Memory or Life?

Life-is-made-up-of-choices

What use are bible verses if they don’t become practical in our lives? We can memorize, share, read, or even preach them, but if they fail to become reality through use, they have benefited us not. Advice unheated may as well have fallen on deaf ears. Principles unpracticed will not build character. The Bible is alive. It’s full of weapons against depression, addiction, pride, and every destructive thing that would harm the individual and humanity as a whole. Knowing that does little. Living that changes everything.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)

Knowing the word of God is the obvious first step in living out the word of God. My four year old daughter has seven bible verses memorized. It’s incredible. But if she doesn’t allow those to impact her life as she grows, then they will be like anything else she learns in life. It is easy to gain knowledge but much more difficult to allow that knowledge to forge a lifestyle.

I’ve preached messages on the peace of God and joy in difficult times. But I will be the first to admit, that I still have a hard time being a peace and joyful at all times. Our kids have been sick on and off for over six months. We’ve seen E. Coli, Walking Pneumonia, Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, Colds, and more. It’s been really really hard. At times, my wife and I have felt desperate. We have had to choose peace and joy through it all. Sometimes each day. Some days, I have completely failed. It wasn’t because the peace of God wasn’t extended to me, it’s because I didn’t choose to rest in that peace.

For all of us, the difference between a life change and more head knowledge is a simple choice. Even if we don’t trust God, He is still every bit trustworthy. We don’t benefit from the rest and hope that comes from that trust because we don’t choose to. We can choose to love, choose kindness, choose selflessness, choose joy, and choose faith. That’s the beauty of freewill. The Holy Spirit won’t ever force us to change, only if we choose to. When we do choose to change and grow, there are no limits to what the Holy Spirit can do in and through us.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…

2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

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