This week of revival has been really fun, getting to sit with my flock and hear the preaching of the Word with them. But it did get me thinking about how exactly we are to hear a sermon. I fear that too often we come and let the words pass over our ears and then rush off to lunch and forget what we have heard. So what I have here are some ways that we can become better hearers of the Word preached. And I encourage you to leave a comment, this list is not exhaustive and I am certain there are important things that I have overlooked or are simply ignorant of, so let’s help each other to hear the Word well.
Be Rested – Be intentional about Saturday night, if you stay up late then you will be tempted to sleep in and when you do come, then you will probably be drowsy and the words spoken will likely not sink beneath your eardrums.
Be Prayerful – pray for your pastor that he would preach the word faithfully and do it with joy. Pray for your own heart that you would be made more Christ-like through your reception of the message. Pray for those around you hearing the message pray that God would grow them and if they are lost that they would come to a saving knowledge of the Gospel.
Come ready to believe – come with a willingness to believe what is preached. If you come to evaluate the preacher or come with your guard up with reasons prepared to disbelieve the Word preached, then you will probably never benefit from the sermons you hear.
Be a Berean – the Berean’s were said to be noble because they received the Word with eagerness and examined the scriptures to see if the things spoken were true. If you hear something that challenges you or that doesn’t sound quite right, go to the scriptures and see if the things spoken were true.
Be ready to obey – the scriptures call for action. We should come with an attitude prepared to hear from God and to respond in ways that will glorify Him. We are called to be a people in the world and not of the world and this will show clearly in how we live, so lets come ready to hear how we can become increasingly untainted by the fallen world.
Come Ready to Behold God – the Bible is God’s self-revelation; He is showing us His nature and His actions. So every sermon should have something to say about who God is and the beauty of what He has graciously done for us in Christ. So come to behold God in Christ and be ready to be changed by what we behold.
Come with Expectation – God does remarkable things when His word is preached, so arrive expecting God’s presence and power to be present, and be ready to see God in action.