This content is part of a series.
How To Listen To A Sermon (4 of 4)
Season of Growth
Introduction: This has been our fourth week reading this same story or parable of Jesus. You might think that I am doing like the old preacher who preached the same sermon on repentance week after week to his congregation. The very same sermon! Some thought that maybe he was getting a bit senile and forgetful. Finally someone asked if he realized he was preaching the same message over and over. "Of course, " he replied. "Well, how long are you going to keep preaching this sermon on repentance," was the obvious query. He didn't miss a beat. "When you start repenting!"
I have not been preaching the same sermon, but a series of four different perspectives on the same story. And I have not been doing it because I don't think you have gotten it yet. Rather I want to emphasize the absolute imperative of our growing in faith not just beginning in faith and then remaining as close to the starting gate as possible.
Today, I conclude the series with "How to Listen to a Sermon." You might think this a rather self-serving topic. Obviously I think this is an important. And I think you should, too. Sermons are a two-way operation. As one speaker told his audience: "I understand that it's my job to talk to you. Your job is to listen. I hope you don't finish before I do!"
I know that the preacher has a responsibility to do his part well. The better I do my part, the easier your part is. I must admit that sometimes sermons have a bad reputation. In fact one of the definitions of the word "sermon" in the dictionary is "a long, tedious talk." That can be true!
It is for this reason that the biblical admonition to preachers is so strong. As Paul tells Timothy, "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching" (1 Tim. 4:13). Or later, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, be ...
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