The immediate purpose of the Sermon Preparation Guide is to help you “get ready” to hear from God -- to help you prepare for the sermon to come. The greater purpose of the Sermon Preparation Guide, used together with the Sermon Teaching Notes (the word proclaimed) and the Talk it Over Discussion Guide (respond to God's word through application), is to help you learn to focus on God's word, take it into your heart, and apply it to your daily life. As you engage in your personal preparation for this week’s sermon, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to understand God's word, and prepare you to receive and then apply it. In your study, always remember that God continues to reach out to accomplish His purpose of calling people to Himself and in that way bring glory to Himself. Thus, always have in view the “BIG PICTURE” of God's plan and purposes being worked out, and the “SMALL PICTURE” of how that plan is being fleshed out in your life and through the Church.