Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do What It Says

I was listening to a sermon recently by Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte. It's from The Essential James series and was based on James 1:22-25.

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. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Steven mentioned how, when he was in college, he realized that he was not getting anything out of the chapel times so he decided that he would make a point to find something in each message that he could apply to his life and then apply it some way that week. I found that very interesting because often I will write notes on the sermon I hear but most of the time the notes stay in my Bible until the next Sunday and nothing was really done about what I heard. So I thought that I would try to take a step toward application of the word by writing my thoughts on the messages I hear on here to see if that doesn't help me be more action-driven.

Speaking of "doing what it says." Philippians 3:16 says, "Only let us live up to what we have already attained." The note in my Bible does a great job of explaining this verse. "Christian maturity involves acting on the guidance that you have already received. We can always make excuses that we still have so much to learn. The instruction for us is to live up to what we already know and live out what we have already learned. We do not have to be sidetracked by an unending search for truth."

There is a lot that I already know but don't always obey. For example, I don't always love my neighbor as myself. Nor do I always consider the interests of others. There are plenty of verses that need to be applied to my life now. I don't need to know everything the Bible says I ought to do before I start doing some of it. So I have started a little notebook of God's truths that I should learn and abide by. Though, really, if I could get a grasp on the first one I have written down, then pretty much everything else would fall in line, I bet.

The first one I have written is Mark 12:29-31.
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

To sum all of this up, I am planning to post my thoughts/application from the messages I hear. Hopefully additional action will follow.

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