Tag Archives: applying god’s word

Internalizing God’s Word

Several years ago I had a boss that I didn’t see eye to eye with. They had their way of doing things and I had mine, but they had a “my way or the highway” mentality. They thought their way was the best way to do the job. I voiced my disagreement and explained why my way was better. They listened politely then told me to do it their way. At that point, I developed a forced compliance mentality. I would do the job my way, unless they came around. Sometimes I would do it their way out of spite, but over emphasize certain aspects of it and say, “This is what you said you wanted.” It didn’t create a good relationship. I kept thinking my way was better the whole time and never truly gave their way a chance. We were both miserable the whole time I worked for them.

Sometimes we approach Christianity that way. We read God’s Word and disagree with how it tells us to live. We think we have a better way so we live one way on Sunday when we think God is watching, and live a completely different way the rest of the week. We argue with pastors and teachers about what God really meant or we look for someone online who will agree with us. We simply want the benefits of Christianity without changing how we live. Jesus described this mentality in Luke 6:46-47 when He said, “Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on” (MSG). Jesus isn’t offering good morals to live by. He’s offering a different way to live completely and a compliance mindset won’t work.

Instead, we need to truly internalize His words if we’re going to integrate them into our lives and change how we live. They have to move from our head to our heart. Jesus continued in verses 48-49, “If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.” We can’t just pick and choose what we believe in the Bible or just talk about Christianity. To internalize His words, read them asking Him to help you understand how to apply them. Meditate on them to think deeply about them so you can work them into your life. Christianity isn’t a list of rules to follow, it’s a way of life to live.

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Applied Christianity

It’s starting to be that time of year with all the commercials for gyms and exercise equipment. Whether it’s the Bowflex, Mirror, Tonal or something else, they’re great at speaking to something deep within us that wants to improve. They show images of people who are very fit and strong using the equipment. They promise that we can look like that too if only we will commit to a few minutes a day. We identify with the end result of how the person on the screen looks, so we purchase them. We start out with great intentions of using it, but by a month or two in, it becomes a very expensive clothes hanger. We loved the end result, but struggle with the daily application.

One of the scariest Bible verses to me is Matthew 7:22-23. Jesus said, “On the day of judgment many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, don’t you remember us? Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we cast out demons and do many miracles for the sake of your name?’ But I will have to say to them, ‘Go away from me, you lawless rebels! I’ve never been joined to you!’” (TPT) My immediate thought when I read that is, “Lord, I don’t want that to be me.” He describes someone who acts like a Christian and does things for Jesus, but in the end, they missed something. He then goes on to tell the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders to illustrate this point, and it all comes down to application.

Jesus said in verse 24, “Everyone who hears my teaching and applies it to his life can be compared to a wise man who built his house on an unshakable foundation.” just like the exercise equipment there’s a big difference between the person who identifying with the end result and the person who applies the exercise daily to their life. Those who identify with Christianity (the morals, good living, etc.) but never apply the Word of God to how they live are like the foolish builder and are the ones whom Jesus will tell that He never knew. The ones who don’t just have a form of Christianity, but have the relationship with Christ through prayer and spiritual disciplines will be like the wise builder with an unshakable foundation whom Jesus knows and recognizes. Each of us have the daily chose of identification or application. Choose wisely.

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School’s Out

As a kid, this was one of my favorite weeks of the year because it was the beginning of summer. For the next three months, school was out and summer was in session. Eventually i graduated high school and then started taking college courses. They had the option to take summer courses. You could either take a summer break or you could take classes through the summer and finish college early. In either case, the time came when there was no more summer vacation, and it was time to put my education to use.

The same is true of our life with Jesus. If you grew up in church, you probably went to Sunday School or children’s church where they taught you the stories of the Bible. They helped you to memorize Bible verses, learn the books of the Bible and to have fun at church. But just like school, eventually your time ran out and it was time to go to big church. The learning didn’t stop, but the environment changed. It was less about the stories and more about how to apply them to your life.

Colossians 2:7 says, “You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving” (MSG). There comes a time when we need to not just study the Bible, but to apply it in our lives too. What good is knowledge if it’s never applied? Our faith grows and gets stronger when it’s tested and proven. Make today the start of being a Bible doer instead of just a Bible studier. Take one thing you’ve learned, apply it and live it out. Then keep adding to it day by day until you’re living a life of faith.

Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

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