What Are Your Intentions?

by Bro. Craig Amenell

Ephesians 4:11-12 - “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

Why do you come to church? Do you come to church because that is what good Christians are supposed to do and as long as you can fit it into your schedule you attend the services? Perhaps you come to church because you enjoy worshiping God amongst like-minded believers.

I would imagine there are an endless number of reasons why people attend church. Does the reason you attend help explain why you choose to come to only one, or perhaps two, or all three services a week? Probably.

Why is it important for us to go to church? One of the main functions of the church and its leadership is to help its members learn and grow so that they are equipped to fulfill God's plan for their lives. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).

Apart from private prayer and Bible reading, sitting under the preaching of God's Word is the means by which God has intended for His people to be equipped to fulfill their purpose.

When the preaching portion of the service begins do you enter it with anticipation? What are your intentions? Do you plan on just hearing another sermon or do you intend to really listen to the message? Do you look forward to the sermon getting ahold of you?

Hearing and listening to a sermon does not require much effort, but for a sermon to get ahold of you usually requires preparation on your part. When you don’t come expecting anything that is what you usually leave with.

Perhaps there are times that you come to church because you want to and you really listened to the sermon. Then there are those times when you realize how desperately you need to be at church and you come expecting God's Word to get ahold of you.

How do you maximize the later church experiences? Preparation. Do you include the preacher in your prayers throughout the week praying that he will have the quiet time he needs to prepare for his sermons and would be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading while he is preaching? Do you pray for yourself that you would be free from distractions and give your full attention to the preaching?

To get the most out of the service it is beneficial to have the tools you need to take notes so you can purposefully engage in the message. While the preacher is preaching, listen on purpose. At the close of the service ask God to reveal the areas of your life that would benefit from the edification of the message. Then look back over the sermon notes in the days and weeks that follow to keep yourself mindful of what was heard.

The more effort you put into processing the sermon, the more you get out of it. The more attention you pay, the more intention you will find in the message. The greater your focus, the greater the appreciation you will probably gain for your pastor as you understand the messages preached are not just random sermons but are a network of messages that work with one another to reach a purpose. Their intention? To make us “meet for the masters use.” Knowing the Lord's intention and the pastor's intention, what are your intentions?






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