Follow the Instructions

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Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:47-49 (NKJV)

A few years ago my dad called me to tell me about this new Bible software package he ordered. As he was telling me about it I began to covet my neighbor’s Bible software. I looked it up at christianbook.com and found it was pretty reasonably priced so I ordered it.

When it came in I eagerly opened the package and installed my new software only to have it lock up as soon as I tried to use it. I messed with it a while and couldn’t get it to work. While I was doing this dad called and asked if my software had come in yet. I told him I had it in my hot little hands and was trying to install it. He gave me a couple of suggestions that didn’t work and then he spoke the words that almost cost him his man card. He said, “Did you read the instructions?

Did I read the instructions? Did I read the instructions? I’m a guy, of course I didn’t read the instructions. I don’t need no stinking instructions. Any doofus can install software. After uninstalling and reinstalling it about 5 times I broke down and read the instructions. It turns out that this program has a bug with Window’s Vista that can be fixed with a small setting change on the computer. What really griped me about this was that it was a display setting and there would have been no way for me to figure this out without reading and following the instructions.

I think that one of the main reasons people crumble during the storms of life and one of the main reasons we blow it so often in life is because we fail to read and follow the instructions that God has given us. God has given us His Word, which as we’ve seen can teach us so much about our lives. Despite the fact that we have this wondrous resource in our hands we often fail to consult it about what needs to be done. And when we fail to consult and follow the instructions we often end up spinning our wheels accomplishing nothing or failing until we break down and consult and follow the instructions.

In this passage Jesus tells us that both builders hear the Word of God. He is not speaking of one person who is a faithful Christian and another who is a rotten, wicked sinner. We could say that both builders go to church, perhaps both builders even read their Bible outside of church. But still, one house survives while the other does not. What makes the difference is what they do with what they learn from God’s Word.

I think that too many times Christians have the idea that the Bible is given for intellectual stimulation alone. We like having a lot of Biblical knowledge, so we study to know more. But if we don’t do more, that knowledge is futile. Knowledge without action is useless. If you think about it this is true in any area of life. It’s not knowing how to eat healthy that has benefits. It’s only when you take that knowledge and put it into practice does it do you any good.

I think it is fair to say that most of us know more about God’s Word than we are living out. Nowhere in the Bible do we find the idea that God’s Word is meant to only make us smarter. We always see that God’s Word is given to change our lives. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119 and it is all about God’s Word. Many times in Psalm 119 the Psalmist prays for God to help him understand the Word. But this understanding was so that he could better put the Word into practice in his daily life (See Psalm 119:7, 32-34). Knowledge should always lead to doing.

It is important to hear God’s word, but it is just as important to obey it. We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study time by the effect it has on our behavior and attitudes.

For further study read James 1:21-25.

What are believers to be?

Who is blessed?

Who is deceived?

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? Luke 6:46 (NKJV)

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