I was never one to listen to podcasts of sermons… or really listen to any recorded sermon.
I tried before. I mean, it seemed like so many people loved listening to sermons, but no matter how many times I tried to listen I could never seem to pay attention because there wasn’t a person there standing in front of me talking and my mind would wander. It’s also hard to keep my mind focused if there’s no visual. Perhaps that’s also why I don’t like talking on the phone either… not sure.
Anyway, recently God gave me a challenge.
At the AACF retreat this last weekend, Arthur Shieh spoke on Following God as He Wants to be Followed. He took us through Luke 14. He challenged us to go through the gospels and note every time Jesus gets angry – at who, why, where, when, etc. He also told us to go through Luke and note every time that Jesus interacts with the Pharisees. He also challenged us to look for Jesus’ secret to bringing people’s hearts to God… and ask ourselves what we’re missing now that people are so offended by the church instead of loved by it.
These already were pretty interesting challenges that I really wanted to take up.
And then God challenged me even more. He brought someone into my life that has been searching for God, yearning to have Him be real in her life. With prayer and the advice of my mom and another friend whom I highly respect, I decided that it would be cool to go through Luke with her so that we could take a close look at Christ’s life so that she would be able to see him as a real person and not just a historical character that other people talk about.
And as I started going through it… I realized how little I really know about Luke.
I’ve never read through the whole thing on my own. If you gave me a quote, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which gospel it was from. I didn’t really know much about the person Luke. I didn’t really know what set the different gospels apart from each other.
And so, with the advice of a person whom I respect, I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I looked up “grace to you”. I went to the section of resources and sermons and I began downloading John MacArthur’s sermons on Luke.
So this Friday, for the first time I heard John MacArthur speak. For the first time, I listen to an audio sermon and paid attention the whole way through. And for the first time, I really thought about the character of Luke.
I pray that God will teach me some amazing things through my time of study and that He will give me the wisdom in leading my friend back to Christ 🙂