Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools…
When approaching the target a good reconnaissance begins by using the ears before the eyes. When approaching the Throne of Grace it is the same, the ears first. God puts a premium on the listener/learner. As you read or listen to the Word of God, is your brain on transmit or receive? Remember, God’s not after your attendance, He’s after your heart.
Application: When you finish reading your devotions or hearing a sermon, ask yourself, “What is God trying to tell me?” Then write it down.
“Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
This is an amazing turn of events in one man’s life. He is released from the bondage of suffering and pain in a demonic state and given a new life. And Jesus only asks him to do one thing. Think about that for just one second, of all the things Jesus could have told him to do, this was the one thing He commanded. “Go home and tell others the great things I’ve done for you.” Just one thing. Are you doing this “One Thing?”
Application: In the next week tell three people about what Jesus has done for you and why Christmas is so important to you.
And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”
When someone in authority wanted to see me, I always assumed the worst. Call me a pessimist but I don’t think I’m alone. Why is it that almost all of us respond to these words with anxiety rather than joy. Could it be that we know ourselves too well? How would we respond if we heard “God wants to talk to you.” Wouldn’t it elicit some of the same fears? In all actuality, I think it’s a good thing, its a healthy sense of fear that keeps us humble, repentant, and real. I am a sinner, saved by grace! (See Isaiah 6.1-6)
“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
I had been easing my buddy into a position of a palatable presentation of the gospel for two months. At the end of training one day, a zealous brother approached us, slammed a little New Testament on the desk and said: “Read this!” Not my style and I was a little put out but asked my buddy what he thought. He replied, “I kind of needed a kick in the pants, I think I’ll start reading it.” Different ministry approaches are not necessarily wrong.