Psalm of the Day: Psalm 40
Proverb of the Day: Proverbs 23:18-35
Scripture Reading: Luke 4:14-22
We should observe what an instructive example we have in these verses of the manner in which religious teaching is often heard. We are told that when our Lord had finished His sermon at Nazareth, His hearers "spoke well of Him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth."
But their hearts were utterly unmoved and unaffected. They were even full of envy and enmity against the Preacher. In short, there seems to have been no good effect produced on them except a little temporary feeling of admiration.
There are thousands of people in Christian churches in the same state of mind as our Lord's hearers at Nazareth. There are thousands who listen regularly to the preaching of the Gospel, and admire it while they listen. They do not dispute the truth of what they hear. They even feel a kind of intellectual pleasure in hearing a good and powerful sermon. But their religion never goes beyond this point. Their sermon-hearing does not prevent them living a life of thoughtlessness, worldliness, and sin!
Let us often examine ourselves on this important point. Let us see what practical effect is produced on our hearts and lives by the preaching which we profess to like. Does it lead us to true repentance towards God, and lively faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ? Does it excite us to regular efforts to cease from sin, and to resist the devil? These are the fruits which sermons ought to produce, if they are really doing us good. Without such fruit a mere barren admiration of preaching is utterly worthless. It is no proof of grace. It will save no soul.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help me to cherish the preaching of your Word.
Action Plan: How did the sermon preached at my church last Sunday change me and conform me in into the image of Christ? If there is little to no fruit, whose fault is that and how can it be resolved?
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.