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Akouo is a New Testament Greek lexicon that means “hear” often used in scripture meaning “not only to hear but to respond and obey.” When you hear and obey God, you give him more opportunity to bless you for your obedience. It may be some kind of suffering he will teach you, but it is for our sakes a good suffering, and we will benefit from it. I don’t mean the kind of suffering that Jesus endured, but the kind of chaos that we deal with on a day-to-day basis like feeling overwhelmed and having a meltdown or feeling overworked and underpaid and feeling the weight of responsibility taking care of your elderly parents and grandchildren at the same time or grieving over the tragedy of the loss of a loved one. Sometimes we just must keep peace in own family. God loves us for holding on and not giving up.

Have you ever had a painful event in your life that you never, ever wanted to relive? Most of us have. I have to wonder if the Apostle Paul experienced a moment of dread when he neared the city of Lystra while on his second missionary journey. You see, it was at Lystra where Paul had been viciously attacked by an angry mob some months earlier. The people had dragged him to the edge of town, threw him on the ground and began to throw rocks and stones at him until they were certain he was dead. Now that’s traumatic!

Rudkin writes: One day, teaching his closest followers, Jesus said, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness.”

Jimmy Owens wrote this song in 1972. He wanted to create something that could be easily learned and sung by a church congregation. (Now there’s a general attitude among many traditionalists, that modern worship songs are too repetitious, and they lack depth. This song might seem that way at first, but it really is rich and profound in doctrine.)

I believe there is moral and spiritual failure at the root of a negative self-disregard. We are familiar with the need to treat others with respect and an honest appreciation of the good that is in them or the good that is possible in them. Many people are less likely to apply that same ethical standard to themselves. It is a sin to run yourself down.

America is guilty as charged. Guilty of what you ask? We have learned to live with very short attention spans. We pray and if we don’t see instant results, we give up on prayer and sometimes on God.