Don’t just read it, do it (2)
Jesus ended His Sermon on the Mount with a striking story that addresses the gap between knowing and doing: ‘Therefore anyone 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). There are two parts: hearing the words and putting them into practice. The Bible is a great guide for finding out how we should be living and how we can build a relationship with God. But once we’ve read it, we need to do it. When Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, He taught them to serve each other. He said: ‘Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them’ (John 13:17 NIV). Knowing what to do is necessary, but the blessing is in putting it into action. But we don’t become ‘doers of the word’ by drawing on our own strength and willpower. The Holy Spirit who lives within us is referred to in Scripture as ‘the paraclete.’ The word means ‘one who comes alongside to help.’ When we decide to do what’s right, and put what we’ve learnt into action, the Holy Spirit within us empowers us to do it. When a situation arises, the Spirit prompts us as to what we 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.’ There’s always the possibility that we’ll fail and make mistakes. But if we go wrong, God will work with us and will give us opportunities to try again.
Every time you read or study the Bible, write down one action point from what you’ve read. Then try and put it into practice.