Getting the Most from the Sermon

The Process:

The process I suggest is rather simple and born out of an examination of the biblical topic and from the Westminster Larger Catechism Q.160 which states:

Q. 160. What is required of those that hear the word preached? A. It is required of those that hear the word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer; examine what they hear by the Scriptures; receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the Word of God; meditate, and confer of it; hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.

To help church members guard their way and avoid sinning against God, and focus their attention on the things of God, I have written a short process that, if used faithfully, will aid in growth, maturity in the faith, and a closer resemblance to the Savior. In short, it will bear fruit. God has promised to bless all those who diligently labor in His Word. Psalm 119:1-2

There are three categories in my system: preaching, response, and preparation. Each week we hear the Word of God preached, and, per the instructions of the answer to WLC 160, we are to prepare for it and respond to it. Therefore, our week can be structured as follows:

PREACHING (sowing the seed into your heart) 2 Timothy 4:1-2; Neh. 8:8, 9; Rom. 10:14-17:

LORD'S DAY (Sunday): AM and PM sermon preached. If you take notes, great. If not, it doesn't matter. Note-taking during sermons are not required, but I typically encourage it. That is a decision you will need to make. Don’t try to remember everything you hear, but try to remember one or two items and applications from the sermon.

RESPONSE (tending the soil of your heart) Mark 4:13-20; Acts 17:11; Luke 9:44; Heb. 2:1:

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: Read the passage preached on the Lord's Day. Review your notes. Look up noteworthy cross-references. Consider one or two applications from the sermon as it applies to your life. Keep a journal of thoughts and other items. Endeavor to memorize one or two verses that were used in the sermon. Pray for the Spirit to use the preached Word to bring forth fruit in your life.

PREPARATION (preparing the soil of your heart) 1 Peter 2:1, 2; Luke 8:18:

THURSDAY-SATURDAY: Read the next passage that will be preached on the Lord's Day. Begin to ask questions of the text, pray over, and through the passage. Jot down observations and highlight issues that you hope to see resolved in the sermon. Pray for the preaching of the Word of God and your pastor as he studies. Pray for the Spirit to open your mind, eyes, and heart as you prepare for the Word of God preached.

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