February 28, 2023 — You came and heard; now what?

One morning while we waited for breakfast, I said to Stan, “There’s something I wonder about quite often.”

“What’s that?” he asked.

“Why does it seem that there are so many people in the church who aren’t a whole lot different than they were before they started calling themselves Christians.”

“I used to have the same question,” Stan replied.

“But you don’t anymore?”

“I don’t,” he said. “Because I think I know the answer.”

“Okay,” I replied. “What’s your answer?”

“It seems to me that Jesus covered that pretty well when He was talking about the two groups of people who come and hear what He has to say.”

“What two groups?” I asked.

“The ones who do something with what He says, and the ones who don’t.”

“Where’d Jesus say that?”

“It’s when He was talking about the two different house builders.”

“House builders?” I replied. “Oh, you mean the part about the ones who build on a solid foundation and those who build on sand?”

“That’s it,” Stan said. “And it looks like what Jesus was talking about applies to everything in our faith walk, especially to mine. In fact, it looks to me like He was pretty blunt in pointing out the answer to your question of why some people in the church change and why some don’t.”

“How’s that?”

“It all boils down to whether or not people act upon — or do something with — what they have heard Him say about how to live their lives.”

“As simple as that?” I asked. “Come to Jesus, hear what He has to say, and act upon it? Is it really that simple?”

“You’ve got it, my friend,” Stan replied. “But remember this: there are things that may sound simple, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy! If they were easy, everyone would do them, but they don’t. There are many choices involved and not everyone is willing to make those choices.”


Bible verses to consider:

Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the river burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the river burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:47-49.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for sending Jesus into the world so I could come to Him and know I will spend eternity in your presence. Thank you, too, that you allow me to come before you to hear what you have to say. I confess that too often I don’t hear what you have to say because that’s what I choose — and even when I do hear, I don’t act upon what you say. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live this life without hearing and acting on what you say. Please help me to follow every step of your lead so I do, in fact, come to you, hear and listen to what you have to say, and act upon it. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you come to Jesus, heard what He said, and acted on it so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence? If no, why have you not accepted God’s free and gracious provision? Do you really want to remain separated from Him for all of eternity? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing on this side eternity with coming to God, hearing what He says, and acting on it? If you sense the need for change in any of that, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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