Paying much closer attention to what we have heard…

By Ps Vernon Quek

Since it’s the last few days of January and we still have time to make some last-minute resolutions for 2024, I thought I’d propose something for us to be intentional about in the coming year: holding on to what we’ve heard God say to us this past year.

If you are a regular member here with us in the Zion Bishan family, you would have heard more than 50 sermons over the last year. If you have been a regular member of an AG, you would have had anywhere from 15 – 30 AG meetings where God’s Word was opened and He was speaking to you. If you’ve been reading the Bible in a 121 or 321 setting with others, God spoke to you even more!

So here’s a question: how do we plan to hold on to all that the Lord has said to us? Will we remember all that’s been said? Or forget and become dull of hearing?

That’s exactly what was happening to the group of 1st century believers that the author of Hebrews wrote to. Once keen, earnest Christians who heard God speak and responded in great works of love and service to other saints, they sadly became dull of hearing[1]. Earlier in the letter, the author exhorts those same believers to ‘pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.’ [2]

We learn from these verses and the rest of Hebrews that it is the default that we Christians drift and become hard-hearted, unless there is real intentionality to hold on to what God has declared to us.

So again: how do we plan to hold on to all that the Lord has said to us in 2023?

Let me share with you some ways that have really helped me do so.

First, I highly recommend cultivating the habit of taking sermon and bible study notes (and an effective way to organize and keep those notes!). As weeks, months and even years have gone by, it’s been so helpful for me to go back to those notes (in my case digitally archived on my phone[3]) and read the passage and notes I took. This has especially been helpful when I inevitably hear a new sermon on a passage I’ve studied, heard preached or have preached myself before – this helps me to go deeper and continue to be shaped by what God says in that passage. 

If it isn’t already one of your habits, why not try taking notes for sermons and bible studies that you will sit through this year?

Second, intentionally speak to others about what we’ve heard. Ecclesiastes, Zechariah, Hebrews, the first half of Revelation…are just a few of the books that we’ve heard God speak through these last two years. One of the best ways to keep going in the truths we’ve learnt is to be intentional in meeting one another to stir one another up – to encourage each other to keep learning and living out these truths. The author of Hebrews says that we should be so intentional that we should constantly be considering, thinking of ways to meet one another for this purpose[4]. Meeting with brothers and sisters to reflect and live out God’s Word to us has been one of the greatest ways that have helped me to hold on to what He has said.

These are just two of many habits we can build into the rest of 2024, can you think of more that would work for you?

Let me leave you with the opening words of the letter to the Hebrews:

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son…[5]

Brothers and sisters, in these last days, God has spoken and is still speaking to us by His Son – will we do everything we can this coming year to hold on to these words of eternal value?

[1] Hebrews 6:9-12; Hebrews 5:11
[2] Hebrews 2:1
[3] I use the Evernote app to take notes on my phone, iPad and Macbook.
[4] Hebrews 10:24&25
[5] Hebrews 1:1&2a


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