Speaking and listening are not ends in themselves. They are means to an end. The real goal of communications is understanding. Just because a person feels better because they "spoke their mind" or on the other hand, think they fulfilled their obligation because they "heard him out," does not necessarily mean they have actually understood that person. And if they have not actually understood one another, they have not really communicated—they have only spoken and heard without understanding.
With God, it is different. God not only speaks his mind and hears us out, he communicates with understanding to us.
First, he gives us the Bible. The Bible is a self-disclosure from God to us. Through it, God communicates who he is, how much he loves us, the gifts he gives us, how we can come to know him, and the best way to order our lives. The Bible is a map to the abundant life God wants us to have as his children. But as great as the Bible is, it is not his highest form of communication.
The ultimate form of communication from God is his personal revelation through Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us, "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word" (Hebrews 1:1-3).
God communicates his love to us by becoming one of us, sharing our humanity, our pain, our trials, our sorrows, and taking our sins on himself, forgiving them all, and making a place for us with Jesus at the Father’s side.
Even Jesus’ name communicates God’s love to us: the name "Jesus" means "God is salvation." And another name applied to Jesus, "Immanuel," means "God with us."
Jesus is not only the Son of God, but also the Word of God, who reveals the Father and the Father’s will to us. The Gospel of John tells us, "We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
The will of the Father, Jesus tells us, "is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life" (John 6:40).
God himself has taken the initiative for us to come to know him, and he invites us to communicate with him personally through reading Scripture, through prayer and through fellowship with others who know him.
He already knows you. Isn’t it time for you to get to know him?
This article is derived from Speaking of Life, a weekly video program presented by Joseph Tkach on the Grace Communion International website. You can watch it online, listen online, or download the video, audio, or text. For all these options, go to www.speakingoflife.org