Get up! We get to go to church! The people of God love to get together and praise our heavenly Father and His Son.
5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him [and His word].” from Psalm 12:6, And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.
Today is about the sermon: Acquiring Knowledge [for Praising God (Instruction from God’s Word). We have discussed Recognition of God’s Character (Adoration), Acknowledgement of Our Character (Confession), and Affirmation of Grace in Christ (Assurance), Expression of Devotion (Thanksgiving), and Desire for Aid in Living for God (Petition and Intercession).
If someone asks you why you believe the Bible, here’s a good answer:
The Bible is God’s revealed word to mankind [truth].
God speaks His word to me in my heart [personal experience].
I have experienced Him through the Bible because I have taken Him at His word,
tested His promises,
and found Him to be Faithful and True [Jesus’ title from Revelation 19:11).
When the pastor speaks to us, we assume that he has spent time in prayer and then in the Bible and has heard from the Spirit a message for us. Concerning my pastor, I can speak of first-hand experience that he does, indeed, spend time in prayer and then in the Bible. He works long and hard on his messages. Sometimes, I even get a preview! I trust him to give us the message that the Spirit has given him.
When we listen, let’s make the most of our opportunity to learn:
- Pray for your pastor before he gets up to preach that he would be bold and filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Know beforehand what the topic is. Our church has notes; read through them early and know what’s coming.
- Listen with an open mind. Allow the Spirit to interpret what you hear.
- Have something on which to take notes. Don’t let those nuggets of wisdom and revelation get away from you. Many people have a problem with having phones in church; I don’t. I use mine for my on-the-go Bible and for note-taking. I just have to be careful to keep myself “in the moment” and not let other things on my phone distract me from the sermon.
- Write down any questions and look them up later. Ask someone for clarification if necessary.
- Talk about the sermon with others at dinner–just be careful not to have “roast pastor” for the main course! We are to “let our conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6); also, we are charged with this command, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29.
- Apply what you have heard as the Spirit confirms the message in your heart. If we don’t apply the lesson, then we will have wasted the opportunity to learn and to grow.
The last element is Living unto God with His Blessing (Charge and Benediction). It is best summed up in 2 Corinthians 13:14, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” The charge is the benediction of the service. A good slogan is, “As you go out those doors, you are entering the mission field.” Both of these charges point our minds and hearts to live with God and for others.
As we go to church this morning, let’s get the most out of our worship today by remembering that God is calling us to assemble, we acknowledge Him as God, we confess that we need Him, we tell Him how much we love Him, we listen to the word of God, we pray to the Father, we sing with glad hearts, we listen to the message that God has for us through our pastor, and then we go out in Jesus’ name and power.
Abba, may You be lifted up and magnified today. Enlarge our knowledge base so that we can grow in wisdom. May we experience You in a whole new way. We love You. Amen.