Mar 15 Week 2 | Practice Makes Progress
It’s one thing to know a lot about weightlifting and another thing to actually lift weights. It’s one thing to know a lot about nutrition and another thing to eat healthy. Similarly, it’s one thing to know a lot about the Bible and another thing to actually live out what it teaches. That’s why the Christian life isn’t just about knowledge. It’s when our acts of faith intersect with God’s faithfulness that our faith grows big. From Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish builders, we discover that hearing and learning are not enough. The value is in the application, because, in the end, it’s obedience that makes all the difference.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching. Matthew 7:24-28
1. Did you grow up attending a church that emphasized application? If not, what was emphasized in your church? Doctrine? Sacraments? Attendance? 2. This story follows Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Why do you think Jesus concluded his sermon with this story? 3. What is the parallel between “…and puts them into practice” in verse 24 and “… had its foundation on the rock” in verse 25? 4. In verse 27, Jesus said that the foolish man’s house fell with a great crash. Chances are you know individuals or couples whose lives or marriages could be described in similar terms. Without giving names or too many specifics, describe a situation. 5. Have you ever applied a specific teaching of Scripture that, looking back, prepared you for an unexpected storm?
“Un-applied truth is like paint. It doesn’t do anybody any good until it is applied.” We can be the most learned of believers, but if our knowledge doesn’t move us toward application, then our faith will wither. The Bible challenges us to respond to God’s truth in many different ways: love your enemies, show forgiveness, and practice generosity. What have been the most difficult truths from the Bible for you to apply? This week, identify two areas of your life where a bit more application would make a noticeable difference. And then apply.