What would motivate you to listen to a Bible based sermon?
"Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the good things he has done for you and for your ancestors" 1 Samuel 12:7 Living Bible.
In June 2013, CNN and other news outlets reported about a little boy named Grayson Clamp. This 3-year-old child experienced something that most of us take for granted. Grayson was born without the auditory nerves that carry sound to the brain. Many attempts were made to restore his hearing. A cochlear implant was unsuccessful. Doctors at the University of North Carolina decided to try an experimental procedure. They implanted an auditory nerve into Grayson’s brain. To everyone’s delight this procedure proved to be successful. Millions of people watched the joy of that little boy’s face when he heard his father’s voice for the first time.
Do you have Grayson’s joy every time you hear your Pastor preach a Bible-based sermon? This is when you are HEARING YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S VOICE. In the above Scripture focus, Samuel, one of the greatest preachers of all times, confronted people to quietly attend a worship gathering so he could remind them of all the good things God had done for them and their families. In his sermon, as you continue to read, you will note that he provided evidence regarding God’s greatness and goodness. He told them why only God was deserving of their worship and obedience. They already knew this but they needed to hear it from another source.
Hearing a sermon for 25 minutes every week at church is not a top priority for most people. They are not lining up at the church doors the way they line up for a Black Friday sale. However, that being said, the Bible declares the importance of listening to a preacher. “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” [1 Corinthians 1:21] How important it is to be regularly reminded about who God is and what He does. Of course, someone may say that they can read the Bible for themselves. How true and how necessary! However, there is a great benefit in being told something you know. You may know you are loved but it is far better for you to be regularly told that by the person who loves you.
Are you hearing God’s voice when you hear someone preach? God is speaking to you when you hear a sermon that explains a Bible verse or passage. The Bible says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” [2 Timothy 3:16,17] Preaching what the Bible says is far different and far more beneficial than hearing some person give his personal thoughts and opinion about life. Read Matthew 4:4, Mark 13:31, and Hebrews 4:12 for further verification. Every time you attend church you have the privilege of allowing your Creator and Redeemer to make Himself more real to you. God says you need that often. Are you regularly going to church to be reminded about God? Samuel emphasized this.
Listening to Bible-based preaching is essential to your well-being for 3 reasons.
- Preaching is a primary way God gives the gospel. See 1 Corinthians 1:21.
- You receive faith when you hear sound preaching. Read Romans 10:17.
- Jesus emphasized the importance of listening when He was preaching. Read Matthew 11:15, 13:9, and 13:43.
Are you intentionally listening to God? Do you regularly go to church? Do you pay attention to the preacher? Are you a good listener or a poor listener?” Acting like you are listening is not hearing from God. A husband and wife were attending a party where some friends brought up the subject of marriage and counseling. The husband explained, “We’ll never need that. My wife and I have a great relationship. She got a communications major in college, and I majored in theater arts. She communicates well and I act like I’m listening.” Attending church and snoozing does not count. A Sunday school teacher asked 5-year-old little Susie, “Why is it important for people to be quiet when they are listening to the sermon? Susie replied, “because the old people are sleeping.” Being presumptuous as to what the preacher is going to say or thinking you have already heard what the pastor is saying is not sincere listening.
Will you prioritize the time to hear God’s voice speaking to you this Sunday in church? Become like Samuel and pray, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” [1 Samuel 3:9] The Bible exhorts in James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” The Berean Christians exemplified excellent listening skills. Acts 17:11 states, “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.” Every Sunday you should have the shining face of that little Grayson because you heard your Heavenly Father’s voice through your Pastor’s sermon.
SOMETHING TO DO
Consider this well-known poem:
A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he heard, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?
Why do you sometimes not wholeheartedly listen to a Bible based sermon?
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Heavenly Father, Almighty God, when I attend church this weekend, give to me a heart that is open to You and ears that will intently listen to you. May I have great joy when hearing your voice? AMEN!