Practicing Living The Word!

Practicing Living The Word!

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curseRejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:6-18 NIV

This is how we know–who’s practicing their faith in Jesus Christ–by living according to The Word!

The gifts–are spiritual gifts–poured upon those who are called and anointed to minister The Word of God in various leadership roles and others. There are people in churches who are not part of the leadership team, but they are gifted to encourage and know how to love, all.

What does it mean to other a person above yourself? Mothers can probably best relate to this simply analogy. When there’s a limited amount of food for a family to eat, most mothers–even though they cooked the sparse meal–will not eat until all others in the family have eaten. The love of a mother surpasses understanding because it is an inherent gift from God. So from godly mothers–we learn how to put others before ourselves.

Everything we do–whether in a spiritual setting or in a secular setting–in church, home or office–we do as a service to The Lord–promoting Him and not us.

We live with hope based upon our faith and encourage others to hope in Him–who provides us with all things.

We are faithful in communicating with Him about all matters that concern us and then we listen–patiently–to what He has to say to our hearts or through His Word before we do anything.

We have no problem sharing what we have with those in need because we know–as Believers and doers of The Word–it is our responsibility to take care of the poor and the needy.

We welcome strangers into our midst as members of the family–loving them all–not turning them away or making disparaging remarks about them.

We know how to smile through the negativity projected towards and tell those who do it–we love them–sincerely, but we do not respond in kind to evil.

We know how to rejoice with others in times of great joy and comfort them as they mourn, allowing empathy to rule the day.

We know how to live in harmony with others without trying to drown them out with our opinions–or expectations–for them to conform and be like us. We embrace diversity and find ways to make harmonious living work like the strands of music orchestrated by the finest musicians.

We are not so proud of who we are that we belittle others or look down on them because they are not us. Believers–whose faith is in God, not mortal beings–do not think we are above others, but know it is because of Him that we can encourage others to become acquainted with Him. The difference between the unbelieving and the believing–the gift of love received from God!

We do what is right in the presence of everyone because we know God sees everything we do and will correct us when we are wrong.

When we have received the peace of God through Jesus Christ, we know how to live in peace and promote peace as a way of life.

In observing what people do and say, we can rightly assess who is practicing living The Word. For those who are practicing, know they have not reached perfection, but they are relentless in their attempt to do what is right before God–not man. If we don’t see any effort or attempt by others to practice living The Word--perhaps they have not come to a place where they realize–the only Savior is Jesus!

Let’s practice daily–being doers of The Word–in all we do–being the living letter for all to see just how good God is!

Practicing What’s Learned!

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9 NIV)

“Whatever” you have learned–practice–and the God of peace will be with you. If there is always an opposing perspective that is equally true, then whatever people have learned from watching others, and put into practice that is in opposition to God, there will be no peace with them.

If others see a married couple with children, struggle through the trials of life and yet remain faithful and committed to the relationship, they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see married couples move in and out of marriages as quickly as they change their clothes, they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people doing good–always doing the right thing–no matter what their circumstances–they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people taking advantage of others, misusing and abusing others, they will learned to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people living their lives according to The Word, they will learn to do the same and know peace in their lives and practice what they have learned.

If others see people living their lives any way they want to live, they will learn to do the same and never know peace in their lives and practice what they have learned.

This list could go on and on, but the bottom line is that whatever people see and hear us do, when we are the influence in their lives, that is what they will learn and practice.

Perhaps, this is why there is no peace in the land. Not many people have seen others practice what they preach (in many cases) and so they practice what they see and God is never in the midst of foolishness or evil, so chaos reigns.

So, if we really want to see change in our homes, in our communities, in the nations, we must do all according to The Word, so that all will see and hear what we do, practice what we do and then the peace of God will reside with us and there will be no more confusion in our midst.

I encourage every Believer to watch what they do and say because others are watching and what they see us do and hear what we say, they will put into practice. It’s up to us to influence living according to The Word.

Patterns Matter!

“Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13 NLT).

I remember when I was sewing most of my clothes–primarily because of a home economics class in which I had to learn to read a pattern–how difficult it was for me to understand the pattern. The one thing I noticed, though is when I had “repeated”using the pattern often enough, I had no problem getting the results I wanted in the clothing I wanted to wear. This was in high school–when we didn’t have much money and fabric was considerably cheap. I was able to use patterns from a neighbor and learned to modify the pattern to suit my own tastes. I made jackets, pantsuits (before they were popular) skirts, dresses, belts–whatever I wanted to wear. I even learned to modify clothing by adding “lace or trimming” to lengthen a gown for someone else.

When my daughter first began school, I made her school clothes and then somewhere along the way, I stopped sewing and lost sight of how to read the patterns.

When we don’t practice doing a thing–we lose sight on how to do it. Like learning a foreign language–we must practice or we lose our ability to remember it. Typing requires continual practice to maintain accuracy and speed.  The same principle applies to–well, just about anything–we must practice and hold onto patterns in learning that make learning worthwhile.

If this works for learning, it will also work for teaching–anything. When we develop wholesome patterns–that work every time–we create situations in which we can be assured of the results. And this is the admonition Paul was giving to Timothy (and us)–make sure the pattern is shaped by faith and love we have in Christ Jesus.

If what we teach is not based upon the same pattern–foundation in The Word–the results will be unpredictable and this is how division in the body of Christ is created–people have forgotten to hold onto the pattern of faith and love.

Establishing patterns in life–make differences–especially when we want to achieve specific results–time after time–that glorify God!

Hold onto the patterns of wholesome teaching based upon The Word and be assured of the results that have a foundation in The Word, shaped by faith and love!