Doctors warn that a steady onslaught of loud noise, particularly through earbuds, is damaging the hearing of a generation wired for sound, although they may not realize it for years. More than 1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss because of personal audio devices, such as smartphones, and damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues like electronic dance music festivals, where noise levels can top 120 decibels for hours, according to the World Health Organization.
“Probably the largest cause [of hearing damage] is young people using smartphones,” says Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Hearing loss among today’s teens is about 30 percent higher than in the 1980s and 1990s, Cherukuri estimates.
“You (once) had a Walkman with two AA batteries and headphones that went over your ears,” he told NBC News. “At high volume, the sound was so distorted and the battery life was poor. Nowadays, we have smartphones that are extremely complex computers with high-level fidelity.”
The damage happens when sound travels from the earbud deep inside your ear to the cochlea, where some 20,000 hair cells transmit the sound to the brain. But if the sound is too loud, and listened to for too long, it can damage those hair cells, or worse, cause them to die off. Permanent damage can happen in minutes, experts say.
Physical hearing loss is a serious situation, but spiritual hearing loss is devastating. Will anyone in the wired generation be able to hear the voice of God amidst the constant barrage of noise?
With all the noises, and all the voices in the world, we have to discern and determine who and what we are going to listen to. We are a culture that wants to be heard. From youtubers, social media influencers, tik tokers, the news media, politicians, lifestyle bloggers telling us about their lives to preachers who seem to yell a lot. We are constantly trying to get our message across. We live in a loud world. Everyone’s got something to say.
But are we hearing the voice that matters the most? There is one Word above all words.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
1. Jesus is God (1-3)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.
He was there in the beginning with God because He is God. He was responsible for creation. And He holds creation together.
Jesus and God are one and the same. His very nature is God. It’s the Triune God. Both are true, with God, and is God.
I can trust Jesus even when I don’t fully understand Him.
2. Jesus is Life
In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
Who is the world?
It’s all of humanity that is set against God. You look around and see the darkness in the world. The hopelessness and the hostility toward God. It’s amazing how people cannot understand the truth of God’s word.
The other day, a Twitter user was banned from Twitter for quoting Romans 6:33, For the wages of sin is death, implying that he wanted sinners to die. They didn’t understand this basic Bible truth that sin kills. More and more, our culture is not only biblically illiterate, but biblically opposed.
We aren’t all God’s children. We are all created by God, but children are only the ones who trust Jesus to have a relationship with the Father.
Recognize you’re a child of God.
3. Jesus is Here.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him and exclaimed, “This was the one of whom I said, ‘The one coming after me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’”)
The truth of the incarnation! He tabernacled among us. He pitched His tent here with us. In Old Testament, God’s presence was tangible in the tabernacle. In the New Testament, He was present through Jesus.
Now, He is present though His Holy Spirit in our lives.
An atheist and a Christian were engaged in an intense public debate. On the blackboard behind the podium the atheist printed in large capital letters, “GOD IS NOWHERE.” When the Christian rose to offer his rebuttal, he rubbed out the W at the beginning of where and added that letter to the preceding word no. Then the statement read, “GOD IS NOW HERE.”
Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. 2 Corinthians 5:1
God’s presence is with us through Jesus.
God became flesh and lived among us.
16 Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, 17 for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.
Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. He is God in the flesh; the one to establish God’s reign and rule; the one to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, bring freedom to the prisoners and proclaim Good News to the poor; the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.
Jesus was predicted through the Prophets and prepared for through John the Baptist.
Jesus is not a reflection of the current mood or the projection of our own desires. He is our Lord and God. He is the Father’s Son, Savior of the world, and substitute for our sins—more loving, more holy, and more wonderfully terrifying than we ever thought possible.