Monday, January 2, 2023

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

When someone truly believes something, no matter what it is, they have no problem acting on it. Well it is the same with God's Word. If we truly believe it we will have no problem acting on it. However, when someone has only a mental or intellectual understanding of the Word, they will only admire it or admit that it is true, but they do not act on it. Acting on God's Word is letting Christ act through us and it gives God the opportunity to use us for His purposes.

Jesus said, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

Building on the rock is building on God's Word and it requires action. Therefore, the one who hears God's Word must become a doer, that is, a builder. If he is not a doer of the Word, it is like building a house on sand and when the storms of life come the entire structure (the person) falls. So, the wise man is a doer of the Word, whereas, the unwise person hears it but does not act on it. The main reason why many do not act on God's Word is due to reasoning which erodes faith and therefore their spiritual life is built on sand. If he has faith in anything, it is in man, what man has done.You can tell whether a person is building on the sand or on the rock, by noticing whether they are putting into practice, that is, acting on God's Word. The one who thinks that knowledge is all that is necessary will fail.

James tells us, "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 observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:22-25) 

There is a grave danger of deluding our own selves in this way; we know the Word; we may be familiar with the original Greek or Hebrew; we may know the history of the Word, but that is all wasted energy if we do not live the Word, practice it, act on it. For instance, one who acts on God's Word, when they come to a hard place, and need money, without a second thought, they will turn to the Lord, to the Word, because they know that "...My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) You have taken your place and have acted the part of a real believer, trusting on the integrity of God's Word no matter what the circumstances may dictate. Instead of turning to the world, you turn to the Father to provide.

Maybe a loved one is sick. Instead of being fearful, you remember, "Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses) and carried our sorrows; (pains) yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:4-5) You remember, "who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24)

Maybe some calamity has come, some rumor, something that the devil has stirred up against you. Instead of going into a mode of panic you confidently confess,  "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17) Your trust is in God's Word, because you can bank on Him to be faithful to do what He says He will do.

Unless one is a doer of the Word, he is not a believer of the Word. He has nothing but a mental assent of God's Word, a mere empty profession of religious words. Jesus would call them a sand foundation, a house on the seashore waiting to be destroyed by the next incoming tide. What danger there is with a religion of words if there is no corresponding action. It is a doer of the Word that receives things from God. Idle words may entertain men, but they do not reach God. Please do not take these words as condemning, but encouraging, as the apostle Paul tells us, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13) and in and through Christ so can we.

Therefore, I want to encourage you in this. As we become doers of the the Word, not be a hearer only, the Lord begins to do in us and through us great and wonderful things. So, do not let reason or vain thoughts have their way but, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) PTL... 

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