Today on http://www.faithtalk1500.com, Pastor Christopher Brooks and I discussed what to look for in preaching each Sunday. I mentioned the importance of the average believer reading his own Bible faithfully, using commentaries to bolster his own understanding of God’s word, and listening for the centrality of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God the Son. Here are some recommendations:
The NIV Application Commentary Series seems to be written with the layman in mind as it examines passages of Scripture by moving from the original text to contemporary meaning (e.g., application). I would encourage the reader to start by reading a chapter per week of the Proverbs commentary in this series, along with the appropriate verses of Proverbs in the Bible. The Proverbs commentary in the Preaching the Word series also is very good.
An ESV Study Bible is an outstanding resource to help one read through the Scriptures with helps on every page of the Bible itself.
Both the daily Bible devotional, For the Love of God, and the complementary work, The God Who is There , each are good for giving the reader the ability to read through the entire Bible in one year with understanding. For the Love of God is available as an RSS feed or daily email.
Listen Up! A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons, and the complementary, The Priority of Preaching, are good works to help laypeople listen to sermons with discernment, understanding, and joy.