It is not enough that we go to Church and hear sermons. We may do so for fifty years, and be nothing better, but rather worse. “Take heed,” says our Lord, “how you hear.”
Would any one know how to hear properly? Then let them lay to heart three simple rules.
We must hear with FAITH, believing implicitly that every word of God is true, and shall stand. The word in old time did not profit the Jews, since it was “not mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Heb. 4:2).
We must hear with REVERENCE, remembering constantly that the Bible is the book of God. This was the habit of the Thessalonians. They received Paul’s message, “not as the word of men, but the word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13).
We must bear with PRAYER, praying for God’s blessing before the sermon is preached, praying for God’s blessing again when the sermon is over. Here lies the grand defect of the hearing of many. They ask no blessing, and so they have none. The sermon passes through their minds like water through a leaky vessel, and leaves nothing behind.
Summary: Let us bear these rules in mind every Sunday morning, before we go to hear the Word of God preached. Let us not rush into God’s presence careless, reckless, and unprepared, as if it mattered not in what way such work was done. Let us carry with us faith, reverence, and prayer. If these three are our companions, we will hear with profit, and return with praise. [emphasis mine]
Faith, reverence, and prayer...
It can be so easy for Sunday mornings to come and Sunday mornings to go, for the Lord's day to be just like any other day -- just one more place to be, church attendance being just one more obligation on the to-do list. Mr. Ryle does put it so well:
Let us not rush into God's presence careless, reckless, and unprepared, as if it mattered not in what way such work was done!Oh, how I needed this reminder this morning! Wishing you all a blessed Lord's Day,
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