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Believe what I say, Not what I do...

Believers can quickly become hypocrites. Quickly because Christians are educated into what they SHOULD be doing. Or they KNOW what would be the right thing to say.

But for some reason, many of us have NO intention of actually doing or living in the pattern that we know we should be. Honestly, this is an easier lifestyle for us to live out. Knowledge is the first step towards wisdom, but knowledge can only become wisdom if we start acting upon it. And some of the knowledge God has for us is uncomfortable!

So it is easier to say the right thing and drag our feet in actually living it out. Would you like to join a small group? ‘Oh sure. I would love to.” But after signing up you are attending once every three months. And if—honestly, this is a big IF because leaders are terrified of confronting—we are asked what is keeping us from coming we explain: “oh we feel so bad and we would love to go but the kids have sports on Wednesday and Friday, we have date night on Saturday, and we cannot find a babysitter for Tuesday—believe me we have tried. And we would really LIKE to make it to the small group—we have just been so busy.”

Sounds familiar? Now, I understand there may be some hindrances that have kept you from going to small groups. But I do often wonder if we have simply placed our spiritual walk on the back burner for other items in our life because we CAN say the right thing and not follow through.

Sadly, small groups is not the only area we can say the right thing without following through. What about serving physical needs in your neighborhood? Sharing the gospel? Spending time in scripture regularly? Prayer? Gathering with other believers regularly?

Scripture gives a chilling warning to believers and churches who like the idea of helping but fail to put their words into action: “14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:14-17, emphasis added).

God desires our hearts and our lives. He does not want a mediocre relationship that merely fits conveniently into the pattern and rhythm of our lives. He wants more and he wants to give us more than that. Elsewhere in Ephesians Paul says: 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

God’s wisdom will give us life if we live more and more in step with what He knows is best for us. Yes, this is uncomfortable at times because we have to admit that we fail and we are less than perfect. But in the end, God gives freedom. He did, after all, give us the biggest demonstration of love by sending His Son to take on the punishment that we deserve for our failings. And if He loves us so much He would do this, He is worthy of following because He loves bigger and deeper than we can ever begin to fathom.

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