I was on the phone recently with someone who was describing to me a problem they were facing. It wasn’t a massive problem, but the more they described their predicament, the more I realized that it was within my power to help them.
I wish I could say that my first reaction was to offer my time and efforts to them in a selfless, sacrificial manner… but it wasn’t. In all honesty, my first reaction was excuses. I began thinking of every reason that I couldn’t help them. I thought of the time I would have to give up, the money I might have to spend and the planning I would have to do. I thought of every way in which helping them would alter my plans.
I’m not proud that my thought process went in such a selfish direction, but unfortunately that is the way my flesh reacts at times.
Ultimately, I did offer my help that day, but it wasn’t without a fight. And it wasn’t because that was my first reaction.
As I listened to my friend’s problem I began hearing the truth of God’s Word cut right through the center of my selfish train of thought.
I thought about Proverbs 3:27
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”
And Romans 12:13
“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
And Galatians 5:13-14
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
All of that truth chipped away at my flesh and before long I had no excuse to not act. I had the Word of God empowering me and prompting to do something with what I was facing – to act on the Word and to not just hear it (James 1:22).
So often though, I think we are convinced to just be satisfied with hearing, reading and studying God’s Word, rather than living it out.
I know that I am.
I sincerely enjoy reading the Bible. I love hearing a message each week from my pastor. And I regularly listen to sermon podcasts and read Christian books in my leisure time.
What I struggle with is actually living out what I learn. That is when it gets uncomfortable.
It’s one thing to read about serving your neighbors, giving to the poor and forgiving your enemies – it’s another thing to actually do it.
That is what we are called to do though. We are meant to be doers of the Word.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
The power of God is released from the Word when we take action on it in the power of the Spirit. We live in a hurting world that needs more than a bunch of Christians who have memorized a ton of Bible verses.
This world needs Christians who live a life filled to the brim with the sacrificial love of Christ. Christians who understand that love is a verb and not just a word to be used in a theology debate.
This world needs Christians who realize that kingdom of God is a matter of power, not just talk. It needs Christians who have such a faith and belief in God’s power that they fearlessly take action on His Word.
Just as God showed His love for us, we should imitate his example by showing our love to the world.
More than anything, this world simply needs Christianity with less talk and more action.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”
1 Corinithians 4:20