A Sermon/Message - What do you do with it?
The Word of God - What could you do with it?
What do you do with a Sermon or if you prefer; a Message?   
Do you sit quietly?  
Do you fidget?
Do you sleep? 
Do you plan your next vacation?
Do you stare forward, silently solving a work problem?
Do you create your grocery list or write your check for the collection plate?
Do you check your watch every couple of minutes? 
Do you listen?  In your listening, do you try to figure out how it applies to your daily life?  
Even when you are listening, are you sometimes clueless about what it should mean to you?
I believe many people approach a Sermon/Message in the way I have approached them all my life. We come to Emanuel and we try to have an open mind. Most of us try to listen carefully and try to find pearls of wisdom in the Sermon/Message that can be applied to our daily lives in the week ahead. We try not to forget what Pastor Chris said or what his message meant to us.
I would like to suggest an alternate approach that I have tried and found to be very beneficial. I found I wasn't getting as much from the Sermon/Message as I felt I should, so I altered my approach. Each day, in the week prior to the Sermon/Message, I read the focus Scripture for the upcoming Sunday, and I pray that God will give me the understanding He wants me to have from that passage. Then I write out what I understand that passage is saying to me. On Sundays, the Sermon/Message now comes alive for me. I have found that God provides understanding and opens my heart to hear the Sermon/Message He has been preparing for me all week!
The difference in the two approaches is the 'individual trying' and 'God providing'. God can always provide better than anything we are ever able to produce with our best efforts. Read His Word, listen to His leadings, and you will be amazed at the difference.
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