Pastor Darren Sim preached another theme, that stuck with me after listening to his powerful leadership sermon "Power to Receive".
He shared a concern that we become familiar with the preaching of our pastors, and with the revelation of God's Word.
"53And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. 54And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (Matthew 13:53-58)
The people thought that they knew Jesus already, and they thought that they knew all that there was to know about Jesus.
Notice how the people in the town declared "Whence hat this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?" They saw Jesus as a mere man, nothing more. They saw him as "the carpenter's son," hence he could do no mighty works among them. They did not receive Jesus, because they saw Jesus as a common man.
He is not common. He is Holy, Holy, Holy (Isaiah 6:3).
This reference draws me to another point shared by Pastor Darren, in which he shared that he listened to Pastor Prince's sermons many times. He listened specifically to the sermons touch on the theme of the year for 2020, The Year of Time and Space. Pastor Darren conceded that perhaps he was "dull of hearing" because he listened to those two sermons at least ten times, and that he drew something new each time.
On the contrary, Pastor Darren confirmed that he was hearkening diligently, as opposed to dull of hearing.
Sadly, God warned Isaiah about the Israelites when He called the prophet to declare His word to them:
"9And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
"10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." (Isaiah 6:9-10)
To be dull of hearing is to think that you have heard all that can or needs to be heard from God's Word, or worse to esteem God's word as light, worthless, incidental, even tangential.
Yet clearly Pastor Darren knows and believes that God's Word is powerful, and that God's Word, alive and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12)
When we recognize that God has so much to give us, that His Word brings life (John 6:63)
There is nothing wrong with you if you need to listen to a sermon more than once to get a message out of it. In fact, a quality sermon actively invites the hearers to hear again--and again since God's Word is inexhaustible treasure:
"Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." (Matthew 13:52)
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
All of this, the deliverance of faith via preaching, via hearing and hearing the Word of God, was foretold to us:
"And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:" (Deuteronomy 28:1)
"2Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." (Isaiah 55:2)