I would be willing to go out on a limb and actually bet that your face is the most recognizable image in your mind. That’s the thing about us human beings, we are outrageously obsessed with ourselves. We love our faces. Well, I’m sure you are full of critiques about yourself. I’m sure there’s something about your eyes, nose, mouth, cheek, hair color, freckles, or dimples, etc. that you would change, but regardless of how beautiful or how ugly you might think you are, a part of you loves looking at yourself. There’s just something inside of us that loves looking at ourselves in the mirror. Have you ever forgotten what you looked like? Have you ever looked at yourself and not recognized the eyes staring back at you? Have you? Have you ever forgotten your hair color, eye color, complexion? I highly, highly doubt it. It sounds silly. Forgetting what you look like just seems unfathomable to you. Looking at yourself and then walking away and forgetting what you look like just seems outlandish…I mean who would do something so crazy as that? We do almost every single day… How many of you have read your Bible, heard a sermon, or read a devotional and then forgot it immediately afterwards? You couldn’t recount any of it to win a million dollars. Do any of you remember the sermon from church this morning? How many of you can remember the sermon from church last Sunday? Can you remember what the last thing was that you read in your Bible? So many of us are guilty of reading the Scriptures and immediately forgetting upon setting them down. I know I have been guilty of this in the past. It’s happened for different reasons at different time. Blame it on busy lives, minds, or times, but forgetting what you’ve read is pointless. If you are forgetting what you’ve read then you are definitely not applying what you are reading from God’s word. What then, may I ask, was the point of reading it in the first place? To say you did it? Church and the Bible are not meant for the “well, I did that” folder. The messages, the lessons, the wisdom are meant to be applied to our daily living. The message of the Bible is an applicable message. The Bible is a sharp, double edged sword which pierces the heart, mind, and soul. Living numb to its message is failing to live to your full potential. Do any of you forget what you look like when you walk away from the mirror? No! Then why on earth would you not apply what you’ve read from the Bible to your daily life?
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what is says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what is says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does. – James 1:22-25 (NIV)
We are to bind God’s word on our heart. You can read countless spiritual books, listen to millions of sermons and lectures on holy living, but unless you are applying them to your daily life – all of the information is worthless to you. Failing to apply what you’ve read from Scriptures to your daily life makes no sense. I challenge you to increase your patience, I challenge you to mellow out on your anger, I challenge you to purify your heart, I challenge you to truly love your neighbor, I challenge you to capture every thought to the obedience of Christ, I challenge you to seek Christ’s kingdom first. We read about these things and hear them on a weekly basis, some of us even on a daily basis, but many of us are not living this way. We can say that we read the Bible and go to church, but none of it matters if we are not applying what we’ve learned to our daily life.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. – Psalsms 119:9-11.
Begin now to hide God’s word in heart. Begin now to apply His truth to your life morning, noon, and night. Begin now to live according to His standards. His word is the greatest gift of guidance we could ever have received, but too few of us take the guidance and actually live by it. Instead we seek the advice of friends, advice columnists, and news talk hosts. God’s Word remains and will forever remain as the greatest book of advice, guidance, and truth. In it, lie the answers of life, but it is up to us to pick it up, absorb it, and begin to live our lives according to it. Do not be like a man or a woman who looks at himself in a mirror and immediately forgets what he looks like upon walking away, be the man who looks at himself and remember. Be the man or the woman who reads the word and applies it to life.
My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life – Proverbs 6:20-23.