Thursday, September 9, 2010

Let's Do It

I enjoy Twitter. It is an interesting world filled with interesting people. It is also a place that puts people on equal footing, no one greater or more important than anyone else. The other day Melodie-Joy wrote to a well known singer because she was disappointed in only having received half of the music she had ordered. She wrote, not expecting a reply, but more like the attitude of throwing her disappointment to the wind. Much to her surprise and delight the singer replied to her as if she was a friend down the street. Another thing about Twitter is the great encouragement that is given through Scripture and wise sayings. I can always be guaranteed of reading something uplifting and inspiring when I pop into the Twitterverse. However, these things are like scattering words to the wind if no one actually does anything with them.

It is pretty well like anything else in our life; its great to have it but you have to do something with it. Its wonderful that you have a 60" television on your wall but if you don't turn it on it becomes a big waste of space. It is equally wonderful that your fridge and cupboards are full of food, but it you don't cook there is not much point to it. In this same manner Jesus taught us incredible truths that could change the world but they are things that have to be acted on. He said:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)

In this relationship we have with Jesus we have to move beyond him being like a "Santa Claus" or a great sounding board. He has laid a foundation of teachings that he has also enabled us to understand. These teachings open the Father's heart to us and reveals his will. He has shown us how to honour the Father with our living. He has taught us how to love God and how to love our neighbour. He has taken us to the heart of the law in order that we would have understanding about attitude, motivation and actions. To claim to love and follow Jesus and then fail to apply his teaching to our life turns us into hypocrites and liars. Using the purest sense of hypocrite, a Greek word for actor, we become a person playing a part with little understanding of our motivation and purpose. When the storms hit and our faith is challenged we will fall like a house of cards:

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.  (Matthew 7:26-27)

It is more than a Sunday School lesson or a children's song; this is the truth revealed to us by the "Word made flesh". Those who ignore the teachings of Jesus, who neglect studying it, also fail to apply it and fail to understand why they struggle with faith and why they don't seem to weather storms very well. The teachings of Jesus are not poetry or great philosophy, they are life altering, life giving words. They have been given to us to apply to our lives every single day of our lives. I like the way James, the brother of Jesus, stated it:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (James 1:22-24)

Christianity is not a philosophy or a way of improving your life. It is not a crutch or a way to become rich and comfortable. Christianity is to belong to Jehovah and deepening that relationship by living according to his will. It is a relationship with people, honouring and blessing them by living with them in the manner Jesus taught. Christianity is all about a righteous relationship between us and Jehovah, and between us and our neighbour. Jesus made it possible by teaching us how to live and then empowering us to apply this teaching through the Holy Spirit. Let us not dishonour our Father and our Lord Jesus by turning the Word into another useless philosophy in this world. Let's study it and let's do it.

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