Christian Living

Listen and Obey

Be Doers of the Word and Not Hearers Only

I write a lot about the importance of reading Scripture and studying God’s Word. But reading and studying the Bible is not enough. We must apply what the Bible teaches to our daily lives for it to matter, for it to change us and impact the world. We must listen and obey what Scripture teaches.

If we hear the Word of God and don’t apply it to our lives, we’re deluding ourselves. Paul, a most knowledgeable man himself, writes to the church in Corinth that knowledge puffs up (1 Corinthians 8:1).

Today’s church focuses on knowledge and rarely mentions putting that knowledge into action. Often this knowledge righty focuses on the Bible, but if we don’t do what it says, if we don’t obey, it accomplishes nothing. Instead, through our knowledge, we become puffed up people.

James writes that merely listening to the Word of God isn’t enough. If we only listen, we deceive ourselves. His prescription is clear: do with it says (James 1:22). The requirement is obedience. Action should be the outcome of our Bible study.

Over the years, many people have told me they want to join a good Bible study. That’s a God-honoring desire, yet for most of these folks, they think that merely reading and studying and talking about Scripture is enough. They don’t realize that they must listen and obey.

Their Bible study, they reason, will honor God. And it will, to some extent. But what God wants us to do is to read his word and apply it to our daily living. He wants changed lives more so than informed minds.

We can read about loving our neighbor, but until we actually do it, what does it matter? If we know we need to love others and don’t follow through, what good is that to them? And what good is it to us? Knowing and doing are two different things.

I think it was Joyce Meyer who said that most Christians already know more Bible than they’re putting into practice.

Don’t be one of those Christians. Read God’s Word and then do it. Listen and obey.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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