Hearing and Doing (continuing "Labor Day" thoughts)
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matt. 7:24-27)
Hearing (that is to give audience to, to understand) and doing (i.e. to apply) are both important elements in building a meaningful relationship with God. The 'sayings' of Jesus Christ are the objects that we need to hear. By application we need to take great heed to the Bible, God's Holy Word. When the pastor preaches the Word (as he is instructed to do) - - it is certainly an appointment that can and should nourish our spirits. We read in the books that some rabbis (as usual), in the day and age of Christ, put so much emphasis on 'hearing' so much so that there was a debate going on whether hearing was more important than doing, or vice versa. Thankfully Jesus clarifies exactly for us that both hearing and doing are of equal importance. Preaching the Word, in my mind, accomplishes a lot. In fact, so many squabbles could be taken care of if people would just simply listen to Bible preaching. I don't know about you, but my pastor 'labors in the Word,' and I owe it to him and primarily to the Lord, to labor to listen or to hear God's Word.
The other side of the coin is simply doing or applying God's Word. This reminds me of that verse in James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, decieving your own selves." Of course so much can be said about this point - however, I'll just mention this simple thought: If you don't apply God's Word, no one benefits from it. This includes you, your 'neighbor' or the Lord.