Read Scripture And Then Use It
“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).
I enjoy reading the Bible, and I if you are reading this you probably do as well. I also enjoy group Bible studies, Sunday School, small groups and any other means of studying and learning Scripture. We study Scripture because we want to learn more about God, the truth, how to live life abundantly, and gain spiritual strength. We know “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We want to learn, and the more we learn, the more we realize how much we do not know. The Word is essential to our training (and continual retraining) in righteousness.
How many times do we read and study Scripture and then stop? Yes, the Bible is to be read and studied, but it is also to be lived and shared. Our salvation is not in our knowledge of Scripture, but rather our salvation is in the Blood of Christ.
In the time of Jesus, there were teachers of the Law that had a deep and profound knowledge of Scripture. Jesus warned us about their hypocrisy in Matthew 23:2-3. “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” One of the many names used to refer to Jesus was “teacher” (John 13:13). As a teacher, Jesus wants us to use His teaching and “go and do likewise.” The evangelist D.L. Moody once said, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.”
In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells the story of two builders – a wise one and a foolish one.
The foolish man builds his house on sand. When a storm comes, the house falls with a great crash. Jesus says people who hear His teachings but don’t put them into practice are like that foolish builder. The wise builder, though, builds his house on the rock. When rain and winds come, his house stands firm. Jesus says: “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).
The Book of James speaks at length about putting into action what the Bible teaches. The first chapter of the book of James includes three characteristics that we will have if we are putting God’s Word into practice. We will have:
A controlled mouth: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
A caring heart: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).
A clean mind: “keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
The disciples learned the Word from the Word (Jesus). Jesus knew that knowing and doing are different so He told, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Biblical knowledge is a blessing, but a greater blessing can be found when we put its teachings into practice.
I love the familiar Scripture in Psalm 118:24. “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Think about the words “rejoice and glad.” I think we show these attributes by showing Christ. We show Christ when we put our faith into Christ-like words, thoughts, and action. Read your Bible and be a doer of the Word.
Prayer: Dear God: Thank you for revealing yourself to us through your Word. Help us to not only study your Word but to put it into action in our daily lives. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys writing inspirational Christian blogs at ToddShupe.com and Todd-Shupe.com .