Listen Up! Seven Ingredients For Healthy Sermon Listening
This week is the last blog post from the book Listen Up by Christopher Ash and the emphasis is on TODAY. Oftentimes, when the Bible is preached, we look at it as an opportunity for non-Christians to repent and trust in Christ. But the Bible doesn’t just call non-Christians to do this. Every day, as believing Christians, we are called to do the same. We’re called to live daily in repentance and faith in Christ. Every time we hear the word of God preached, we must respond today by turning away from sin and towards Christ. One of the biggest mistakes we make is to assume that repentance is a one-time thing. The Bible always calls us to turn to God, as Ash says, “to a changed belief, or a refreshed delight, or a new behavior, or an altered value-system.” But the turning must be done today! When we hear a sermon and don’t respond, it is worse than not hearing it at all and in the words of Jesus in John 15 v.22 “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would be guilty of sin. Now however, they have no excuse for their sin.”
So how do we respond today with urgency? We ask God. We pray that He works in us. We pray that He helps us obey His word. And we pray that He gives us a heart to hear and obey Him!
PRACTICAL STEPS TO TAKE
1. Ask yourself how the preached passage shows you an attitude, or words, or actions that need to change.
2. Then change, urgently, praying for grace to enable you to repent.
3. Ask yourself in what way the passage encourages you to trust in God and Christ afresh. Then resolve, urgently, to put that fresh trust into your life a God helps you!
4. Enjoy preaching, not as entertainment but as God’s regular gracious invitation to walk with Him, rejoicing in a clear conscience.