It’s important that we prepare our hearts to receive God’s Word on Sunday mornings. In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus used a parable to explain that God’s Word is like seed falling on the soil of our hearts.

“…Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now it the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10:12 NLT)

Do you ever find yourself lost or drifting off during church on Sundays?  Don’t let God’s Word go in one ear and out the other!

“He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:9 ESV)

Make it stick!

Here’s how:

1. Read the chapter(s) ahead of time. 

At our church, this is easy.  We go chapter by chapter through the Bible.  So you can always be sure that wherever we left off the previous Sunday is where we’ll pick up the following Sunday.  Just read the next chapter or two.  This at least gives you an idea of what we’ll be studying and a foundation to build upon.

2. Pray for your pastor. 

Ask the Lord to anoint him (or her) and to use them to speak to you.

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Paul) (Ephesians 6:19 NIV)

3. Pray for yourself.

Ask God to open your heart and mind to what He has to say specifically to you. Ask Him to show you how the passage applies to your life.

“Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me.  All day long I put my hope in You.” (Psalm 25:2-5 NLT)

4. Follow along in your Bible.

My Momma always told me, “If someone tells you something is in the Bible, you look and make sure it’s there yourself. Otherwise, anybody can tell you anything!” And that’s the truth. See it with your own eyes. Underline it. Highlight it. God’s Word is to you and for you- not just your pastor.

5. Listen for the take away.

If you went to Sunday School as a child, your parents probably asked you this question every Sunday, “What did you learn in your class today?” I used to ask my kids that question as well. I think they paid closer attention because they knew I would ask and they needed an answer. What if someone asked you that every Sunday? “What did you learn in church today?” Would you have an answer? Listen to the message as if someone is going to ask. It will cause you to listen differently.

6. Take notes. 

Statistics show that we remember only a very small percentage of what we hear.  But, if we write it down we’ll remember even more and we’ll have something to reference back to later on.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read over past journals and read something that really ministered to me again in that moment.

7. Finally, read the chapter again 

after the message.

Now that you are more familiar with the passage, you’ll find that you are able to read it more easily. You may also find that God has even more to say to you through that text.

And that’s it! Easy peasy. No more missing out on what God has to say to you! 

Bonus Tip…

Listen to the sermon again. We post all of our sermons weekly to youtube. Just search “Crossville Grace” and listen again.

Teresa Breeding
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