Year 2 Day 47
Read - Acts 17v10-15
Message - Scott Woodburn
How do you listen to a sermon? Do you make sure that you've enough sweets? Do you keep an eye on your watch throughout? Do you take notes? Are you teachable? Again, how do you listen to a sermon?
Let's be honest we don't always appreciate a sermon. Perhaps it's too long so we tune out. Perhaps we are smarter than the preacher and we can only be taught by the really good online preachers. Perhaps we just think sermons are a little bit old fashioned. Isn't there a better way to do things?
Let me raise the flag for preaching. Why do we preach? Because preaching is the means appointed by God to convert sinners and build His church. Paul writes "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe." (1 Corinthians 1v21) Preaching seems foolish in the eyes of the world but it is the means that God promises to bless. The Word preached and the Spirit's work sees even the hardest hearted sinner saved.
So preaching converts sinners and additionally preaching builds the Christian. Again Paul is clear, he writes "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3v16-17) If you want to grow as a Christian, that growth comes as you sit under the word preached. It may not be glamorous and it certainly takes discipline and work, but Christian growth only comes under the sound of the Word preached.
We don't always enjoy preaching but even in a few brief paragraphs we see that the Lord takes its seriously and therefore so should we. So back to the opening question - how do you listen to a sermon? Paul and Silas arrive in Berea which was a town in northern Greece. As was their custom they went immediately to the synagogue (v10) and began to preach.
The Berean Jews are described as more noble than the troublemakers in Thessalonica. In Berea these individuals received the word with all eagerness and they searched the Scriptures daily to see if Paul's teaching was true (v11). Here is how we are to listen. We understand that the Word preached is a blessing from God to our souls. We may not like the preacher. We might be tired on Sunday morning. We might think we have better things to do, but brothers and sisters, if you have faithful preaching regularly offered...receive it eagerly.
The days are coming when no one will endure sound teaching...don't be one of those people. Prepare yourself to receive the Word. Pray before church that the Lord will help you listen. Pray before the sermon that all distractions would flee. Listen well to what is preached with your Bible open and when you get home continue in the word to see if what has been said is true.
It all sounds like too much hard work but how many hours of Netflix do you rack up each week? How often are you on Facebook? How many photos of your dinner do you put on Instagram? Brothers and sisters we can expect no growth in ourselves or our church until we take seriously the means by which God has promised to bless us. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (Romans 10v17)
Q57 Which is the fourth commandment? The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.