Webster defines the word application as;
1. the act of putting to a special use or purpose.
Every day I read the bible. Every day I pray. But not every day I act like a Christian. Why?
Because we forget to become doers of the word. The bible is very clear that if you and I don’t become doers of the word, we are like the man who looks in the mirror and forgets what we look like after we walk away.
James 1:22-25 (NASB) 22 “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
All the knowledge of the bible and all the sermons in the world will not make you a good Christian unless you apply what you know and what you hear to your walk. For example: Love your neighbor. If you don’t know or get to know your neighbor, how can you love them?
Another example: The Lord’s prayer says “forgive us as we have forgiven our debtors.” Is that a prayer we want to pray? Lord, forgive just like those I forgive? How many times have you been faced with a situation where you held a grudge instead of forgiving someone? Christians have been set free from the guilt of sin, but I often wonder if we show that in the way we treat others. If the way we’ve been forgiven transforms the way that we forgive.
Read this passage from Matthew that you’ve most likely heard before, but is always impactful.
Matthew 18: 21-35
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.[a] 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.[b] 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant[c] fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii,[d] and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,[e] until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Are you and I really applying the words of God to our life? Or are we just going through the motions? The dictionary says it means: the act of putting to a special use or purpose. How are you applying God’s Word? For knowledge? That’s not too special.
God wants us to share His word. He wants us to apply what we learn in our lives, our families’ lives and to each person, we come in contact with.
Question 1: Are you a forgetful hearer or an effectual doer of God’s word?
Question 2: How does God’s forgiveness of us shape how we treat others? Have we done that?
Uncommen Challenge: Apply God’s Word. Don’t check out by Sunday lunch from the sermon on Sunday morning. Take action to live out your faith.
Author: Jody Burkeen, the founder of Man Up God’s Way and Pastor of Ignite Church.
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