The Sunday morning sermon has filled my ears since I was only a few weeks old. I’ve been around for a decent amount of them, whether it was my home church’s pastor, a guest speaker, or a visiting missionary.
And I’ve never heard a bad sermon. Sure, some messages have imprinted themselves in my memory more than others, but Sunday morning sermons are like pizza: no matter where you get it, chances are the slice you eat will satisfy. Now, you’ll have your preferences, but the base recipe never leaves your taste buds disillusioned.
But like a lot of the pizza I’ve eaten in my time, I’ve eaten an oversized-load type of portion where I gobble it up in one setting and never save any for later. Of course, a clenched stomach and grease-filled arteries remind me of my gluttony only minutes later.
I’ve done that with good sermons as well.
Sunday mornings, I’m ready to go. I’ve got a Bible, a notebook, and a pitiful excuse for a tithe in hand. After mingling before service, then singing worship songs at the beginning of service, I get my Bible and notebook out, ready to eat.
Whomever the speaker may be, he or she has likely delivered a convicting message along with poignant illustrations. As long as the Word of God salts the rest, I’m good and fed. Service does have to end, though, and I have to digest what’s been preached.
That’s where I have the most trouble.
Sunday morning conviction and scribbled notes are critical, but I often don’t return to them during the week for second helpings. I’ve got all the ingredients from that Sunday’s speaker—worship, the Word of God, conviction—but I leave them sitting in the blender, never bothering to turn the switch on.
So the problem isn’t the preacher or the Word of God. It’s me. I allow a spiritual lethargy to settle within, and I do not return to the notes I copy down during the message. I end up eating well on Sunday mornings, but I don’t eat that same meal during the week days.
Now, I have devotions during the week, but that’s a different meal. The meal I neglect is the leftovers from the sermon.
This is when the Holy Spirit swoops in and punctures my lethargy. He reminds me of the discipline necessary to digest a pastor’s message during the following week. Just as I meditate on scripture, so also I go back and review my notes from the previous Sunday.
Pastors and visiting speakers put a lot of research and prayer into their sermons, and as a church member, it’s dishonorable when I don’t take the time to implement what the sermon asks of me. Plus, the Holy Spirit gets behind whomever is at the pulpit, and ignoring him never served me well.
The Word of God is meant to nail hearts to the wall, but on too many Sundays, I walk away with barely a flesh wound. That does not reflect well on my faithfulness to either the pastor or God himself.
I don’t want to waste good sermons any longer. Now, I remind myself to eat a sermon’s leftovers during the week and implement the principles that I’ve gleaned from the Holy Spirit’s direction.
It’s been a good few meals so far. I think Jesus was onto something big when He call Himself the Bread of Life…
Kevin Cochrane is a writer and college student. For updates on his latest blog posts here at restandrefuge.wordpress.com, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC, find him on Facebook, or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email. Want to read more? Check him out at themajestysmen.com/author/kevincochrane, a friendship and mentoring community for Christian males (views on my blog at restandrefuge.wordpress.com are my own and do not necessarily represent those of The Majesty’s Men). To contact, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.