Jesus was the finest teacher to ever walk the earth. He was profound. He was paradoxical. He spoke with authority. But one thing that often gets overlooked is that He was extremely practical. Jesus did not merely cover information with his teaching, He taught us what to do. Jesus taught to application, not just to knowledge. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught what to do, not simply what to believe. Jesus knew what we too often forget, that knowing something is not what makes the difference, but what you do is what makes the difference. Of course, that is not true of salvation, you cannotdo your way to eternal life. Rather, it is true in answering the question of what your faith looks like. You cannot assess the state of your faith from your beliefs, but only from your actions. So, Jesus teaches what to do in regards to forgiveness, responding to your enemies, lusting with your heart, dealing with anger, etc. And He ends His message with the words, “…anyone who hears these words and puts theme into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock” (Matt. 7:24).
Second, we not only have the finest teacher that ever walked the earth, we also have the finest guide book to ever be compiled. Scripture is the divinely inspired word of God. Just like our Teacher, the guidebook is profound and mysterious. However, it is also extremely practical. This is what Scripture says about itself, “All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training” (2 Tim. 3:16).
We are use to talking about Scripture as inspired, but often forget that it is a very usefulbook. It is useful in that God uses it to reveal to us where we are and where we need to go. We can see this in the four words teaching, reproof, correction, and training used in2 Timothy 3:16. (1) The Scripture teaches us where the path of life can be found. It shows us that the way is narrow, and that broad ditches of destruction lie on either side. (2) Scripture also offers us reproof when we find ourself straying off the path. It reveals our point of departure. (3) Scripture shows us how to get back on the path when we have left the path through correction. This brings about restoration in our life. (4) Finally, Scripture trains us to stay on the path. It shows us how to be disciplined and faithful in our walk.
But how do we apply THIS post? After all, how hypocritical would I be to write onapplication and not give any practical applications in the process? Lets make the application to our children.
We may have ideas about what we are teaching our children, but if we look at our children and how they are living we will see what we are really teaching them. Of course, this is mostly true of young children. Children grow up and become adults and are responsible for their own choices. But when our children are young we can see what we are teaching them.
If your children do not do something it is because it is not in their heart to do it. If it is not in their heart to do it then it is probably because you have not taught them to apply their faith in that way. Is it in the heart of your children to volunteer to help at church or humanitarian organizations or other opportunities to assist people? If not, it is probably because you have not taught them to apply their faith in that way. Is it in the heart of your children to honor their elders? If not, it is probably because you have not taught them to apply their faith in that way. Is it in the heart of your children to be friendly to peers even when it is unpopular? If not, it is probably because you have not taught them to apply their faith in that way.
Take the time to evaluate the actions of your children. Prayerfully consider what things you may have unintentionally forgotten to teach them. Come up with an action plan for correcting those things. Remember to think practically and take it all the way to application.
Adapted from author Jonathan Stone, 2/15/12, at http://www.stonewritten.com/?p=1647