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Do you take notes when you listen to sermons? Many people do. And it is a spiritually healthy practice. For those of you who do, and for those who would like to start taking notes on sermons, let me suggest some guidelines.

  • Soak Up The Pictures.

When your pastor tells a story about the Bluetick Coonhound that his grandfather had as a boy, don't try to write that down. That is good preaching. Jesus taught and preached with stories. In fact, you will remember that anyway. I used to ask people in our Wednesday night services what I preached Sunday. More often than not, someone would remember a story I told. Sometimes it was a joke that I told to keep their attention. 

  • Set down the principles.

I don't recommend that you try to write down everything your pastor says in a sermon. If you try to do this you will probably miss the next crucial thing he has to say because you are trying to write out the last thing his said. But you need to make notes of principles that will transform your life. If your pastor has points, and most of us do try to write out his major points.

  • Seal In The Prophecy.

We often have a very unbiblical notion of prophecy. When we hear or read the word, we think of something like crystal balls which come out of witchcraft. While biblical prophecy includes prediction, prophets in the Bible usually preached against sin. The word means to proclaim. When it is used in scripture, it refers to God speaking through someone. And you need to be aware that God will speak to you through a sermon. And while some preachers are more gifted than others, God is not limited by how good of a speaker he is.

I highly recommend that you get alone that same day to recap what God is saying to you. This may simply be a new truth. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says the things of God are "spiritually discerned." If you understand any spiritual truth, it is because the Spirit of God spoke personally to you.

This may not even be a new truth that He wants you to see. This morning in my quiet time God spoke to me through John 12:27,28. In it Jesus said,

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

God reminded me that there is a purpose to difficult things that I face. And I can pray for Him to be glorified through my failures, embarrassment, and heartache. But this is not a new truth to me. I pray over this passage every day. But it is important for me to hold on to it today.

I suggested that you do this alone. And I believe that is important. But you can also benefit by talking to someone else about what God may have been saying to you. My wife takes much better sermon notes than I. She often shares them with me. Last week our pastor preached on the Magi from Matthew. She mentioned that the oral tradition of the Kurds says they were the Magi. She told me that the translation of the Bible into their language was recently completed. By the time she was finished sharing with me, we were both stirred to pray for the Kurds to come seeking Jesus again.



Do you take sermon notes?

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