Wednesday, June 24, 2009

how we take God’s name in vain in reading or hearing His Word

Thomas Boston has these solemn considerations in relation to our reading and hearing (i.e. hearing sermons) of the Word of God.
In reading or hearing the word, we take God's name in vain,
[1.] When we do not prepare ourselves for it, appointing a meal in it to our souls by prayer and looking to God; and when we make it not our business to get our hearts emptied of worldly thoughts and affections, and come with an appetite, 1 Pet. 2:1, 2.
[2.] When we do not strive to understand what we read or hear of the word, Acts 8:30; but pass it, as if bare reading or hearing were all.
[3.] When we are not attentive thereto, but let the heart wander in the time after other things, Ezek. 33:30.
[4.] When we are dull, drowsy, sleepy, and weary in it, crying in our hearts, When will the Sabbath be over? like Doeg, detained before the Lord.
[5.] When we do not receive it as the word of the living God, looking on it as God himself speaking to us, 1 Thess. 2:13.
[6.] When we do not subject ourselves humbly to what we hear from the Lord by his word, being affected suitably to every part of the word, approving the commands thereof, believing the promises, and trembling at the threatenings, Heb. 4:2.
[7.] When we do not lay ourselves open to the word, to be taught our duty, to be reproved for our faults, to be searched and known as by the candle of the Lord; but ward off convictions, and rise against the speaker when the word toucheth us.
[8.] When we hear it partially, having more respect to the speaker, to receive it or reject it according to our opinion of him, than to the Lord's word itself, Acts 17:11, &c.
[9.] Lastly, When we do not meditate upon it afterwards, confer about it, and labour to improve it to our soul's good.