Saturday, March 5, 2016

How to Listen to the Word

What attitude should we bring into to worship as we prepare to listen to God's Word preached? Pastor Danny Hyde gives us five attitudes we should bring to the preaching of God's Word. Everything below is a quote from his book From the Pen of Pastor Paul

Expectantly-Lord, I expect you to speak. 
This means we assemble not merely out of ritual or merely out of routine. God is no dead idol, but the living God...Therefore he still speaks. Because of this we must come before him in worship expectantly, clinging to his every Word as heard from the mouth of the minister...This also means that we need to prepare ourselves to hear him speak his Word through his minister.

Hungrily-Lord, I need you to speak. 
We have a hunger not just that God will speak in general, or that he will speak to someone else, but that he would speak to me...Why do I need God to speak to me through the words of a man, which are in reality the Word of God? It is because the Word of God, not merely written but as it is explained, exposited, and expounded is the food for our souls...The Word satisfies the longing soul of the hungry. Like our forefathers in the wilderness had to learn, "man does not live by bread alone," but most importantly, "but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 8:30). What kind of appetite do you bring to worship?

Attentively-Lord, I will listen to you speak.
Sermons seem to be a monologue. In reality, they are to be a dialogue. While the minister is preaching there is communication from God to us and from us to God in our hearts. We are to hear and affirm, hear and be challenged, and hear and grow. This means that every moment of every sermon we must be saying to ourselves in an attentive way, "These are not the words of my pastor, these are the words of God. These are not the words of men, but as they are in truth the Word of God." Since we recognize that God is in our midst speaking, we should be attentive. We should have our eyes open, looking up upon the minister but our ears perked up listening to the Lord.

Faithfully-Lord, I believe you when you speak. 
To hear the Word "faith-fully" is to hear it with a full faith, with a whole-hearted trust, with a giving of ourselves and laying ourselves before God...Because preaching is itself an act of faith and hearing it is also an act of faith, the devil is going to attack...We need to listen to what God says and focus our hearts on that, even though it comes through sinful and fallible men.

Obediently-Lord, I will obey you when you speak. 
John Calvin once described preaching like this, "The preaching of the Gospel has life when men are not merely told what is right, but are pricked by exhortation and summoned to the judgment seat of God, so that they may not sleep in their errors." The Word of God that pastors preach and that the people receive can never be fruitless; it must always abound in fruitfulness...Receive his Word, with the well-prepared soil of your heart that the seed of the Word that is planted may be watered by the Spirit that you may be fruitful. Hear his Word in an obedient way and follow through on what God says in it.

1 comment:

Shane Anderson said...

Beautiful and true! That's really how it works.

Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8