“Get your nose out of that book and get to work!”
I wish I had a dollar for every time my dad had to admonish me this way when I was growing up.
I’ll never forget one day in particular when he pointed out that I was lazy – a label I outwardly accepted without a word, but inwardly rejected vehemently.
How dare he call me lazy? I fumed. I was one of the busiest people I knew (and humble, too, apparently!), involved in plenty of hobbies and activities that interested me. Everyone knows it’s impossible for a busy person to be lazy!
But looking back, I can see that my dad was exactly right.
Sure, I was active doing things I enjoyed.
But where’s the effort in that?
Work, on the other hand, was an altogether different story.
(Especially yard work. Shudder.)
It has occurred to me lately that there are many ways in which I’m no different today.
Not the least of which is my attitude toward the Word of God.
You see, reading the Bible isn’t a hard thing for me at all.
I’ve read through the Bible. I’ve done individual Bible study. I’ve done group Bible studies. I’ve studied it with my children. I’ve heard countless sermons and countless Bible lessons throughout my life.
I know lots of Bible. And I love it – it’s the easy thing for me.
The hard thing is doing what it says.
But dear Christ-following mama who’s identifying with me here, you and I must not deny that the Bible offers no hope for those who don’t do what it says.
“But He said, ‘Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.'” Luke 11:28
“You are My friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
“Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22
I don’t know about you but the last one in particular catches this mama’s attention. Because it shines a brilliantly bright spotlight on how easily we can be deceived into thinking we’re okay because we know the Bible.
But until we know the God of the Bible in a one-on-one, personal kind of way that makes a difference in the choices we make and the words we speak and the attitudes we harbor and the thoughts we indulge and the way we spend our time and our money and our energy…
Well, there’s a good chance we’re victims of the most dangerous kind of deception: self-deception.
And so I’d like to suggest that if we know the God of the Bible as well as we know the Bible, at some point we’ll be compelled to get our noses out of the Book and get to work.
Don’t get me wrong – one of my most ardent passions is pointing people toward God through time spent in His Word and in prayer. But I’d like to challenge us both rather boldly to put into practice what we find there.
Because after all, if we don’t, then what’s the point of reading it in the first place?
And in much the same way, I’m a strong believer in the importance of studying the Bible with my children; it’s one of the first things we do together most mornings. And yet, I’d rather them not know the Bible at all, than to know it and not do what it says. Because as we’ve discovered, that’s a recipe for nothing but self-deception.
One of the most tangible ways a family can apply God’s Word to their lives is by serving together. The Bible speaks much about serving – sacrificially expending our time and our energy and our resources for the benefit of others, that they may see our efforts and glorify God (Matthew 5:16).
Here are a few ways your family might consider applying God’s Word by serving together:
1.)Serve in the church nursery.
2.)Help with some aspect of your church’s lawn care or building maintenance.
3.)Greet church attendees at the doors before services.
4.)Visit your church’s members who are shut-ins.
5.)Go where homeless people are known to frequent, and hand out bagged lunches.
6.)Become a foster family.
7.)Host a summer backyard Bible club.
8.)Prepare meaningful gifts for your neighbors during holiday seasons.
9.)Serve meals in a soup kitchen.
10.)Keep some cash on hand in the car for beggars you encounter on street corners.
11.)Visit a nursing home.
12.)Support a child through Compassion International.
13.)Help an elderly neighbor, church member, or family member with their lawn/home maintenance needs.
14.)Compile a care package for one of your church’s missionaries.
15.)Give to natural disaster relief funds.
16.)Run/walk a 5k benefitting a charity.
Don’t let the overwhelming numbers of needs in the world paralyze you! No, you can’t do everything. But you can do something. Ask God what “something” He wants your family to undertake together.
And as you teach your children about the Bible and then help them do what it says, you’re showing them that what God has to say matters.
And I can’t think of a more important lesson for kids to learn. Can you?
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Loving child of Almighty God, adoring wife, and homeschooling mother of three, I am active in teaching and music ministries in my local church. I’m passionate about encountering my Savior and encouraging other women to do the same. It would be an honor to have you visit me at A Divine Encounter!
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