Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Listening & responding

Dave Bish recently blogged on reading/listening to sermons via mp3 download. This is a short portion of what he said:

'On the positive side of new technology I can get access to gifted teachers who can help me to love Jesus more, just as in previous generations I could have read the sermons of a Spurgeon or a Lloyd-Jones alongside commentaries and other Christian books. On the negative side, it's easy enough to be a sermon junkie who is ever listening and never responding to the preached word' (full version here)

I felt humbly rebuked & encouraged symultaneously. I was reminded how we are so very privileged to be able to read or listen to quality teaching: from the day before, to several centuries before, from Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones to John Piper and Mark Driscoll. I've not read much Spurgeon or Lloyd-Jones, but I know that I've found a lot of what Piper and Driscoll preach very helpful and often well applied. But therein lies the temptation, to approach sermons like the Churchill dog: nodding and nodding, saying 'ooooh yes'. And to leave it at that. Shut down the computer, turn off the iPod and tune back into our lives - with no change. There's the rebuke - what's my attitude towards preaching? Sometimes I think I far too easily approach the message on Sunday morning as ticking a box in my week, when in fact this message, this gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ! This is the word that takes our selfish thoughts and cravings and transforms them, day by day, into something that can begin to honour God.

It makes me realise that all to often I feel convicted about something and read up book after book and fill my ears with quality preaching, only to carry on as I was before. I'm reminded how selfish I am - I don't even want to think what it would be like to live differently, to live something better. A.W. Tozer said 'The true follower of Christ will not ask, "If I embrace this truth, what will it cost me?" Rather he will say, "This is truth. God help me to walk in it, let come what may!"'.

I want this to be my attitude, more and more: to realise when I'm being convicted, to respond to Jesus' truth of forgiveness with full repentance and a humble and simple prayer to let God's truth walk into me and steam-roller my pride beneath it. I want to respond, I want to change. And I thank God that he wants exactly the same, and is just waiting to enable me to - if I ask Him.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

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