6:30am.It’s still dark outside. Cars one by one pull into the parking lot. Coffee shop opens at 7:00, but today they let the group of young people in half an hour earlier. Smell of great coffee quickly awakens the mind. Edison style light bulbs light up a modern conference room. Russian and English Bibles of all shapes and sizes are spread out on the long wooden table. Modern day disciples of Jesus came to read the Word with the ultimate goal of doing the will of the Father.
I’m excited about the study part, but as we keep diving into the word I realize how important it is for Christians to act on the word they read. There’s got to be a balance between study and application. Real world application.
We’re a small group of about 10 souls studying the book of James. And the apostle teaches a great deal about growing up, that is maturing as a Christian. And big part of maturing is learning to make the connection between learning what God wants from us and taking it with us to our immediate life circumstances.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22
James’ warning to the early Christians is great reminder for believers of any generation. There’s a great danger in deceiving yourself. Agreeing with the Word is not doing the Word.
James learned the lesson from his older brother Jesus who taught that “applying the Word of God is the foundation of your Christian living.” Matthew 7:24-27
One example I heard recently is that knowing the word and doing the word are inseparable as two pedals on the bike. It’s impractical to spin just one. That’s why there’s two pedals. And you gotta keep that balance if you want to keep going.
So now at our morning Bible Study we don’t just write in our notes how we are going to apply what we have learned, but at the end we share with a partner how we’re planning to apply the Word in the upcoming days. And when we meet next time we follow on how we were able to apply it. These questions help bring the subject at hand to reality. This encourages everyone to be intentional about doing the Word, not just studying it.
So how about you? That sermon you hear, or that passage you read, did you act on it? Did you invite the Holy Spirit to work on that part of your life? Read the word, do the word. And you’ll be on your way to maturity in Christ.