Applying God’s Word

Mike Johnson

People often hear the Word of God but are not willing to obey it.  Some may intend to obey, but they never seem to get around to it.  It is not enough to simply hear or even know God’s Word: we must be willing to obey it.

Notice an interesting comparison made in James 1:22-25.

But 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.

Imagine a man looking into a mirror before he leaves the house every morning seeing things such as a crooked tie, messed up hair, food on his face, and his shirt unbuttoned.  But all he does is looks; he never makes any changes.

Similarly, a lot of people are doing the same thing with the Word of God.  They look into the mirror of God’s Word, but when they see certain aspects of their life lacking, they make no changes.  God’s Word must be applied for it to do any good.

Consider the following story.

It Must Be Applied

A gospel preacher met an acquaintance, a soap manufacturer, on the street.  All about the two men were evidences of worldliness and sin, in the flashing signs advertising liquor, in the shadowy stairways leading to questionable places of amusement, and even in the language tossed into the air by a careless throng of pedestrians.

“Your religion hasn’t done any good, otherwise there would be no sinful people like we see here,” said the friend to the preacher.

As they walked on, they came near a little boy playing in the gutter, his hands muddy, his clothes filthy–and the preacher pointed him out:

“Your soap hasn’t done any good, or else this child would not be so dirty.”

“But, of course, the soap has to be applied before it will do any good,” replied the man.

“How true,” the preacher answered, “and so does religion have to be applied to the hearts and lives of sinners before it will do them any good!”

  (author unknown)  

In Luke 6:46 Jesus said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say.” It is important for us to not just hear but also to obey.