“But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves.”
When we are anxious, overwhelmed, or depressed God’s word is a wonderful place to turn. The scriptures remind us of His love and give us a proper perspective in light of His mercy and grace. But it also calls us to action and obedience. It’s important to spend time reading, meditating, and memorizing the Bible but we have to remember, it was given to us as a road map of how to live.
Francis Chan gives a great illustration of this point. He imagined a scenario in which he was going out of town on a speaking engagement and left a note for his daughter. The note explained that he would be gone for a while but when he returned, he wanted her room to be clean. When he got back, he walked down the hall and noticed the mess still untouched in her room. He stepped into her doorway and asked her in surprise, “didn’t you get my note?” Her response shocked him. “Yes, dad, I sure did! I made sure that I read it every single day. In fact, I have it memorized and I even had some of my friends over and we discussed the letter!”
Of course, we recognize the absurdity of such a story, but many times we’re guilty of the same thing. We may spend time reading God’s word, thinking about it, discussing it, and even memorizing it. We might take great pride in doing so. But we would be missing one of the main intentions of God’s letter. He’s left us instructions on what we’re to do and He has expectations that we represent Him before He returns.
God’s word was written to give us hope and lead us into a new life in Christ, but make no mistake, it will not be fully realized in us until we live out its words.
- What is one passage from God’s word that you can live out today?
- Is there an area of obedience that you’ve been avoiding, thinking that simply reading about it in scripture is good enough?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?