My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

18 February 2008

Watch How You Hear

Yesterday I preached on the parbable of the sower and the seeds from Luke 8. The only command in the passage is Jesus' admonition to "take care how you hear" or, more literally, "watch how you hear." My exhortation to the congregation was the same: take a look at how you hear sermons. Do some evaluation.

Toward that end, I'd like to offer some evaluation questions to use as a mirror. I really don't think faithfully hearing sermons means being able to answer all of these questions, but they should give a good idea of how we're doing. These questions are designed to lead to living Scripture; this is on purpose, because Jesus wants us to be those who hear God's Word and do it. (Luke 8:21)
  • What passage was the sermon from?
  • What was the story or main thought of the passage?
  • What was the main point of the sermon?
  • What subpoints, illustrations, exhortations struck me most?
  • What applications did the preacher draw from the text?
  • Is there any reason to think this application is a bad idea or somehow unbiblical?
  • If not, what is my plan for implementing this application? How will I know when I've done it or at least in process of doing it?
  • How can our church family live out this application together?
  • What other applications should I draw from the sermon? What is my plan?
  • How should this part of Scripture change the way I pray?
  • How can I use the sermon and its applications in discipling my children this week?
  • How will living out what I've heard change how I treat my wife, husband, children, friends, parents, etc.?
These questions would be a nice outline for discussion over Sunday dinner or a good way to spend some of your private and family worship through the week.

Would you add any questions to this list?


Apples of Gold said...

I don't have any questions to add to your list, but I have a few thoughts that I posted on my blog about your sermon, with all due respect, of course. You can find them here:

Stephen Roberts said...

Hey Jared,
On the links at the top right of your blog, you have two links to the same Slate article about Joel Osteen: "How is it that unbelievers..." (#2) and "Slate takes on Joel Osteen" (#10).

Jared said...

Thanks Stephen. Problem fixed.

Anonymous said...

I too am deeply concerned about the sermon ( some say message) last Sunday. While I can understand your point on the supremacy of God’s special revelation as delivered by an ordained and paid clergyman on a Sunday from behind the pulpit, I have to say, at this point, I reject it as being way too counter- reformation for what has been assumed settled for eons. In fact the only other time I recall hearing this pitch was when James preached at your installation. While he disturbed both myself and others, I felt that since I had not placed myself under his authority I’d let his church hash it out with him if this kind teaching persists. After all, you both stopped short of having me kiss a ring and there was no mention of having us turn in our Bibles in an attempt to short circuit personal wild and outlandish scripture interpretation. As you know, few believe ( this side of Rome) that anyone, less the “Holy Father”, has this type of ultimate authority in the spoken word; in front of or behind the pulpit.
Now I am in a quandary, a real catch 22. You think that the pastor’s preached word is authoritative (God sent) contrasted to a congregant’s personal, and even, small group study. I think that your words are too extreme to swallow blindly. You are a clergyman, I a congregant. Now I don’t need to point out that I have boxed myself into the position of being in error or possibly rebellion. By your definition if I disagree with your preaching I too disagree with God. Oh these traps!
Thankfully, I am in contact with and have good standing with a number of other paid clergy who might have this same “God given scripture inspiration gift” and have directed them to your sermon available online. I’m looking forward to hearing their opinion on this. I do believe that Christ has one opinion on this subject and if enough folks get their heads together on it we might discover what it is.
As for me I will be reading scripture and get full Bible references to research. Others ( maybe you?) will feel better reviewing old sermon tapes. Nontheless we’ll all learn something and one or both of us will need to repent. All glory to God.

Jarod preached :
“ Although you do when you read it, and when you have it in family worship, first and foremost it is when you hear it from the pulpit, when it is proclaimed from the pulpit. I want to tell you that your primary responsibility to the Word of God is to the sermon, when it is preached by your Pastor.”

Jon asks;
“ where is it written?”

Jarod Preached;
“ I fear that this is turned on its head in the American evangelical world when we feel that our primary responsibility to obey the Word of God and take applications from it through our personal devotion. God’’s Word puts it otherwise. The most promises, the most power, the apex of God’’s power, the mountain top, the greatest expression of God’’s Word to you, the most authoritative way it can come to you is when it is preached to you by a representative of Jesus Christ. God gave you a faithful preacher.””

Jon asks:
“ Where is it written?”

Jarod Preached:
“Are you discussing the sermon afterwards? Are you saying to yourself that God will speak to me today and I will obey? (sermon). ““This is important to your savior. Jesus needs you to do this. (Bible verse?).”

Jon asks:
“Where is it written?”
JOn Held

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