For it is by grace you have been saved...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reflections on Solitude, Part Two

Okay, confession time. I didn’t spend my two days completely without any kind of electronic/technology device. I brought my mp3 player stocked with a few sermons I had downloaded and hadn’t got around to listening to yet. In fact, that’s another problem with technology in general. There is so much available out there, and so little time to take advantage.

Two of my favorite guys to listen to are Art Azurdia and Voddie Baucham. I download their stuff frequently, but again, time restraints keep me from actually sitting down and listening to them. I was reminded how great a loss that is.

I plan to give some reflection to one or two of the actual messages I listened to from these brothers in a future post, but for right now I just want to say something about listening to sermons in general. And this is it: Listen to Sermons!

I know that all preachers would say that. We have to justify our existence somehow! But in all seriousness, I was reminded just how badly I need to be fed by the preaching of the Word.

For those who sit in the pews week by week, let me just urge you to “not grow weary in doing good.” I can only imagine what it must be like to come in and listen to me week after week. I’ve often talked with my wife about the burden it must be to have to sit there and smile and pretend she doesn’t know what a complete hypocrite I am. But seriously, regardless of how boring or non-boring your preacher is, if he is faithfully preaching the text, you need that feeding (read my previous post about what to do with boring preachers). Put the effort in and let God speak to you through that preacher.

As one who doesn’t get to do that week in and week out, I was reminded just how much I need it. Listening to a handful of sermons in those two days was one of the best parts of the whole thing. God used those messages to inspire, comfort, challenge and a host of other things. It was truly a blessing. And again, it reminded me just how much I need to be fed by the preaching of the Word. Sometimes we preachers get so caught up in the feeding of the sheep that we forget we are part of God’s flock as well, and need to be fed so that we are strong enough to go and feed others.

So if you attend a good Bible teaching church, thank God for that. Put your energy in to listening to those sermons as if you were listening for the very voice of God Himself (which you should be). Allow God to use the preaching of His Word to motivate you, strengthen you, challenge you and spur you on toward love and good deeds.

And for my brother pastors out there: Oh, my friend, find opportunities to listen to others' sermons. The internet is truly a blessing in that regard. We don’t have to skip out on our own church to hear good preaching elsewhere. I would encourage you to find time to hear at least one good sermon a week. Make the time. Don’t just listen to get an outline, or to borrow a quote, or otherwise see it as a “job” thing. Sit and listen as a hungry sheep and let your soul be fed.

So, lesson number two: Listen to sermons. We all need to be fed and nurtured.

My response: I will set aside time each and every week to listen to one good sermon. And I will take more seriously this task God has given me, and make sure that I’m seeking to truly feed the sheep.

Thank God for faithful men who bless His church with the preaching of the Word.

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