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VERSE: Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts. HEBREWS 3:7-8, 15; 4:7

If you’re a Christian, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “hard-hearted.” It may have been in the context of Hebrews, or maybe you heard it in a sermon. But what is it? And why are we talking about it now?

Well, let me tell you.

The people of Israel had hardened their hearts in the wilderness, complaining against God and rebelling against His ways. They had heard His voice, but they didn’t believe it or cling to it for long. This hard-heartedness became a theme for prophetic voices and psalmists centuries later, and the writer of Hebrews brings it up again. God’s people were once again tempted to reject what He was saying because His ways seemed too difficult. They were contending against the direction God was leading.

What does it mean to listen with a soft heart?

It means that when God speaks to us, we listen. We don't just hear the words and move on with our lives. We don't just nod and agree because we think it's the right thing to do. Instead, we take his words into our hearts and allow them to shape us into who he created us to be.

It means that when God says something is wrong or shouldn't be done, we stop doing it—not because we're afraid of what will happen if we don't, but because we trust his goodness implicitly and want to please him.

A soft heart is not afraid of what God might say next because it knows that whatever He tells us is for our good—even if it doesn't feel like it at first—and His Word always brings life (John 6:63).

I would like to talk to you today about a generation of hard-heartedness. It is a generation that I fear exists in many of us, and it is a generation that I hope will not exist in you.

The Bible tells us that it is always the right time to respond to God, just as surely as a soft heart is always the right response. When He speaks —and as we’ve seen, He certainly does when we persevere in listening —there is no reason to delay our acceptance of what He has said. He may give us future direction, but He wants present faith —an immediate embrace of His voice. When you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Soften it and respond to what He says. Today.


Lord, today is always the day to hear. My ears are always open. Every day, I’m listening, hungering for the sound of Your voice and attentive to Your words. My heart is Yours. And my ears are ready for anything You want to say.

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