How to Keep Hearing the Word
"Can you hear me now?" That is the question we should imagining coming from God every day following Sunday. I've been considering often how easy it is to hear a message, even a very convicting, powerful one, and go away and forget it within two or three days. This is something that comes with years of practice! I was taken to church every week as a child, and have went every week as an adult, and thus, I have sat through well over 3000 sermons. It is almost impossible to avoid developing a resistance to all this sermon hearing and become inoculated from God's truth and revelation. This is what James warns us of:
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." - James 1:22-25
So how can we avoid this danger and what can we do to work against it? I have come up with this list of suggested strategies.
- Intentionally meditate on the message the next day.
- Write down the sermon title, text, and a one or two sentence summary in your planner. It is likely that a small note such as this will bring much of the message back to you and will aid you in meditating on the message.
- Write down the points made that “hit home” that convicted you and why.
- Write down the main Scripture text and the other supporting passages used.
- Use the notes and thoughts you’ve written down as basis for meditation and prayer.
- Pray through the Scriptures from the message.
- Memorize the most impacting Scripture from the message.
- Write down 2-3 things you will do, that you know you must do, in response to the message.
- Write down any questions that occurred to you in light of the message and seek the answers out in Scripture.
- Keep a simple log of the sermons you hear through the year.
- Get a copy (CD / DVD) of the most impacting messages and listen to them repeatedly.
These are just a few thoughts. Are you a good sermon listener and doer? Whatever you do I hope you become a better one. If you have any thoughts or ideas please post them in the comments.