Keeping your mind in the game
Philippians 4:4-8 4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:4-8, ESV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2, ESV)
"In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37, ESV)
6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears..." (Hebrews 5:7, ESV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable... , think about these things. "
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:11-12, ESV)
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matthew 6:37, ESV)
Week 4 - Keeping Your Mind in the Game
What can be done to keep your mind focused on Christ? This was the central question in Sunday’s sermon. The direction that today’s study will take is to focus on one thing, “Listening to Sermons”. Think about it, there is so much training that goes into teaching Pastors how to research, prepare, and present a sermon--but there is relatively little information available to teach us how to listen to sermons. I cannot think of a better way to to focus on Christ than to take control to how we listen to the sermons on Sunday.
As a group, share any secrets and tips that you deploy to help maximize your listening skills when it comes to sermons?
As a group, review these three verses to set up a context for tonight’s study.
Today’s study will provide two tips that are explicitly mention in scripture when it comes to listening to sermons and keeping our mind in the game. The first is to listen with ‘Expectation’.
3. As a group turn to 1 Pet. 4:10-11 and read aloud. This passage is talking about how we should use our spiritual gifts. Focus on the part that says, “whoever speak, as one who speaks oracles of GOD”. Knowing that the context of these words is bible teaching in church...what is Peter trying to communicate to with these words.
4. How should these words help us increase our listening with expectation?
Secondly we are to listen is a manner in which we are willing to submit to the truth that we hear--even if it offends our sin and insults our flesh. Turn to Luke 11:42-45 and read aloud as a group.
5. Who is JESUS talking to in this passage?
6. Is this lawyer one of the Pharisee’s? How can you tell?
7. What is the ‘lawyer’ so upset about? What is being said in v42-44?
8. We can learn two pretty amazing things from this lawyer? Discuss the situation as a group and identify what you think we can learn from the lawyer?
Do we consider how we listen? Do we listen with expectation and when we do, are we willing to submit to what we have heard? Are we constantly day-dreaming and concerned with other things when we are at church or have we gathered all of our faculties in order to gain as much wisdom and glean as much truth as possible? We are not encouraged, but rather told, commanded, to ‘take care’ how we listen. Don’t merely let the words of a sermon wash over you hoping to get something through osmosis--rather fight and engage in the struggle to discern the truth that is being preached before you. Listen actively, not passively!