Summary: Taking notes and taking note are important to the Christian life.
INTRO.- ILL.- W.G. Blaikie says in his Life of Livingstone that when David Livingstone was sent as a student to preach at Sanford Rivers, he stood up in the pulpit and completely forgot what he was going to say. Although this incident would have signaled the end of public speaking for many, Livingstone knew he must not give up. When God called him to be a missionary, he was ready to go. Later he wrote, "I am still a very poor preacher and have a bad delivery; and some say that if they knew I was to preach, they would not enter the chapel."
I suspect we’ve all heard a few preachers like that. And I must admit that I have preached some sermons that weren’t worth listening to.
ILL.- Preacher J.R.W. Stott, Between Two Worlds, wrote: “Some preachers are like the Chinese jugglers. One stood against a wall and the others threw knives at him. They’d hit above his head, close by his ear, under his armpit, and between his fingers. They could throw within a hair’s breadth and never strike.” In other words, they never hit what they were aiming for.
Some preachers can never hit the nail on the head, hit the mark, or hit a homerun in their preaching. I know the feeling.
ILL.- Samuel Clement (Mark Twain) attended a Sunday a.m. sermon. He met the pastor at the door afterward and told him that he had a book at home with every word he had preached that morning. The minister assured him that the sermon was an original. Clement still held his position. The pastor wanted to see this book so Clement said he would send it over in the morning. When the preacher unwrapped it he found a dictionary and in the flyleaf was written this: "Words, just words, just words." Some sermons are just words. No real message, just empty, lifeless words.
ILL.- I remember taking a deacon from my church with me to an area men’s meeting one time. I don’t remember the name of the preacher and for good reason. When we left that meeting my deacon friend said, “His sermon must have been good because I didn’t understand it.”
I said something like, “No, it wasn’t. I didn’t understand much of it either.”
If a sermon is not understandable, no good can come from it.
Col. 4:3-4 “Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. PRAY THAT I MAY PROCLAIM IT CLEARLY, AS I SHOULD.”
Clarity in preaching is vitally important. If the Biblical message is not clear then the people cannot learn from it and be blessed.
However, the sermon is not the only thing that makes a difference in our learning! What we do to learn also makes a difference. Hence, taking notes.
Why take notes? BECAUSE TAKING NOTES HELPS US TO LISTEN, LEARN AND RETAIN! Now admittedly, I don’t always take notes when listening to sermons, but I sure did when I was in college and wanting to become a better preacher! And taking notes helped me to learn a lot!
Taking notes is a good thing to do when in church. TAKING NOTE IS ALSO A GOOD THING TO DO.
Phil. 3:17 “Take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.”
It pays to “take note” of certain people and certain things in life. It’s educational. It’s informative. It’s interesting. And it can be quite helpful in living the Christian life.
It’s similar to what Peter said in I Pet. 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around…”
All Christians need to “take note” of certain things in life. We need to “take note” of both the good and the bad and discern the difference in order to please God.
Eph. 5:15-17 “Be very careful, then, how you live – not unwise but as wise (taking note), making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (or take note of it)
Taking note of what is happening in our world can make a difference in your life. Take note. Be alert. Be watching. Be discerning and seek the Lord’s will.
PROP.- In our text, I think Paul suggests that we “take note” of several things.
1- Take note of the brothers
2- Take note of the enemies
3- Take note of the life
I. TAKE NOTE OF THE BROTHERS
V. 17 “Join with others in following my example, brother, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.”
- Take note of those who lead by example.
Paul said, “Join with others in following my example.” Do you think that was a bold statement by Paul? How many of you would say, “Follow my example”?