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Practicing Christianity

For years I was trained to teach others using the SHWIRPPA model. It turns out that if you just see or read something, you will only retain about 10%. If you just hear it, you will retain about 20%. When you observe something, you will retain about 30%. If you read it and hear it, you will retain up to 50%. It increases to 75% if you repeatedly write it, and if you practice it often, you will retain up to 90%. All my teachings and trainings then couldn’t just be me lecturing because the learner would only retain about 20%. What I have to do is include practices built into my classes so that the person in the room could retain almost all the information that I gave. The simple act of giving them the opportunity to apply what they had learned through a role play or practice exponentially increased their ability to remember and change their behavior.

It’s no wonder that James told us to not just be hearers of the Word (20% retention), but doers of the Word (90%). Becoming a Christian is not just about gaining knowledge or learning about God, it’s about becoming a new creation and changing our life. We can spend hours reading the Bible or other books about how to live the life God called us to, but until we interpret it and apply it, we will forget most of what we read or learn. Putting what you’ve learned into practice is a key element to growth. Try to remember last week’s sermon. How much do you remember from it? If you didn’t go out and apply the message, you probably don’t remember much. It’s time each of us began to own our growth by looking for ways to apply all we’ve learned so we can become more Christ-like each day.

Here are some Bible verses on practicing what you’ve learned.

1. Practice these things and devote yourself to them, in order that your progress may be seen by all.

1 Timothy 4:15 GNT

2. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:9 NLT

3. Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom; hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.

Proverbs 28:7 MSG

4. Blessed are those who observe justice [by honoring God’s precepts], Who practice righteousness at all times.

Psalms 106:3 AMP

5. What good does it do for you to say I am your Lord and Master if what I teach you is not put into practice? Let me describe the one who truly follows me and does what I say. He is like a man who chooses the right place to build a house and then lays a deep and secure foundation. When the storms and floods rage against that house, it continues to stand strong and unshaken through the tempest, for it has been wisely built on the right foundation.

Luke 6:46-48 TPT

Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

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Perfect Practice


One of the things I tell people is, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.” By practicing perfectly, you can train your mind and body to respond a certain way and create muscle memory,. What we do in practice, is what we do in the game. It’s why professional athletes put in hours of practice for a game that lasts a couple of hours. Coaches draw up plays, but if they’re not practiced over and over again, the execution of those plans will fail in the game.

Our playbook is the Bible. It has God’s plans for us on how to live, how to conquer the enemy, how to defeat temptation, how to live a life of love, how to endure hard times, and so on. If we don’t read it or study it, how will we know how God wants us to live? God wants us to put His word into practice in our lives every day. He wants us to be victorious so He’s given us a way to do it, but we have to learn it first. We have to study our playbook and then put it into practice.

Here are some verses in the Bible to remind us of the importance of knowing God’s Word and of putting it into practice.

1. My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith if your actions do not prove it? Can that faith save you?So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.

James 2:14, 17 GNT

2. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalms 119:11 NLT

3. Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom.

Proverbs 28:7a MSG

4. LET LOVE for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail].

Hebrews 13:1 AMP

5. Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice!

John 13:17 GNT

6. Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Luke 11:28 NLT

7. Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 MSG

8. Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody.

1 Timothy 4:15 AMP

9. But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

James 1:25 GNT

10. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:9 NLT

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10 Scriptures On Practice



1.   You must faithfully keep all my commands by putting them into practice, for I am the LORD. (Leviticus 22:31 NLT)

2.   LET LOVE for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail]. (Hebrews 13:1 AMP)

3.   Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom; hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family. (Proverbs 28:7 MSG)

4.   Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. (James 1:22 GNT)

5.   Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). (1 John 3:18 AMP)

6.   Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. (Romans 12:9-10 MSG)

7.   Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9 GNT)

8.   When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 NLT)

9.   Till I come, devote yourself to [public and private] reading, to exhortation (preaching and personal appeals), and to teaching and instilling doctrine…Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody. (1 Timothy 4:13, 15 AMP)

10.   Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (Philippians 4:8-9 MSG)

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Planning For Greatness

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I once had a friend that lived according to her Franklin Covey planner. She scheduled everything in that binder. If it wasn’t in there, she didn’t do it. I, being young, made fun of her. I asked her if she was ever spontaneous. She responded that she had time on Thursday evening to be spontaneous and wrote it in. Her life was mapped out and she was going places. I lived by no schedule and was going no where. She went where she wanted in life and I went where life took me. It’s not hard to see how important it is to make a plan and to work that plan.

I talk to a lot of people who are going to do great things for God. They tell me what God wants them to do with their lives. I ask, “What are you doing today to prepare for that calling?” Usually I get the religious answer, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He’ll prepare me in time.” I ask them what they are doing to today in the form of that calling. I usually hear crickets chirping. They, like so many of us, expect God to give us honorary doctorates in whatever field He’s called them to with no work on their part. They believe it will just happen.

I believe things don’t just happen. God expects us to plan, prepare and practice before it’s time to perform. We have to schedule time with Him, start out small and invest in our calling. When Jesus gave the Parable of the Talents, He said, “You have been faithful over a little; I will put you in charge of much.” So many Christians shun the little things because we want to do big things for God. We forget that God won’t give us the big things until we show we can be faithful over the small things. If you can’t spend time alone with God when your life isn’t hectic, how will you do it when it is?

I remember hearing Andy Stanley speak at Catalyst two years ago. He said that none of the speakers at Catalyst had an easy road to that stage. They paid high prices in the little things before God would trust them with the big things. Greatness in life only comes from being faithful when you aren’t great. All giants in the faith started out small. Major churches, giant Christian organizations and well known preachers started somewhere small. They had God’s call on their life to do something great and they started small. They scheduled time with God and began doing things that wouldn’t be noticed by most.

Do you feel like God has called you to do something big for Him? What are you doing today to prepare for that? What is a little thing that you can put on your schedule to do this week to move you closer to greatness? I heard someone once say, “If you were going to do it, you’d already be doing it.” If something is important to us and will pay out greater dividends, we wouldn’t wait until later to do something. We’d already be doing things to make that happen. We’d already have it on our schedule. Be faithful now when no one is looking so God can trust you when people are.

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