Friday, August 15, 2014

Word Of The Day... August 15, 2014...


Sunday Listening,
Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
The Lord Speaks to Samuel
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.
One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle* near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”
“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.
Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”
Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”
Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went back to bed.
And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”  1 Samuel 3:1–10


We've been talking about the essential skill of listening, particularly as it relates to Sunday sermons. I asked you to come up with some ideas on what can be done by the listener (not the preacher) to keep the sermon interesting. Let's consider together how we could improve our listening skills. I'm indebted to Haddon Robinson, a Ph.D. in the field of communication, for these four "don'ts" that are worth remembering.

Don't assume the subject is dull. When the topic is announced, avoid the habit of thinking, I've heard that before or This doesn't apply to me. Good listeners believe they can learn something from everyone. Any message will have a fresh insight or a helpful illustration. A keen ear will listen for such.

Don't criticize before hearing out the speaker. All speakers have faults. If you focus on them, you will miss some profitable points being made. Those who listen well refuse to waste valuable time concentrating on the negatives. They also refuse to jump to conclusions until the entire talk is complete.

Don't let your prejudices close your mind. Some subjects are charged with intense emotions. Effective listeners keep an open mind, restraining the tendency to argue or agree until they fully understand the speaker's position in light of what the Scriptures teach.

Don't waste the advantage which thought has over speech. Remember what we learned yesterday about the gap between speech-speed and thought-speed? Diligent listeners practice four skills as they mentally occupy themselves:

First, they try to guess the next point.
Second, they challenge supporting evidence.
Third, they mentally summarize what they have heard.
Fourth, they apply the Scripture at each point.
Writing down the outline and a few thoughts during the sermon also keeps the mind from drifting off course.

Young Samuel took the advice of Eli the priest, and as a result, he heard what God wanted him to learn. The message was riveted into Samuel's head so permanently, he never forgot it. And it all started with:

"Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening" (1 Samuel 3:9).
Try that next Sunday. A few seconds before the sermon begins, pray that prayer. You will be amazed how much more you hear when you work hard to listen well.

 Good listeners believe they can learn something from everyone. 
—Chuck Swindoll

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Amazon Contextual Product Ads

Amazon MP3 Clips

Share

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More