Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What do these things have in common?

Question: What do the following groups of people have in common?
-Nursery workers
-New moms
-People who are traveling
-Those who have to work on Sundays sometimes
-Those who are ill

Answer: They have circumstances which may prevent them to be under the preaching of God's Word regularly.

Without realizing it lately, I had been really "drying up" not being under the preaching of God's Word. You can have your quiet times, read good books or have good conversations, but the preaching of God's Word, and sitting under it, is important. And for me anyway, those things (quiet times, good conversations, prayer) don't happen as consistently when I'm not under the preaching of God's Word. Between traveling and nursery needs, it seems like I've caught very few sermons lately. This is not to complain, and MANY people are in this boat, but I think it's good to take a hard look at it objectively and realize the dangers that may accompany such seasons. And, it's almost guaranteed that I WILL enter such a season in just a few months where I'll be either having to excuse myself from the service to go feed the baby, or I'll only be partially there mentally due to sleepless nights.

Of course, these things aren't sinful. But they can be spiritually dangerous, and if you are like me, you may not realize it until after the fact.

All of that said, one way to fight the dangers is to put yourself under preaching when you can. We live in a day and age where good sermons are plenteous online. I used to listen as I cleaned or worked or drove, and that's a good strategy, but today, I just wanted to sit and listen. Take notes. Be fed. It felt like a feast, and I didn't realize how starved I had made myself.

What a wonderful refreshment the sermon was that I listened to today on our MOUTHS. It was taken from Proverbs 10:11 - The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life!

Here are a few things that stuck out to me -
1. God cares about your mouth and what comes out of it.
2. A life-giving mouth is like a fountain (free-flowing) not a factory (work, work, work).
3. Wisdom is crucial to having a righteous mouth and the fear of the Lord is crucial to wisdom. In Proverbs, all 3 (righteous mouths, wisdom and the fear of the Lord) are said to be fountains of LIFE!
4. Becoming someone with a life-giving mouth means sinking your roots deeply into God, abiding in Him. Out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks.
5. Righteousness is not a list of deeds to do or not to do - it is a trusting, resting, abiding in, and drawing abundance from God. Fearing Him - being afraid to forsake Him, staying close to Him who IS the Fountain of Life. Drawing our life from Him!

The application was really helpful as well -
1. Does your mouth usually feed (as opposed to starving with silence or empty words) others?
2. Does your mouth usually heal (as opposed to wound with harsh, sharp, unhelpful, etc words) others
3. Does your mouth usually protect and deliver others (as opposed to join in the attacks against them)?

Finally, in the close of the sermon, this phrase stuck out to me - we have very needy mouths. I feel this - in my friendships, marriage, phone calls, relationships with unbelievers, etc. This need, which we will probably first feel deeply discouraged over, shouldn't lead us to despair, but to draw near to the Father. To drink deeply from His Life, His words. We need Him to give us life. And to fill our hearts with life and joy that we may use our mouths for His glory.

Lots to think about. You can read or listen here. .

I highly recommend this sermon, and I highly recommend guarding against the dangers of weeks, those busy weeks we all have for various reasons, that shrivel your soul. Abide in the Fountain of Life, and as a result, may He use our mouths to bring His life to others.


blbartlett said...

Hey Jamie,

Thanks for this very thoughtful post! It's an important question to ask: how can we make sure EVERYONE in the church is being shepherded properly, even and especially those sacrificing their time to serve the church in a way that prevents them from hearing the sermon?

Terrific thoughts.

sarahdodson said...

This is excellent! We are definitely at a season where we spend most sermons tending to our children and not being able to fully concentrate on what's being preached. Oftentimes I feel thirsty for preaching also.

Like I told my husband, we spent the first (however many) years of our lives with no interruptions, no children, etc. This is just a different time in our lives, and some day, we'll be able to sit quietly and listen to sermons again. And we'll probably be missing our children ;o)

Heather said...

Thanks for the reminder of how easy it is to listen to sermons while still accomplishing other things. Even sitting down when it's nap time and just listening. I need to do this more often.