A sermon shouldn’t flow in one ear and continue right out the other. A sermon should linger. It should stir, confirm, challenge, and rebuke. It should prod action, queries, and most definitely change. It is not designed to make you feel good about yourself; it should challenge you to become more like Christ.
It is not up to your pastor to motivate this response in you. Change is not dependant on a charismatic messenger, an entertaining presentation, or the proper hymn to chorus ratio. Change is stirred by God’s Holy Spirit and obeyed by you. It is God that stirs your heart and it is your place to recognize His voice and act upon it.
I’ll be the first to admit there have been many Sunday mornings that I listened to a good message, felt mildly challenged, and forgot all about it on the drive home thereby quenching the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. This does not reflect the quality of the message; it reflects the current state of my heart.
I continually thank God that He stepped into my self-centered life and changed me (and is continuing to change me). He didn’t barge in; He came after praying for this change. He came after I invited Him in and asked Him to fill me with longing for Him. Little by little He stirred up something fierce inside of me and it has changed how I listen to the teaching of His Word.
I don’t want a motivational pep talk on Sunday morning. I want to kick-start a new week in His Word and the sermon or Sunday school lesson often gives me the topic. The message is studied, applied, challenged, and proven in my heart over the following six days. This takes much longer than warming a spot on the pew. This takes time through the week, time in God’s Word. Time – the only thing at my disposal.
This past Sunday our adult Sunday school class watched a video clip of Darrin Patrick. God challenged me through his words. But the trick is not just being challenged – but asking the Holy Spirit to show me how this message applies to me and how I need to change.
Today’s blog is a two-parter. Part one is this intro and a link to Mr. Patrick’s complete message. Next week I’ll share how Patrick’s message stirred me and how I am praying God will use it to change me.
Take the time to listen to the message (it’s a gooder) and ask God to reveal areas in your own life that need changing. Hopefully you’ll feel inspired to do some soul-searching and maybe one day you’ll share how God spoke to you.
It’s worth the investment of time. Click the link below to open Darrin Patrick’s message.