Jesus-followers sometimes get STUCK in the area of SERMONS! How? Well, we believe that one of the primary ways that God communicates His truth to His people is through preaching. And sometimes that preaching is poor, or unorganized, or just ho-hum.
What is the believer’s responsibility when it comes to this area of SERMONS? How can we get UN-STUCK in this major aspect of life among other Christians?
We want to think about a text from Acts 17 for our next two posts:
10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
There are a number of steps that a preacher can take to improve his preaching (drop me an email and ask for my short booklet “Ten Specific Steps You Can Take To Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better!”). But we want to focus on the listener. How can those of us who listen to sermons improve? Here are some specific suggestions that might help:
1. Come to church prepared to hear from God! The preacher may not be your favorite, but pray that the Lord will speak through him.
2. Take notes on what you hear! Don’t be afraid to ask him about his message. The very fact that you are jotting things down will encourage him to work harder in preparing his messages!
3. Prepare your heart to “receive the message with great eagerness”! God’s Word is true — and we can be changed and encouraged IF our hearts are right and ready.
4. Examine the Scriptures daily to see if what you are hearing is true to the rest of the Word of God! I’ve sometimes fantasized about pastoring a small church and saying to the congregation: “You all need to become Berean believers who examine what I teach with the rest of the Bible. So once every month I’m going to preach a sermon that has some heresy in it. I won’t tell you which one. You’ll have to figure that out for yourselves!” I could never do that, but you get the point. (to be continued)