Cheryl Emborg – Hearing and Hearkening – Brisbane Convention, Queensland, Australia – 2017

Genesis 49:2-28, “Gather yourselves together and here, ye are sons of Jacob and the Harken unto Israel your Father. All these are the 12 tribes of Israel and this is it that their father spake unto them and bless them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.” I have enjoyed thinking of God gathering us together and our purpose is to hear and to harken and we need to hear in such a way that we would respond to whatever God would speak. Jacob had such good advice at that time and he was speaking to his sons and wanting to add a blessing to their lives. And that is what God wants to do to us today to bless us and add a blessing. And Jacob spoke to his sons and to some he spoke one verse and to some a little longer and for some it was only one sentence. For all, it was an individual message and to all, the message was very clear. And God knows every one of us here and He knows our individual needs and He knows what message is needed for each one of us and it will be very clear.


There was a lady in the field where we were and she was elderly and lived in her beautiful big home. And her daughter went to see her and she lived a long way from her mother and tried to encourage her to downsize. It was hard for her children to help as they were also far away. And her mother’s answer to downsize was no and her daughter went away not so happy. And a little later, Convention came and we went back to that field after Convention and she told us the story. She said she went to convention and only heard one word the whole convention and that word was submit and she said, “That word was especially for me.” And maybe the message for us today is just one word.


I was thinking about what Mary said in John 2:5, “His mother saith unto the servants, ‘Whatever He saith unto you, do it.’” They were very good words from Mary and she had made them her own. Mary had received the best blessing that anyone could receive and that was the Christ, she received the living Christ and it blessed her life. She knew it was the best advice anyone could be given. And that day Jesus was speaking to the disciples and they were sweet words and He spoke to them after He had done the miracles.


Jesus’ sweet words are like seeds and we heard about the sower and the seed. There is a time when the farmer is preparing the ground and sowing the seed and it is a cost to him and it would seem like it is all cost and yet when the harvest comes it is all gain and it was worth it all. And sometimes the sweet words of Jesus’ may seem very costly, but the sweetness is in the blessing that is added to our lives. There are always blessings that are in the sweet words of Jesus when they come to our lives. And we know Jesus’ words were true right from the beginning of time. And in this world, we often read and what we hear is that true, is it really true and is it really possible, but the sweet words of Jesus are always true and we can trust them and they are eternal.


Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” These words of Jesus we want them deep in our heart and we want to harken unto them. When they are eternal words, fruit is produced and the sweet words of Jesus are very effective.


I liked reading in John 5 about the man who had an infirmity for 38 years and Jesus spoke seven words to him. The seven words Jesus spoke to him was, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” And the message was very personal, and the message was just for him and the message was very true. I remember when I was a young girl once and I really didn’t have the right attitude and I wasn’t doing very well at all and a verse came to my mind. Colossians 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.” That verse was a great help to me that day. The sweet words of Jesus can change our thinking and it can change our feelings, it can change our attitude, it can change our spirit, it can change our direction and it can change so much and that is what that verse did for me. We are glad for the sweet words of Jesus that come and may be a word or two or a little verse and it has come from heaven and has been very effective.


I love the beautiful story of Naaman and the resistance that there was and the great resistance from the message at first. And I love the change that happened when he hearkened and the great blessing he got and his skin became as a little child and so clean and fresh. Just to think that the words of Jesus can have such an effect on one’s life. The sweet words of Jesus can also make us whole.


And Jesus spoke in John 15:20, “Remember the word that I say unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his Lord.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” It encouraged the disciples when they remembered those words and when they remembered these words after the cross and then they started to believe the Scriptures, and they believed what was written. And from that day, they grew more and more. And when Peter remembered the words of Jesus he wept bitterly, he not only wept but he grew. It may have been very hard for him to believe what Jesus said when Jesus said, “You will strengthen your brethren,” and Peter could have wondered how that could be. Peter did believe that and he grew and he became a very useful vessel.


I love what Jesus said in John 17:8, “For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me and they have received them.” He was saying, “I have given them My Father’s words.” They received them and they kept them and they believed them and that was a great work for them. Hearing the words and hearkening, receiving them and believing them and going on. God has not called us to do great things, but little things with great love and with obedience. We just want to hear today what God has to say to us even though it may be just one word and if God would speak to us and it could inspire us to go on. Amen