“As he (Jesus) was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘God bless your mother- the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!’ He replied, ‘But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice!’”
Bob knew that his laziness was a problem. He knew his father and brother had both died of obesity and heart disease. He actually bought a treadmill and set it up in his family room to walk on as he watched the news. That was 3 years ago and the treadmill is now a coat hanger and a place for the kids to play. He tried for a month but just wouldn’t stick with it. He continued gaining weight and the doctor warned him strenuously about his heart. But Bob loved his chips and chocolate too much.
Sally knew her cutting words and critical attitude were hurting her marriage and taking the heart out of her husband. She knew she needed to change, but felt she had every right to feel as she did and show her constant displeasure to her husband. She had heard many Biblical messages on the tongue, and the admonition from the scripture to speak only what was good and helpful to build others up, but she simply continued to say what she felt, and eventually her marriage started to come apart. As Proverbs says, “she tore it down with her very own hands.”
Lars had every intention of spending more time with his family. He knew He needed to build relationships with his children, he knew he needed to spend time with them and invest in their lives, and in a relationship with them. But one thing after another, it just seemed like life got in the way. His job was demanding, his “mission work” was important, his smartphone was always by his side and seemed to never leave his hands! When his teenage daughter became pregnant, Lars was stunned, heartbroken, and realized then how much she had needed him to be involved, aware, attentive, and engaged. He desperately wished he had paid attention to the wise, Biblical advice he heard at that Christian conference 6 years earlier.
Julian and Olivia really wanted to get a handle on their finances. They kept dreaming of the day their ship would come in and they would finally have an abundance of funds. It never dawned on Julian that his love for Mountain Dew and his favorite burrito every day was keeping him poor with no savings. He just never stopped to figure out that $7 a day, 5 days a week, was $140 a month! Olivia loved her Starbucks. She worked hard and felt it was her right to get one each day of the week. She never took the time to grasp that $4 a day, 7 days a week, averaged $120 a month. They did not stop to think,” Hmm, $260 a month times 12 months is $3120 a year.” Put that in a 401k and keep adding $260 a month for 35 years at 7% growth, and you have $464,265 and all you did was stop the burrito, the Mountain Dew, and the Starbucks coffee! And that is without any employer match!
Friends, now back to the verse at the beginning of this article. The greatest blessing in the world is to read the Word of God, which is the primary way you hear God’s Word, God’s wisdom, God’s guidance, and commands and to put into practice what God says! This is without a doubt the most vital, consequential, and life-changing thing I have done in the last 45 years of my life. I became a practitioner of God’s word. No matter how many times I fell short, no matter how many times I had to discipline myself, to beat my body and make it my slave, to rebuke myself, and pull myself back into line, I made a lifelong commitment to be a faithful hearer/reader and practitioner of God’s Word, God’s commands, and God’s wisdom in the Bible! It is without a doubt the wisest and best thing I’ve ever done.
Are you a practitioner of the Christianity you profess? Are you a reader/hearer and practitioner of the Word of God? Simply, honestly evaluate your regular, daily life habits and choices and you will have your answer.