Links Daily Devotional

Practice What You Preach

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22, ESV)

I recently put myself to the test and attempted to qualify for the US Women’s Open. I didn’t make it.

Below the surface is the even bigger question of whether I believe the one I am preaching.As a coach, I think it is easy to become detached from what the players are thinking and feeling and the best way to me to be reminded of their feelings is to enter myself in tournament play. Though I can look at how I would prepare differently if I were playing full time, it is still humbling to compete. Remembering the ups and downs and challenges the game presents serves me well when I am in my primary role of coach.

As much as coaching and playing present different viewpoints, so does teaching compared to actually living out what you teach!

Our verse for today comes from the book of James. In this letter, James was calling fellow Christians to persevere and to serve the Lord first. I appreciate James’ straightforwardness throughout this letter and I highly encourage anyone reading this today to spend some time in the book of James.

In a consumer-minded culture, it can be easy to go to church and hear what the pastor preaches, yet it is a totally different matter to apply it to our lives. May we slow down long enough to not just hear, but to let the word of God wash over us.

God’s grace saves us and enables us to live out the commands he gives us. This is not without effort on our part, but this effort is grace-fueled. Pause and ask for the Lord to give you a hunger for his word, to fuel your efforts in drawing close to him and to live out what he asks of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am reminded that without the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are unable to be doers of the word. If you haven’t turned to Jesus today to accept him as your Lord and Savior, please do. There is nothing of greater importance than to confess your sins and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that Jesus is your Savior. And it is in this belief that you will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live for Christ, not just speak of him.

Today’s passage raises a personal question: Am I practicing what I am preaching? But below the surface is the even bigger question of whether I believe the one I am preaching. If I don’t, I won’t be inspired (Spirit-driven) to practice that preaching. God has our best interests at heart. This is why we must start by believing in his Son and continue by living out his word. May we be doers of the word through his strength!

Aimee Neff
June 22, 2017
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