Living the Word

Living the Word

Jesus’ greatest criticism of the religious leaders of his day was NOT that they didn’t know the Scriptures but rather that they didn’t live the Scriptures.  For example, in Matthew 23:13 Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”  Why did he pronounce this woe upon them?  Because “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger” (Matthew 23:4 ESV).  Jesus said, “Don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach” (Matthew 23:3 CSB) They knew – they just didn’t do!

Don’t forget what the purposes of learning the Scriptures are:  to get to (1) know God more intimately and (2) understand what God wants you to do.  Consider these Scriptures:

  • 1 Timothy 3:14-15 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
  • John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
  • 1 John 3:24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him.

Knowing the Scriptures is extremely important.  But an equally important task of Bible study is, after reflecting on the meaning of a passage, to think about how that passage applies to you.  “What is this scripture saying to me?” is a good question to ask.  This is what we mean when we talk about living the word.  What does this Scripture mean and what should I be doing with this knowledge? How do I apply this learning to my life? 

The Bible gives words of encouragement to each of us in 2 Timothy 2:15 when it says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”  The Bible is saying BE A CRAFTSMAN WITH THE WORD OF GOD!  To do that requires a combination of KNOWING THE WORD and LIVING THE WORD.  When you develop this mindset, you have made a major step in setting yourself on the right spiritual path.  Let’s all augment our knowledge of the Scriptures with a commitment to live the word.

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