Friday, February 17, 2012

Hearing the Word Preached

Here are 10 instructions for hearing God's Word preached on Sunday from Thomas Watson (found on pages 129-130 of Sola Scriptura).

1. When you come to God's house to hear His Word, do not forget to prepare your soul with prayer.
2. Come with a holy appetite for the Word (1 Peter 2:2). A good appetite promotes good digestion.
3. Come with a tender, teachable heart, asking "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" It is foolish to expect a blessing if you come with a hardened, worldly-minded heart.
4. Be attentive to the Word preached. Regard the sermon as it truly is--a matter of life and death (Deut. 32:47).
5. "Receive with meekness the engrafted word" (James 1:21). Meekness involves a submissive frame of heart, a willingness to hear the counsels and reproofs of the Word.
6. Mingle the preached Word with faith (Heb. 4:2). Put on Christ as He is preached (Rom. 13:14); apply the promises as they are spoken.
7. Strive to retain and pray over what you have heard. Don't let the sermon run through your mind like water through a strainer.
8. Practice what you have heard. "Live out" the sermons you hear. Be doers and not merely hearers (James 1:22).
9. Beg God to accompany His Word with the effectual blessings of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44). Without the Spirit, the medicine of the Word may be swallowed, but it will not result in healing.
10. Familiarize yourself with what you have heard. When you come home, speak to your loved ones about the sermon in an edifying manner. Remember each sermon as if it will be the last you ever hear, for that may be the case.

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