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- We will not make the progress we desire without retaining and compounding the things we hear.
- Your teacher sees and plans the compounding effect, but it requires your diligent effort to hear.
- We cannot be content with the mere sound of preaching. We must take home the sense and duty.
The Great Example
- The Bereans were called noble by the Holy Ghost (Acts 17:11-12).
- They received the word with all readiness of mind – no scornful doubts.
- They searched the Scriptures daily (at synagogue library) proving Paul.
- As a result of this noble process, many of them believed the gospel.
- Ezra and Nehemiah had a great teaching service for Israel (Neh 8:1-12).
- They fervently gathered together in zeal and unity to hear (8:1-6).
- The reading and teaching convicted them deeply (8:9).
- They fervently celebrated the understanding they got (8:10-12).
- Cornelius is an excellent example of a noble hearer (Acts 10:33).
- When a teacher was offered, he immediately sought him out.
- He commends the teacher for a job well done in getting there.
- We are all here – he had gathered his family and friends (24-27).
- We are before God – he understood the solemnity of the situation.
- We want to hear all things – he was not looking to stroke his ears.
- We want God’s commandments – he was not interested in Peter.
- Josiah was greatly convicted at hearing God’s word (II Chron 34:19-33).
- The Thessalonians received Paul’s word as the word of God (I Thes 2:13).
- Mary was not worried about the distracting details of life (Luke 10:38-42).
- On the Day of Pentecost they gladly received Peter’s word (Acts 2:41).
How Not to Hear
- Criticize the delivery. No lesson is perfect, and some are more imperfect.
- Criticize the messenger. No speaker is perfect, and some very imperfect.
- Make a man an offender for a mere word or mistake (Isaiah 29:20-21).
- Not as a scorner: ridicules, condemns, criticizes, contemptuous (Pr 9:7-8).
- Apply it to someone else instead of applying it to yourself (Matt 7:3-5).
- Forget it is from the LORD and assume it’s the pastor’s personal agenda.
- Excuse yourself as being above or beyond a particular subject.
- Think about something else by not preparing and focusing your mind.
- Sleep. Some have fallen three stories, but we have many witty remedies.
- Come unprepared without either long term or short term preparation.
- Worry about the length. I will not kill you by being long (Acts 20:7-12).
- The time is here when they will not endure sound doctrine (II Tim 4:3-4).
- Ahab – I don’t like bad news; thus dictating the terms of hearing.
- With idols or stumblingblocks of iniquity in your heart (Ezek 14:1-11).
- Stubbornness and rebellion are as witchcraft and idolatry (I Sa 15:22-23).
How to Be a Noble Hearer
- As a wise man who is never content with his wisdom (Proverbs 9:8-9).
- Consider how you hear in light of the various responses (Luke 8:18).
- The parable of the sower describes four kinds of ground.
- Law of Hearing: good hearers learn more – bad hearers lose all.
- Strong speeches, exhortations, and rebukes are Godly (Titus 2:15).
- Wholesome words are the words of the LORD Jesus Christ teaching the one apostolic doctrine which is according to godliness (I Timothy 6:3).
- Apply the message to yourself and don’t forget it later (James 1:21-25).
- Ask God to open your heart to hear his word (Acts 16:14; Psalm 119:18).
- There is no room for contentious thoughts, words, or deeds (I Cor 11:16).
- Prepare: sleep, Bible, holy, Spirit, prayer, anticipate, participate, focus.
- Let conviction bring repentance – even if it is later (Matthew 21:28-32).
- Desire the sincere milk of the word in order to grow (I Peter 2:1-3).
- Don’t let the things you hear slip (Heb 2:1-4). Review, meditate, study.
- True spirituality submits to preaching rather than corrects it (I Cor 14:37).
- Bible preaching is your life (Deut 32:44-47) and wisdom (Deut 4:1-9).
- The More Sure Word is something we should heed well (II Peter 1:16-21).
- Your relationship with God depends on how you hear (I John 4:1-6).
- Scripture can make the man of God perfect – so listen (II Tim 3:16-17).
- Prove all things; hold fast things you hear which are good (I Thess 5:21).
- Obedience brings knowledge, understanding, and confirmation (Jn 7:17).
- Be more ready to hear and listen than to talk and debate (Ecclesiastes 5:1).
- Wisdom cries for those who want her free offers (Proverbs 8:33-36).
- Those with understanding and wisdom want more (Proverbs 1:5; 15:14).
- Confess your sins in order to prepare ready ears and heart (James 1:21).
- Humbly submit yourself to God and His will for your life (Jas 1:21; 4:6).
- Pray and ask God for wisdom and understanding (Pro 2:3; Psalm 119:18).
- Trust God’s Providence completely for the text and message selected.
- Use it in daily application to develop your understanding (Hebrews 5:14).
- Immediately submit, repent, and convert when convicted during hearing.
- Talk about it with others to reinforce your comprehension and theirs.
- Walk in the Spirit – the Spirit of illumination (Eph 1:17-18).
- Preaching is teaching – proper hearing requires concentration and analysis.
- Jesus Christ personally prepared your pastor for this sermon for you today.
- Prepare as for a solemn assembly with the proper attitude and reverence.
- Use outlines, tapes, or both to review and remember what you have heard.
- Open mind. “Lord, show me and teach me that I might please you more.”