus, but are we even interested in what He says to us? Do we have an openness to Jesus words and wisdom that can launch our momentum into a life that lives and thrives on the power of God?
If we don’t carry the right attitude into hearing the teaching and preaching of Scripture, then all of our hearing is in vain. That was Jesus’ point. Those with the right attitude—listen up!
Attention: Ok, if we have the right attitude, then we are ready to move to the next level in gaining momentum in our life. Jesus states in verse 24, “…Take heed what ye hear.” To take heed means to view with your eyes or perceive. When we sit under Bible teachers and preachers we must listen closely and envision ourselves obeying what is being taught from God’s Word. Our full attention must be given to the words that the teacher or preacher is presenting and then we are to grasp it and do it. This is why it is so important that we place ourselves in a strong, Bible preaching church.
The teacher of preacher is presenting truth to us from God’s eternal and unchanging Word. What application or truth is there in these words that we must see ourselves obeying. Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 16:24, “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Place yourself in that passage. Put your name there. Are you willing to follow the actions Jesus is presenting here? In our minds we must envision denying ourselves and taking up our cross (our personal sacrifices) and following Jesus.
Application: Next comes the tough part. If my attitude is right and I’m paying close attention to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word that’s not enough. I must now apply it to my life. I must step out on faith and trust that the things being taught from the Bible are really true. It’s time to put my feet into action.
Imagine a football team where all the players have great attitudes. The players listen well in practice and work hard to understand all the formations and plays. Yet, when game day comes they take the field and stand there. They refuse to apply all that the coaches taught them. They are going to lose and lose bad. There will be no victory, no championships, not shouts of joy, no fans in the stands cheering them on if they will not do the work.
We have to do the work! Jesus continues in Mark 4:24 with exactly that point, “with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.” In other words, Jesus is saying the measure to which you use what I’m teaching you, it will be measured back to you. If you learn and apply it, and God will multiply it!
The military uses a term called “force multiplier.” According to the Department of Defense, a force multiplier is, “a capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment,” (Joint Publication 3-05.1). In other words, force multipliers increase the momentum of a combat unit. In the Air Force, the capability to refuel aircraft in the air instead of landing them to refuel enables a combat airplane to stay aloft longer and engage more targets with fewer resources. That is a force multiplier. The return is greater than the investment. God does that for us when we have the right attitude, pay attention, and then apply the teachings to our lives.
Accumulation: Finally, Jesus gives us our last point when it comes to gaining momentum in our lives. It continues to accumulate or pick up speed. The more I listen to His Word and apply it to my life, the momentum becomes greater. However, the moment I begin to pull away from God’s teachers and preachers, not only do I stop accumulating, but I begin to lose momentum in my life. It’s like taking your foot off the gas of an automobile, I will begin to slow down. However, Jesus warns in verse 25, “…and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” Translation: the more you do, the more you get. The less you do, the less you get and what you have will be taken from you and given to those who have the right attitude, right attention, and right application.
The more we listen to the teaching of God’s Word the more understanding we gain. The more understanding we gain, the better we can apply God’s Word to our lives. The more apply God’s Word to our lives, the stronger we become in our attempts to resist temptation and receive the great blessings God has for us. We can go back to Jesus words in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Again, the Word of God dwelling in us and through us ignites the power of answered prayer in our lives.
The Word of God provides the momentum to our spiritual growth. When we have the godly habits of receiving the Word from teachers and preachers and then living it, God takes on the role of building onto our efforts and obedience.