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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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How to Get Something Out of the Sermon

How much do you get out of the preaching you hear each week? The word "sermon" is derived from a Latin word which means "a stab or a thrust." It is also a relationship between the preacher and the listener. The preacher must spend considerable time in sermon preparation, in prayer and in conditioning his own heart to deliver God's word. Nevertheless, if the sermon is to be helpful and effective, it requires some input on the part of the listener. Some things are necessary for the listener to do if he is to benefit from a sermon.

*Pray. Spend some time praying for the preacher and ask God to give you an open mind to receive the truths that are presented.

*Have Your Bible in Hand. Using your Bible will help you keep your mind on what is being said. It will also be helpful to make notes in the margin as you listen. You will be doing the same noble work as the Breans (Acts 17:11).

*Stay Awake and Alert. A failure to do so will cause loss to you as the hearer and may result in a misunderstanding of the message and the messenger.

* Listen Attentively. Samuel Johnson said, "The true art of memory is the art of attention." It truly requires a lot of hard work to develop the art of listening.

* Judge the Content. Don't waste your time criticizing the preacher's mistakes in grammar, inflection, voice quality and style, Concentrate. on what he is saying.

* Discuss the Sermon With Others. Discuss the sermon with members of your family or with friends, not critically but with a desire to profit from the discussion. Determine that you will put the things learned from each lesson into practice in your own life.

Bill Blackstone

'...take heed therefore how ye hear...' - Luke 8:18