Hey guys (or guy),
Since it’s been forever and a day since I last wrote on this blog, I thought I’d try something new here. I’ve been wanting for the longest time to get caught up on listening to sermon sets or conferences that I never attended (but would have liked to), and also to be made aware of what certain preachers have spoken about (enter interesting topic). I’m almost always made aware of a new sermon or conference or speaker who can greatly inform me of many things (as well as humble my ever-growing mind) on a daily basis, and I need to have some way of making it a discipline of mine that I would want to bless others with. I would want this site to become a resource to my friends who would find anything here of interest to them, as well as keep me aware of my constant need of grace.
There’s a constant stream of sermons, lectures, messages that I would love many people to be made aware of, as well as to look back to for reference in my own walk with Christ, that I think is constantly on my heart to share with others. Here’s a number of reasons why I want to start a shift in this direction:
- Glorify God. From the Apostle Paul to today, every disciple of Jesus Christ has to have this as his goal in every area of life (if anything, memorize 1 Corinthians 10:31 as well as Romans 11:36). I know there’s a godly way, and an ungodly way to listen to sermons (whether good or bad), and I want to be a faithful servant of God and others in putting myself under teaching that will help me point others to Christ. I am not considering this a hobby, but a real help to open myself to correction in what I think to be the correct view about whatever passage or subject. THIS IS NOT A REPLACEMENT OF WHAT I ACTUALLY HEAR IN MY CHURCH ON SUNDAY. I love my pastors and elders, because they know me and I know them, and they are the most qualified to address me in what I need to be corrected on. What I hear on Sunday is of primary importance. Because of this, I hope to go back over sermons that have been preached that are on archive (Lighthouse Bible Church), as well as go over the sermon most recently preached. I want to be a blessing to my pastors, not a burden in trying to “correct” them by pointing out how Pastor John Piper interpreted a passage differently. I am a member of a local church in San Diego, and nowhere else.
- San Jose Church Plant. I keep realizing over and over again that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are moving away from San Diego in a little over a month (some sooner than others) that I might not be able to keep in touch with on a regular basis. I would want there to be some topic of discussion among us whenever we do see each other (or talk on the phone), and show love to them by pointing them to resources that could be of benefit to their own growth and witness in NorCal. I sheepishly also want to hear the messages Pastor John and J.R. preach once they make the move (not sure if I’ll put up my notes for that on here or not).
- Jay Adams and Ken Ramey. These two pastors/writers are the only two I’m aware of that have written books on how to listen to a sermon effectively (Be Careful How You Listen: How to Get the Most Out of a Sermon and Expository Listening: A Practical Handbook for Hearing God’s Word, respectively). I’ve read Adams’ work, but have yet to delve into Ramey’s (and have attempted to pass this along to the youth at one point), but I see it as a necessity especially for a project like this to know how to gain the most out of what you hear on a Sunday morning. Their vantage is to come with a humble heart and mind in how you hear a sermon, which is a means of grace for your life. It allows you to be thankful to God, even when you hear a bad sermon!
- Humility. To expand on reason #2, some guys listen to too many sermons without discernment (I am including myself), and act as if they are the new experts on whatever passage of Scripture they heard Pastor John MacArthur preach from. There’s no true humility being displayed (which I’m sure is the intention of the pastor they just heard), and so God’s glory is not the endgoal in their listening. The negative attitude we have about (enter whipping-boy pastor here) can make an ugly Christian, and one you much prefer staying away from (I don’t doubt having been this way at some point). I need to grow in this area, so don’t be surprised if the beginning posts have something to do with humility.
- Technology. As a Christian in this day, we have endless amounts of material to listen to, as well as read, that is a blessing, and could also be a curse. Pastor Martin Lloyd-Jones, I’m sure, didn’t get to hear many of the great preachers of his day on a regular basis. Same goes with Charles Spurgeon or Jonathan Edwards (I am not comparing myself with them; it’s only for the sake of illustration). I’m just pointing out the fact that the times in which we live allow us to know what is being preached in Britain, as well as in Europe, Australia, and give us some context by which we can pray and hopefully be prepared to engage, should we ever minister in said countries. When I was younger, I never knew of any of these preachers or even knew Christianity extended beyond my little hometown (other than Charles Stanley, who my aunt watched on TV or Marcos Witt, the Spanish equivalent to Chris Tomlin in his day who also preaches, or whatever bishop was preaching on BET). There’s a lot of good teaching, as well as bad teaching. Of the few times I’ve done so, I know where I’d put myself in (hint: not good). The curse could be over-exposure (vast amount of information, yet no change), or heretical preaching (lack of discernment). Both exist, and I want to be an encouragement to the youth group mainly in this area, but also to the other brothers and sisters in church.
- Growth in general, specifically in teaching. I’m hoping to be part of the Master’s Seminary within the next year or so, so I know I need help in teaching. This could be a small push in the right direction, to hear good preaching along with the great preaching I get at church already. Of course, it’s a calling, as well as a gift by God that one teach well, but to hear sermons from godly men can not only push one to grow in godliness, but to strive in preparing a message that will be of use to the church one serves at. The church leaders are to equip you for the work of ministry, not the messages you hear at Resolved.
All this to say I don’t know how often or how many sermons I hope to post and reflect on, but I would want this to be a way I can keep myself accountable to doing what I intended on doing for quite some time now. I know a lot of people don’t have the time to listen to messages on a constant basis, so this could be a place to check out what’s being said in an hour, but you could read in 5-10 minutes, and possibly listen to it later if it interests you. I don’t think I have much to contribute to a blog, so why not point others to what those more mature than me have sought to explain and by that be an encouragement and a servant to those I know (and anyone willing to follow along)? I will not let this get in the way of my own reading of the Word and prayer, and will stop whenever it hinders those more essential means of grace. I hope it supplements my disciplines in my Christian life, as well as be a blessing to you (whoever you are).
So who knows when I’ll start or which sermon it’ll be, but hope to see something new within the year (I’m realistic and not going to promise something for tomorrow or even this month). Adios!