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David Rocks and Goliath Rolls
After the sermon today a young man approached me with two questions. The questions were not about the sermon I had just presented but about sermons in general. Both questions were reflective in nature so I will present them here with some of my thoughts.
Question #1 – What do you hope will be accomplished through your sermons?
Every sermon has a specific objective but these fit into an overall desire for my preaching. My desire is that my sermons would help people to know God better. God’s greatest revelation of himself has been made through Jesus, so I want to lean heavily on that revelation, but God has revealed himself in others ways as well (such as the Old Testament). When people walk away from any sermon I hope that the message will resonate within them all week. I consider it a great compliment when someone says to me, “I’ve been thinking all week about what you said Sunday.”
Question #2 – What do you listen for in sermons?
Unfortunately, I must be honest that for years I was a terrible sermon listener. I’m ashamed to admit that while listening to others I would often be thinking about how I might preach that particular message. That kind of thinking came out my own insecurity and arrogance. Thankfully, God has sufficiently humbled me so that I now listen to the sermons of others with a much more profitable attitude of mind. When I have the opportunity to hear others preach what I listen for is a word from God. That word might be found in the scriptures being read or expounded upon. I might hear a word from God in a particular illustration, or even in an off the cuff comment the speaker makes. The question I try to answer is, “What is God saying through this message?” If I can find that answer I have something to ponder and hopefully to use to help me grow in my knowledge of the Almighty.