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Pointers along the way #719

If we don't act on what we hear

- Jacob Ninan

Many consider themselves to be believers because they 'believe' in Jesus. When the Philippian jailer asked Paul what he should to be saved, the simple answer was, "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (Ac.16:30,31), wasn't it? They think because they believe they are fine with God, because salvation is through grace and not by works (Ep.2:8,9)! But when the jailer believed, he was now willing to obey the Lord in baptism, wasn't he? What kind of belief or faith is there when one does not have any change in life to show for the faith one professes to have? It is dead and of no use for salvation (Jas.2:20).

What if we 'believe' in so many doctrines but do not live according to them? When we hear or read truths that convict us do we keep aside ones that are inconvenient to us? If we know in our heart that a certain doctrine is true but choose not to follow or proclaim it, where do we stand before God? Do we console ourselves by saying we are 'accepted in Christ'? Do we go on to find out ways of circumventing the truth by counter arguments or explain it away saying that it was only for those days of the apostles? Do we become active in opposing that doctrine so that we can become stronger in convincing ourselves? What happens to our conscience when we suppress the truth? "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them" (Ro.1:18,19). God may even send a spirit of delusion on them because they refuse to love the truth in their heart (2Th.2:11,12).

Why do we go in that direction? One reason is that we want to preserve our reputation before people, especially in our denomination. Another reason is that we don't want to risk losing any material or social advantage we may have in remaining where we are. But we end up losing God's pleasure and anointing over us. Every step of obedience we take towards God opens up new vistas of spiritual blessing we were not even aware of before. Every step taken at the cost of something to ourselves can become a major milestone in our journey with God and ministry (Ge.22:16,17).

What was the real difference between the two men who built houses in the parable of Jesus? Both of them heard His words, but one of them did not act on them (Mt.7:26). His house fell. We can say that his dreams and expectations crumbled in the end. It is not about how much of His words we know or even preach but how we let them direct our lives. God is looking for those who will 'tremble before His words' (Is.66:2). Giving greater respect to His words is a mark of how much we have actually come to know Him. As He examines us, mere theological knowledge or even success in ministry because of gifts will not indicate our standing before God. It will be good for all of us to ask Him to search us and tell us where we go wrong (Ps.139:23,24).


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