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What the Lord put on my heart as 2017 came to a close and has reiterated with so much that I have read and heard is that we should not be Christian just by name but also in action; To live out to demonstrate, to declare that our faith and our God is real and is active in our lives. And live our lives with the confidence and the knowledge that God is with us, for us and in us, with this knowledge our lives should be transformed.

The way to see this come about is to spend time with Him in prayer, in Bible Study in good fellowship with other believers who build you up and encourage you. And that is why I am encouraging our church to use daily reading notes and a prayer diary so that we may grow together and share together the benefits of what God has for us.

And as if a confirming witness to this I looked at the last two days readings in the UCB Word for today and they read.

Don’t just read it, do it (1)

‘Be doers of the word…not merely hearers.’ James 1:22 NRSV

A businessman known for his ruthlessness, arrogance, and religiosity told Mark Twain that before he died he intended to visit the Holy Land, climb Mount Sinai, and read the Ten Commandments aloud. ‘I have a better idea,’ Twain replied. ‘Just stay here in Boston and keep them!’ We’d rather cogitate on what we don’t know, than act on what we know we need to do. For example, a company knows it needs to improve its quality control so the executives discuss the problem, listen to presentations, read all kinds of books, look at state-of-the-art systems – but never actually get around to doing anything. Their problem isn’t ignorance; it’s knowing too much but doing too little. Another everyday example: people would rather debate the merits of protein vs. carbs, French cooking vs. vegetarian, lifting weights vs. cardio, than change how they eat. The bottom line is simple: expend more calories than you take in. Likewise, some Christians would rather debate doctrine than do what Jesus says. As the old ad for Nike trainers said – just do it! Practise loving a difficult person; try forgiving someone; give some money away; stop and say thanks; worship God; encourage a friend; bless an enemy; when you’re in the wrong say, ‘I’m sorry.’ Face it: you already know more than you need to. And nothing turns people off faster than somebody with a head full of knowledge, who lacks grace and character. It’s the same today as it was when James wrote, ‘Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.’

Day 2

Don’t just read it, do it (2)

‘The Holy Spirit…will teach you…and will remind you of everything I have said.’

John 14:26 NIV (2011 Edition)

Jesus ended His Sermon on the Mount with a striking story that addresses the gap between knowing and doing: ‘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’ (Matthew 7:24 NIV 2011 Edition). The problem is, we find it easier to be smart than to be good. You don’t need to know more about the Bible until you put into practice what you already know. John Ortberg says that when he taught tennis, unskilled novices would agonise over which racket to buy – whether to use nylon or gut strings, whether to string them up at sixty-five or seventy pounds. The problem was, they couldn’t even hit the ball. Instead of debating the minutiae, they simply needed to practise. But a word of caution here: you don’t become a ‘doer of the word’ by drawing on your own strength and willpower. The Holy Spirit who dwells within you is referred to in Scripture as ‘the paraclete’. The word means ‘one who comes alongside to help’. When you decide to do what’s right, the Holy Spirit within you empowers you to do it. When a situation arises, He will prompt you as to what you should do. Jesus promised, ‘The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’ You ask, ‘But what if I don’t get it right?’ He will work with you, giving you opportunities until you do get it right. (UCB Word for Today notes)

Unfortunately there is so much uncertainty and merging of ideas in today’s society and also to some measures in the church that so many people cannot tell what is true and what isn’t. The world is so full of sham and scams it is difficult to decide what is real and what isn’t and we know from imitation goods not only are they worthless but they are dangerous.

If our testimonies as believers do not mirror what we proclaim then in deed our witness may be but a sham and those who are looking for God will not find Him where we are, for how can they trust in one who proclaims to be one of His people.

“The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Let live out what we proclaim.