Types of Soil in The Parable of the Seeds
Sometimes we read the Bible or hear a message and think, “Yes! That’s true! I’m going to apply that to my life!” But, then we don’t, there’s no fruit.
Say, if a minister says in his sermon that you should get up 30 minutes early everyday to pray and you think, “I’m going to do that!” And you do…for a week.
It was just an idea thrown at you that sounded good. Instead, let the message on prayer draw you into the Bible to see what it says about prayer: how often Jesus prayed, when and where, how Paul tells us to pray constantly and with thanksgiving and how Jesus told us never to give up.
Remember He used the story of the neighbor who kept knocking on the person’s door, until he got an answer?
Now the truths about prayer are becoming a part of you because you made the effort to understand.
This is when we hear and agree. Our understanding deepens, but we reject it because of our stronger desire for success in the world. This is when we come up with a dozen reasons why God’s way just doesn’t work in the 21st century, or in America, or in my life, or, or…
But, remember what we learned in Habakkuk? That the righteous shall live by faith? That means we obey God whether or not our obedience makes sense from a human point of view. It means our security, our satisfaction and our self-worth come from God, not man.
So how do we get more effective hearing?
First, we need to depend on the Holy Spirit. Every time we open the Bible we should pray first that He opens our hearts and ears and that He’ll help us understand. God’s the one who gives His believers insight to the Bible and we should remember that and ask Him for it.
Second, we need to spend time and energy trying to understand. We’re told to meditate on His Word. Jesus said, “Carefully consider what you hear” and as we read earlier, “By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you and more shall be given you besides. For whoever has, to him shall more be given and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”
So. Here are 5 ways to really listen to the sermon next Sunday:
1. Take the teaching of God’s Word seriously. It’s more important then what’s taught in schools or read in the newspaper or what your best friend tells you.
2. Pay attention. It might help you to take notes or have the Bible open to the passage if the preacher is speaking on a particular one.
3. Realize you won’t catch everything. When we lose focus, it’s tempting to just stop listening and Satan would love for that to happen. Instead, simply start listening again.
4. Pick 1 or 2 thoughts from the sermon to reflect on the following week and then put them into practice.
5. Don’t evaluate the sermon or the speaker, just look for God’s Word in the message.