Are You Ready to Hear Sunday’s Sermon?


As Christians we are accepted as we are, no matter how we look or act.  We aren’t to try to impress each other or God.  We are free to just be ourselves.  We can be casual in God’s presence.  How this applies to how we dress for church or act in church is up to each one of us before God.  But how we prepare to hear God’s Word preached shouldn’t be casual.  It should be taken very seriously.  If we were gathering to hear a special message from the President of the United States which he was delivering in our church on a certain date, we’d be there on time, neatly dressed, quiet and respectful.  How can we do any less for the God of the universe (Acts 10:33)?

We come to church to praise through music and learn through a message.  We expect those who lead worship and those who speak to prepare and come ready to do their bests.  Just showing up unprepared is unacceptable.  If that is the standard for the leaders, why should it be different for the participants?  If God holds them accountable for how they use our time, doesn’t He hold us accountable for how we use our own time as well?  How well prepared are you to learn and worship when you come to church?

We find a good example of how to prepare for and respond to hearing God’s Word in the story of Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10.  1. Cornelius was eager to hear God’s Word (Acts 10:33).  Cornelius, a gentile, wanted to know how he could connect with God.  He was eager to hear God’s message through Peter (Acts 10:2, 24, 33).  When you listen to God’s Word taught or preached, are you more aware of the messenger or the message?  Do you wait in eager anticipation for it to begin, or are you more in a hurry to have it finished so you can move on to other things?

  1. Cornelius was grateful for the message and the one who brought it (Acts 10:29). He appreciated Peter’s willingness to travel 30 miles to come speak to him.  Are you thankful for the one who brings God’s message to you?  Do you thank God for their sacrifice, their preparation, their dedication, their years of study and their faithful service?  Or do you find fault with a less than perfect presentation?
  2. Cornelius was glad to share the experience with others. Instead of just hearing Peter’s message alone, he invited others to come join him (Acts 10:24).  He wanted them to learn and benefit as well.  Do you invite others to join you in listening to God’s Word taught or preached?  Do you share what you learned with others in the days following the message?  Are you glad for the others sitting around you also listening to the sermon?  There are legitimate times when watching church on TV instead of attending is necessary, but if at all possible joining in community to hear the Word preached is much better.
  3. Cornelius knew he was in the presence of God (Acts 10:33). Do you?  It’s very hard to focus on God’s presence when we come at the last minute, rush in, talk during the music, look at others around us and think about what we must do after the service.  That’s being aware of everyone’s presence but God!  My mother always sat and bowed her head in prayer for several minutes when she first took her seat.  That had a strong impact on me and reinforced the reason we were there.  Take time to clear your mind and thoughts, ask God to speak through the messenger and to speak to you and those around you.  Continue to pray this during the whole service.  Take notes to help you focus on the message and to refresh yourself on the main points later.
  4. Cornelius was committed to apply what he heard. He said he was ready to hear “all” Peter had to say (Acts 10:33).  He didn’t come to satisfy his curiosity or to pass judgment on what was said.  He wasn’t just coming out of habit or because he was expected to come (and what would people think if he didn’t come).  He came to hear and grow.

I know these can be difficult to do.  Often messages are not prepared or delivered as carefully as they could be, children nearby can be distracting or our thoughts wander to other things.  But what if we did try to listen as Cornelius did to every sermon or lesson?  I’m sure the speakers preaching would improve greatly and so would our commitment and devotion to God and His Word.  His Spirit will fall on us as He did on Cornelius (Acts 10:44) and we’d experience the presence of God in a fresh and real way.  Maybe it isn’t the church’s fault, or the pastor’s fault, when we don’t get much out of church.  Maybe it’s ours.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Remember Cornelius next time you go to church. (April 8, 2024  Doylestown, PA)

Acts 10:33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

Which of the things Cornelius did do you already do when attending church?

What have you learned from him to help you this coming Sunday?  Write them down and put them in your Bible where you’ll see them Sunday.

Pray now thanking God for your church and pastor, and asking you to be a better student of His Word.


Christian Training Organization

(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

Copyright © 2024


Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View) Copyright ©1995-2024