“Understanding Spiritual Things”

March 11, 2016

Philadelphia Flower Show
Philadelphia Flower Show
It appears these flower arrangements are in window frames. We enjoy looking for repurposing ideas.

“Understanding Spiritual Things”

Message Summary: Most of us are abundantly exposed to spiritual truths. However Paul makes the following assertion following his citing of the verse: “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them” (Acts 28:27).

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“Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving” (Isaiah 6:9).

Tower of BabelEver since the Tower of Babel mankind has dealt with a language communication problem. In the course of our chaplain service we encounter people from a wide variety of language backgrounds. Some have learned enough English that we can get by but with others we have a very limited ability to communicate. But we smile and sometimes use hand motions to speak a brief message to them hopefully bringing a bright spot to their day. For many years we have visited with a group of middle-aged to older Vietnamese ladies who can scarcely understand any English. But now several of them get excited seeing us and although we are unable to communicate well we seek to be a cheerful face in their day of hard work. It’s our desire to let the Lord’s love shine through us even if our words are very few.

Even within our own language, depending on where you live, folks in other parts of the country may “talk funny”. Shortly after we moved to Massachusetts back in the early nineties where I pastored a church Jean stood up at the conclusion of an evening church service and asked, “Does anyone want to go to the potty with me?” Now I’ve heard of women in a small group ask if anyone wanted to go to the restroom with them though I’ve never heard a man ask that!

But I sure thought it strange that she would ask such a personal question publicly in a church setting. Well, you probably have guessed by now, the “r’s” sort of disappear in the New England states and she was actually speaking of “going to a birthday party”.

In the “The Grapes of Wrath” John Steinbeck expresses the same thought through the character of Ivy who said, “Everybody says words different: ‘Arkansas folks says ’em different, and Oklahomy folks says ’em different. And we seen a lady from Massachusetts, an’ she said ’em different of all. Couldn’t hardly make out what she was sayin!” Interestingly, Brooksyne has connections with all three of those states and agrees that their accent certainly sets their English apart from many other states.

Well, we eventually came to understand the local folks in New England a lot better the longer we lived up that way. After living there over seven years even Ester would say, “Let’s get in the caw” or “Let’s go to the pawk.”

Far more important than the challenges of understanding other people’s languages or working through their particular accent, is coming to understand spiritual concepts. The daily verse was a part of Isaiah’s call and is twice repeated by Jesus and once by the apostle Paul. “Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving” (Isaiah 6:9). It describes a spiritual condition common to the human race.

Most of us are abundantly exposed to spiritual truths. However Paul makes the following assertion after citing the verse: “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them” (Acts 28:27).

Does this not describe our world today? What about you? Have you understood with your heart, turned and received His spiritual healing? I sure hope so!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help our ears to be alert, our eyes to be open, and our hearts to be perceptive as we follow in Your ways. May we be eager to hear Your teaching and apply it to our lives so that we may be found blameless before You and experience the joy You give to those who follow Your commands. When Your meaning is clear help us to seek no other meaning to satisfy our own desires or to change the clear meaning of Your message. Align our desires with Your own, that we might find genuine peace and wholehearted obedience as You bring spiritual healing to our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.


This morning we are taking the train into Philadelphia. We plan to walk through the center city area (as Philadelphia calls their downtown) and have a meal at the Reading Terminal Market and then visit the Philadelphia Flower Show. Our neighbors on Kraybill Church Road operate the “Cramer’s Posie Patch”, a large commercial flower farm and we have received two gratis tickets to attend the show. If we are not to weary we will walk back to the train station past the Philadelphia Museum of Art and then up Schuylkill River for a view of Boathouse Row. It looks like it will be a beautiful day!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Open My Eyes That I May See”  Video  


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