When my mother was battling cancer, we were always on the look-out for something that would help her … for something that would give her hope of a solution for the problem. What a tragedy it would have been if we heard about a cure for cancer, but we ignored it. How horrible would it have been if we read all the articles written about the cure, studied it every day, and just ignored all we had read. Are you kidding me? We would have done anything we could to get my mother any treatment we thought would have helped her.
Many of us Christians are guilty of something similar. We have a Bible … we read the Bible … we go to church and listen to good Bible teaching/preaching every week … we attend Bible Study groups … we memorize verses … but we don’t follow the principles we have read. We go about our normal routines in life just as if we knew nothing of the Bible principles we have read, and our lives show no evidence of having read the Bible. James wrote: “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:21-22) (Don’t get stuck on the phrase, “filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness” – it just means an abundance of bad behavior and hatred).
This verse makes it clear that to hear the Word of God and do nothing about it means that we are really fooling ourselves, and that we are not the person that we think we are. To listen to all these wonderful truths from the Bible and then to live whatever way we want to afterwards is … sinful. As a person who wants to be a man of God, I find it daily challenging to surrender to the truths that I read each day. I see my flaws, faults and failures every day I read through the pages of my Bible. When I was younger I thought that if I just could read my Bible every day that I would become a godlier person. I have found for myself that simply reading the words with my eyes and not putting into practice what I have read is of no more value than if I had not read the words at all. I don’t want to be a genius in Bible Trivia games, and not live what I have read. I want to be the real deal as a Christian. I want my Heavenly Father to be able to find me ready and willing when He needs something done. If I am going to be that person, I must live out what I read from my Bible each day. If I simply read the pages, but don’t transfer the truths to my life, I am simply fooling myself! Let’s practice what we read today!