Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. —Matthew 23:1-3

            Do you “practice what you preach?” Wherever we hear the Word of God preached we are to apply the Word to our lives, even if the person is not doing so in their lives. God’s Word is God’s Word regardless if the person speaking it is faithfully applying it or not.

            Now we do want to follow others who are faithfully following Jesus— “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1).  Again, Paul says, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 1:13). Because “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher” (Luke 6:40).  This training is not just acquiring knowledge, but it also includes applying what one hears. Those who apply what they hear attain wisdom— “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24). Yes we “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (James 1:22-25). It is self-deception to hear God’s Word and then not to do what it says!

Dear Father please help me to “practice what I preach.” Oh, that I would learn what You would have me apply to life before I try to share that with others. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

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