How fruitful is that time for you? If it feels mundane and ritualistic, it may be that you're not listening the right way. You may be thinking, That's a ridiculous; you just sit there, stay awake, and let the sermon come at you! However, listening to a sermon is not a passive activity.
In Luke 8, Jesus concludes His parable of the sower by warning, "Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have" (v. 18). That means there is a way of listening that is profitable, and results in our being given more truth and understanding, and another way that is unprofitable, and results our losing "even that which [we] seemeth to have."
Over the next several weeks here on the blog, we'll explore how to listen to sermons more profitably. In the meantime, ask yourself the following questions before this Sunday:
- Did I spend any time in prayer for the preacher or myself prior to listening to the sermon?
- Did I have the opportunity to read the sermon text in advance?
- What was I doing immediately before listening to the sermon?
- Did I follow along in my Bible?
- Did I take notes?
- Did I determine to take some intentional step in my life as a result of having heard the sermon?
- What was the first thing I did or said immediately after the sermon was over?
- Did I share what I heard with anyone afterwards?
*This material is based loosely on Listen Up! A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons by Christopher Ash.