Don’t Just Hear. Hear and Do.

by Sarah Langness

I’m not gonna lie: my husband and I have a pretty cute kid. (What parent doesn’t say that about their kid?) Unfortunately, though, like all cute kids, our little man doesn’t always do as he’s told. (What kid doesn’t do that to their parents?) But it brings my heart joy when he listens. When he hears me say, “No Zeke; please don’t throw your fork on the floor,” and he doesn’t throw his fork onto the floor’s collection of dropped cheerios and cheese. When he hears me say, “Zeke, can you put your toy in the basket for Mommy?” and he adds that toy to the mound of trucks already in the basket. I can honestly say that such simple things make me smile.

And ya know, I can’t help but think it’s the same way for the Lord. After all, we are His children and He has given us His Word. But He doesn’t want us to just listen. To just underline the parts in our Bibles that sound good, to nod our head in agreement at the things we like, or simply feel inspired, encouraged, or hopeful. He wants us to do.

“But prove yourselves to be doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” – James 1:22, NASB (emphasis mine)

So when the Lord, through His Word, tells me to “open [my] mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate” (Proverbs 31:8), then I need to not be silent in a culture that kills more than 3000 children every day. And “doing” involves more than bringing such a sad fact to light on a blog.

When the Lord, through His Word, tells me to “let no unwholesome word proceed from [my] mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment” (Ephesians 4:29), then I better clamp my mouth shut when gossip wants to spew forth. Even if it is gossip in the form of a “prayer request”.

When the Lord, through His Word, tells me to “‘Love one another, just as [Jesus] has loved [me]” (John 15:12), then I better start showing love to my husband and son by sacrificing what want. I better get out of my comfortable daily routine and reach out to that new mom, or to that one who’s lived down the street for well over a year.

There’s no end to the list. Practicing hospitality (Romans 12:13). Not worrying about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). Making disciples (Matthew 28:28).

But here’s something important – so don’t bypass this or stop reading now:

I don’t do to earn His love.
I don’t do to earn a ticket to heaven.
I don’t do to be “good enough” or “better than”.

I do because I love Him.
Because doing brings Him joy.
Doing points others to Him

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10, NASB (emphasis mine)

What’s Your Standard?

by Sarah Nelson

As Christians we are blessed abundantly.  One of our greatest blessings is having the living, active, God-breathed Word in our hands when we open our Bible and read His message for us.   It is a source of comfort, guidance, and wisdom.  As it says of itself, God’s Word is perfect and sufficient for each one of us.  Many of us have multiple copies of Scripture in various translations to feed and nourish our souls.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We are also blessed with many resources that also can encourage us in our walk with God.  Go to nearly any mall and you will find a Christian bookstore filled with marvelous music, dynamic books, spiritual films and Christian artwork to fill our hearts and homes.   May I encourage you today, as I challenge myself, to compare what is offered by even the most well-intentioned of sources with the written, infallible, Word of God?   Does the teaching within a song, book, or movie, detract or go above what the Word teaches?  Does it make us simply feel good, or shamed, complete, or lacking?  Or does it instead point us to the Scriptural truth that we are sinners, saved by grace, and grace alone?

The American College dictionary defines the word standard as follows: Standard – An authoritative model or measure, a pattern for guidance,by comparison with which the quantity, excellence, correctness etc. of other things may be determined.

Sisters, we must always have God’s Word as our standard for living the Christian life.   His Word never changes, yet is ever new.  His Word is always trustworthy, even when our emotions are not.  His Word points us to Him, and what He did on the cross, and not to ourselves and what we have done.  There are many resources that can aid us in our spiritual journey, but they must always echo the standard of truth found in God’s Word.

An old Sunday School song comes to mind, will you sing it with me?  “The B-I-B-L-E, Yes that’s the book for me!  I stand alone, on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!”  God’s Word, it is a firm and solid place on which to base our lives.  It is a proven standard in which we can fully trust as being God’s message for yesterday, today, and for all time.