Our church members say that our church is reputed to be a place in Houston where people change. We thank God for that. The agent God uses to change people’s lives is the Word of God. That’s why Sunday sermons are so important.
One of the reasons that some people don’t change is that they don’t know how to listen to sermons effectively. They hear sermons passively, vaguely expecting that the preacher will somehow move them and change them. Sometimes things do happen even to the most passive listeners, leading to life change, but that’s rare. If we want to have our lives changed through sermons we must listen actively and aggressively.
To experience this every week, we must expect God to speak to us through a preacher every Sunday. In Old Testament times, God spoke through prophets. Now, God speaks through preachers. A preacher is a speaker for God. Some speakers are good and others not as good. But we must always acknowledge that what comes out of preacher’s mouth is the Word of God. When we confuse a preacher’s personality and character with his message, we may not be helped by his sermons. When we listen to a sermon, we must do it actively. For each point, we must keep asking God, “Is this a lesson you intended for me?” We must do it until the sermon is over.
For those that have not found a relevant lesson to the end, we have 2 minutes of quiet time immediately after a sermon. We silently commune with God, reflecting on what we have just heard. We should take advantage of this time to find God’s message meant for us. As we go over the sermon outline and reflect on each point, we must ask ourselves “If I had to choose one lesson from today’s sermon, what should that be?” If we still don’t hear God’s voice, then we can choose a lesson on our own and apply it to our lives. If we make a habit of doing this, our lives cannot help but change.
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