How to Get Strong (During a Sunday Morning Sermon)
1- Open your Bible. This is an act of humility. We don't know it all, we need to hear what God says. We hear a thousand other voices that fog up our thinking. We need the light of God's word to cut through the fog. Psalm 119:105
2- Pray for yourself- Pray God would help you to focus and to see wonderful things in His word. Psalm 119:18
3- Pray for the preacher. They are stepping into the firing line. They are doing some spiritual heavy lifting. They need help. Ephesians 6:17-19
4- Get rid of distractions- browsing eBay, checking social media, planning lunch. Luke 10:38-42.
5- Ask first ”What does this teach me about God?” Then ask, ”what does it teach me about people?” Mark 12:29-31.
6- Prepare to be offended or dislike what you hear. If you don't end up feeling challenged regularly by what you hear, you are in the wrong church. In fact, you might not even be in a church, you might just be in a social club masquerading as a church. Luke 6:26
7- Prepare to be challenged- allow your mind to be renewed. Don't just listen to see if you agree with the speaker. How is God's word demanding that you believe something different? Romans 12:2
8- If you disagree, prayerfully, with humility try to find a context to chat things through with the preacher. Try to understand why they believe what they believe. And ask yourself, why do you believe what you believe? Is it really Scripture that is guiding you? Or is it tradition? Or personal preference? Luke 2:46, Mark 7:8-13
9- Pray some more. We still need God's help. Any change in us, any transformation, is only by His gracious work in us through His Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18
10- Meditate on truth. Don't just listen then forget it all. Come back to it in the week. A key point that was made, a scripture which hit home. Write it down, mull it over. Psalm 1:2
I'll leave you with this vivid little illustration from a 17th English preacher:
"The reason why some men profit so little by the word is, want of meditation. If a man eat his food, and as soon as it is in his stomach vomit it up again, it is no wonder if he get little strength by it, or if he pine and consume away. Truly, if sermons enter in at one ear and out at the other, making no stay with thee, I shall not marvel if they work no change in thee." George Swinnock
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Meeting every Sunday, 10:30am at The Atrium, Fylde Rd, Preston, PR1 2TQ (Access to the Atrium, where we meet, is on the Adelphi Street side, not on Fylde Road)