IT TAKES PRACTICE
"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you."
I'm not a very good golfer. I like to play golf, but I rarely score well. Years ago, when I was beyond abysmal (I have improved over the years), I was playing with my district manager from Nalco Chemical Company. My DM was a very good golfer. At hole #12, I humbled myself and asked him for some advice for my game. He told me, “You want my advice? Sell your clubs!” How rude ... but understandable given the state of my game.
As anyone who plays golf knows, the secret to getting good is that dirty little eight letter word P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E. You will never consistently hit the ball on the course unless you hit tons of balls on the driving range. Practice is essential to playing good golf.
Practice is also essential to the Christian life. Paul told the Christians in Philippi that they needed to take what he had taught them and modeled for them ... and put it into practice in their daily lives. You see, it is not enough to know the truth. You must start applying the truth to your life in order to receive benefit and blessing from the truth.
Debbie and I have been teaching and counseling couples in marriage for many years. We know what the Bible says about how to make a marriage survive and thrive. We can give you chapter and verse on loving leadership, godly submission, conflict resolution, sexual intimacy, and the like. But, you know what? Our own marriage is not benefitted one iota from this knowledge unless we put these truths into practice.
A few years ago, we were driving to Rogers, AR to lead a marriage conference. Rogers is about a five-hour drive from our home in Texarkana, TX. Debbie was driving, and I was napping. I awoke to a sign that said, “Welcome to Oklahoma.” Now, I'm not great with directions, but I knew something was seriously wrong. Debbie claimed that our wrong turn was my fault since—get this—I was sitting in the navigator's chair. I tried to explain that I was sleeping, but to no avail. I was mad, and she was mad, and it was "game on." We didn't speak to one another for several hours ... and we were driving to lead a marriage conference! (#hypocrites)
Well, the good news is both of us were convicted by our actions. We apologized to one another for getting angry. We forgave each other and made up that night, a day before the conference started. (#nolongerhypocrites)
What is the point? Jesus said, "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them" (John 13:17). Blessing is not in the knowing of God's commands, it is in the doing of God's commands, applying and practicing His Word in your daily life.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you putting God's Word into practice in your life? You may know you are to forgive those who hurt you, but are you doing it? You know you are to seek first the kingdom of God, but are you doing it first thing in the morning? You know the Lord loves a cheerful giver, but are you cheerfully giving? You know the Lord wants you to walk by faith and not by sight, but are you looking around instead of looking up?
If you will put God's Word into practice in your life, you will see the blessings flow ... and "the God of peace shall be with you."
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.