To grow as a Christian, you need to put what you read in the Word into practice-to take what God says at face value and do what He says to do. “If you know these things,” Jesus said, “blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:17)
When you read about Jesus showing love and consideration to all men, ask Him to help you be more like Him in that respect, and He will.
When you read about Jesus humbly serving those He was leading into the kingdom of Heaven and He says, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you,” (John 13:15) believe that He is talking to you. Become a “slave of all,” and you will be great in His eyes. (Mark 10:42-44)
When you read “whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight,” (1 John 3:22) do your best to obey and please the Lord, and see Him answer your prayers wonderfully.
When you read that it is more blessed to give than to receive, (Acts 20:35) give of yourself and your material things to others in need, and watch God repay you many times over. (Luke 6:38)
When Jesus says, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you,” (John 20:21) let Him use you to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus with others, and see Him transform lives before your very eyes.
“Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
– James 1:22-25
You can read all the Word you want, but if it doesn’t come to life by the Spirit, it’s not going to do anything! You can quote it word for word right out of the Bible, but if you don’t live it in love, it won’t do any good.
(Message from Jesus:) I have spoken many Words unto My children throughout all the ages. I have revealed unto them truth, truth, and more truth. I have given unto them many revelations through My Words, and it is up to them to choose to follow, to believe, to receive. Those who do, prosper and grow; those who do not, fall along the wayside of limited fruitfulness. There are many today who believe My Words, but do not receive all that I have to say. They are able to accomplish some, but I cannot use them to the full, because they do not receive all that I give, or all that I have given, nor all that I will give.
That is their choice, and this is the choice that I give unto each one of you: whether to forge ahead and continue to receive and believe the Words that I give, or to remain on the plateau at which you have arrived. This is always the choice that is given to My children. Will they continue to climb, or will they be satisfied where they are? If they choose to be satisfied, then I will use them there on that plateau, and they will be fruitful there. But those who choose to carry on up the mountain will go to new heights and receive the blessings and the fruitfulness that are higher up the mountain.
These are the Words that I have given, and this is the choice that I put before you: Do you come to Me with an open or a closed heart? Have you decided that you have climbed this far and will climb no further, or will you climb further in faith? This is what I ask you: that you decide, that you search your heart.
Know this, that I love those that remain on the plateau, and I love those that continue the climb. But they that continue to climb will ascend higher and see more and partake of those things which are higher up the mountain. Each one must make his own choice.
Love the Author, love the Book
There once was a young woman who read a certain book and remarked to a friend that it was one of the dullest books she had ever read. Not long after this, she met a young man with whom she promptly fell in love.
One evening she said to him, “I have a book in my library which was written by a man whose name is the same as yours. Isn’t that a coincidence?”
“I don’t think so,” he replied. “I wrote that book.”
The woman sat up half that night, rereading the book. This time, she thought it was the most interesting book she had ever read! What made the difference? She now knew and loved the author.
-Dr. Howard W. Pope, adapted