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Practice Active Listening

January 17, 2020

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:13-14 (NIV)

While families eat their meal around the table, infants sit in the highchair. Their food is soft, and someone feeds them with a spoon. Before long, though, children learn to use a knife and fork.

The same is true in church. The preacher’s task is to prepare the meal but when dinner is served, Christians need to use their knives and forks to eat what is laid before them.

Children can sit at the table where a lavish meal is served, and they can come with a hearty appetite, but unless they use their knife and fork, they will not be fed.

When the Word of God is preached, Christians need to make the applications of truth to their own lives. This is active listening. Many assume it is a preacher’s job to give applications, but it is impossible for any preacher to provide application to every life situation in a congregation.

The Holy Spirit is given to you so that you may have wisdom to apply the Word of God to the particular circumstances of your life.

Hearing the Word of God is an act of faith in which you ask the Holy Spirit to show you how the Word applies in circumstances of your life that the preacher may not know and could never have imagined. Come to the Word of God with faith and your faith will increase.

Do you regularly make applications to your own life from sermons? What are the benefits of actively listening to a sermon?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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