Thought- Knowledge without application is at best incomplete.
Scripture- “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” – Matthew 25:21
Insight: Learning to apply biblical principles to your daily life is both the biggest challenge and the biggest reward of being a Christian. Christianity at its core is a personal, one to one relationship we as believers get to share with Jesus Christ. Therefore, each believer’s journey is unique, as are the challenges and opportunities we all will encounter. The one thing I have found to be true in my journey is that if I can’t learn to apply the lessons I learn and read about in the Bible to my own life, then the knowledge and wisdom I gain from my reading it is at best incomplete, and maybe even useless at worst. I know it sounds harsh, I have felt that way to, but it is true. Think about it this way: If you go to school to be a mechanic, but then you never actually fix a car, is that knowledge useful? Not really. It only becomes useful when it is applied. That is the same with any vocation, any sport, and business problem we will and ever encounter. The Bible is provided to us as a lesson book for how to live life. But to be useful, we must learn to apply it, every day and in every situation. This is what Dallas Willard referred to as “operational faith.” I refer to it as “Practical Christianity.” In other words, learning how to practically apply Jesus’s teachings to our life. Jesus reiterates the importance of this in the Scripture above from Matthew 25:21 when He says “well done good and faithful servant.” Notice He doesn’t say “well thought or well said,” but rather “well done.” In other words, it is not enough to think good thoughts or speak good words, but rather to actually do what He taught. So what are some of the lessons that we need to apply to our own lives that are personal to each of our journeys, but yet Universal based on the importance Jesus placed on them in His teachings? Here are just a few: Put God first before all things, it is better to give than receive, love your neighbor as yourself, forgive those who persecute you, when you see someone in need and you have the means to help them, do it and humility comes before honor but pride comes before destruction. This is just a small subset yet it is hard to even practically apply these things to our lives. That is why it is said it is easier to preach 100 sermons, than it is to live one. So pick one of these and try to see if you can apply it every day to your life and see what God does. Then you can add more over time. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
Prayer: Lord, thanks that you can give us the strength to learn to apply your lessons taught to us in the Bible to our own everyday lives if we will only seek you first above all things. Help us to apply the wisdom you teach us in the Bible to our own lives and every situation we encounter. We pray this in Jesus mighty name. Amen!