Practice

<<apply, do regularly>>

We must live out what we claim, actually practicing what we preach (Ezek 33:31). Theory is of little benefit unless it is outworked in reality.

Jesus said it is futile to hear the truth (and give it mental assent) yet not live by it (Mt 7:24-27). The Pharisees failed to live out what they preached (Mt 23:3,4,23). Paul said I don’t want to be disqualified

Live out what you believe

because even though I have preached to others I have failed to take my own advice (1 Cor 9:27). Blessed are you if you hear the Word of God, teach and live it out (Mt 5:19; Lk 12:42-44; Jas 1:22-25). Jesus said His ‘real’ family are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice for “If you hold to my teaching, you are my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (Lk 8:21, 11:28; Jn 8:31,32). Do not just love with words, let that translate into action (1 Jn 3:18). Paul said, “What you have seen and heard in me, put into practice” (Phil 4:9). “If you love me, you will do what I command”, are the words of Jesus (Jn 14:15). Do I apply the principles of the Bible to my daily life?

It’s only by repeatedly doing something that we get proficient at it.  David used his time while minding the sheep for communing with God and improving his natural skills – obviously when he felled Goliath

Practice produces proficiency

with a single stone it was not the first time he had used a sling! (1 Sam 17:34-50). David had developed his physical ability besides having a confident faith in God. God can do miracles through people who rely on His power but also have utilized resources and applied themselves to developing the talents or abilities given. Seldom does God work without co-operation from humans, yet our efforts don’t accomplish eternal results without divine assistance (Zech 4:6). Both faith and works are necessary in the Christian walk (Jas 2:14-26).  Determination to succeed, overcoming setbacks, persistent effort, time and motivation are all necessary factors to bring about specific goals when coupled with power from above. 

Correctly using the Bible to instruct, give guidance and correction to others only comes about by firstly diligently applying yourself to understand its principles and teachings, allowing the personal application to bring about change within. Only then can we speak with integrity. Before we endeavour to remove the speck in another's eye we should eliminate the plank in our own eye (Mt 7:3-5; 2 Tim 2:15, 3:16,17; Heb 5:14).

A habit is something we have ‘practiced’ numerous times so it becomes a subconscious action or reaction in a given circumstance. In this way spiritual practices, such as prayer and tithing, can become a normal and regular part of our lives.  The Bible’s message is to “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Rom 12:13).

See also: application, being and doing, habit, hypocrite, lifestyle, theory, utilise.


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