In this series of devotionals we’re talking about how to get the most out of a sermon.
Since sermons are a major part of Sunday worship, and since you attend as often as you can, they are going to be a significant part of your discipleship.
Here’s one more tip: Follow through on the applications.
A sermon is the explanation and application of a biblical passage. That’s a very basic definition. I like it because it reminds us that biblical teachings need to be applied to our own lives.
Joel Beeke tells a story about a man who came home from a worship service. His wife had stayed home due to illness. The preacher’s sermon was shorter than usual so he came in the back door sooner than expected.
“Donald, is that you already? Is the sermon done already?”
“Oh, it’s me, dear, but the sermon is not done. It has been spoken but it has yet to be done.”*
His point was that a sermon is not done until it has been acted upon by the people who heard it. And that includes you.
The pastor in your church most likely includes applications toward the end of their message. These are things to do or think about. When you follow up on them and do the suggestions you are putting certain insights into practice and reinforcing the words with your actions.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17). A tree is a metaphor for a person. If we are good (i.e. faithful), we will bear good fruit in our lives, meaning that we will show actual evidence of our faithfulness.
Hearing without doing is to not hear at all.
Follow through on the applications.
Pray. Hear. Respond.
–“How to get the most out of a sermon.” You can listen or access the shortened text version here. You can also listen on ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan.’
–*Podcast: “The Pastor and His Life in the Word of God” by Joel Beeke at the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. Posted on January 14, 2022 here.
–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on March 27, 2023.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.