Thursday, January 29, 2015

Be A Doer of the Word

"And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it." Luke 8:21


The Bible is a treasure chest of riches; filled with the finest wisdom, love, mercy and knowledge that can exist. It is God's guide for life, His wisdom, the very words He breathed out for us to benefit from. In His perfect love, He didn't leave us to fend for ourselves, but sent us Jesus, His very word made manifest, and gave us His written word. We aren't helpless, or without the perfect wisdom of God. The Bible should be read not as a simple storybook, or a history book, but as an unchangeable source of wisdom and truth for our lives. It applies to us, it is not just sentences and paragraphs that are stored away in our brains and not put to use. We have to apply God's word to our lives. It is not up to us to pick and choose what is truth. A doer is "a person who acts rather than just talking or thinking."

 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:20-21

We are tossed by the waves of life so easily because we have chosen which parts of God's word apply to our lives and which parts we'd rather trash and not live by. In doing so, we are choosing our own path, and not God's way. Surrendering to Jesus as Lord means we are no longer charting our own course, God's word and His guidance are our course now. Contemporary, "modernized" Christianity reads the Bible's commands and guidelines as 'outdated' but God's word is true, eternal and unchanging. God has known what is best from the beginning of time, and He will know it through eternity. God doesn't change and His word doesn't change, why do we change it, interpret it, modernize it and think we can do better than God?

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4

When Jesus was tempted in the desert after he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he told the tempter (satan) that man would live by every word that came from the mouth of God. We cannot live by bread alone (our own way) we can only live by the word of God. Jesus did not decide he would 'interpret' the word of God to suit his needs, wishes and fleeting desires, He lived the eternal truth. He was the ultimate fulfillment, the doer of God's word. We aren't called to be interpreters, or even decide to do our own form of 'decluttering' of God's word, we are called to belief, and then to be doers.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We need scripture to instruct us, guide us and train us in God's ways. Then we are built up in character, practicing the ways of God, our hearts are trained, and we are being transformed into people who live out the word of God. Living out God's word doesn't mean signing up for excessive activities or being 'loud' about it. In most cases, living out the word of God is something that is much quieter---God sees, and those closest to us, but we will not gain pats on the back from the world. Living out truth is in the small things; how we deal with our families, how we love our children, our responses, our attitudes, taking every thought captive, and paying attention to the commands of scripture. If we have lived in the worlds ways, or even permissive modern religions ways, this will take many diligent life changes.

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

 Our belief in Jesus has to be lived out daily, He is our daily bread and we must feast on God's word to understand the deep and lasting peace that comes from living out our faith. Chaos, confusion, clutter of the mind and heart---living as if we have no foundation but saying we are Christians, is not God's way. Jesus says when we hear the word of God and do it that we are His brethren, His family.

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." James 1:22-25

If we are only hearers of the word, but make no other life changes, the Bible says we are deceiving ourselves, we aren't living out truth. When we look into the perfect law, and persevere in action, being a doer who acts, we will be blessed in our doing. Being blessed may not mean material wealth, but there is a peace and wealth of wisdom and the riches of God that far surpasses any material wealth or temporary happiness we would have found following our own way.

When we get a new cellphone, a new laptop, a new lawnmower, or even have to put together a piece of complex furniture, what do we do? We read the instructions in order to know how to put it together or how to best work what we just invested in. Jesus has invested in us, we have accepted His sacrifice, have we looked in God's perfect manual for us? Unlike a stale manual for an electronic, we have the living, breathing word of God, and the Holy Spirit to guide us.

"But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God." Matthew 22:29

We must come to know the scriptures, and the wonderful power of God. He knows what is best for us, and He will guide us to live out His perfect truth. Don't try to live like everyone else, or to be popular, but strive to live out the word of God and be a living witness to the fruit it bears.

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Prayer: "God, show me how to live out your truths in actions, thoughts, words and attitudes of the heart. Show me your perfect law, guide me in your peace. Shape me into a doer of the word, a living breathing testimony of your living word, so that others may find life." Amen.

 "Radical obedience to Christ is not easy... It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.” -David Platt

“Satan is so much more in earnest than we are--he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost.” -Amy Carmichael

“Avoid trivial pursuits. You are a child of God, destined for glory, and called to do great things in His Name. Do not waste your life on hobbies, sports, and other recreational pursuits. Do not throw away the precious moments of your life on entertainment, movies, and video games. Though some of these things can properly have a 'small place' in the Christian’s life, we must be careful not to give undue attention to temporal and fruitless activities. Do not waste your life. Employ the time of your youth in developing the character and skills necessary to be a useful servant of God.” -Paul David Washer





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