Practice does not make perfect. Practice does, however, demonstrate faithfulness. Recall the words of Jesus.
The wise person (not to be confused with a smart aleck) builds on solid rock by practicing the actions taught in the words of Jesus. Jesus calls for instruction-fueled action. Anyone who is serious about following Jesus must commit to both the instruction and the action, both the learning and the doing. To err on either side thwarts one's wise building. Anyone who focuses on the learning and neglects the doing shortchanges the process and misses the point. James, the early church leader and brother of Jesus, wrote . . .
Knowledge begins the process; it does not end it. Jesus spoke of (and rebuked) those people who puffed themselves yet failed to love. He was not joking. Christians do well to pursue knowledge. We need to eagerly search and read the Scripture. We need to listen to gifted preachers and teachers. We need to engage in conversations about faith. We do well to do all of those things both before we act (put faith in action) and as we practice the actions.
Believers need also to be servants. Notice the descriptive nouns in that last sentence.
Believers = people who have knowledge and faith.
Servants = people who actively obey their Master and Lord.
While some fail to serve, others fail to learn. Usually, those people who do so are an eager bunch. They are enthusiastic about serving God. And, needless to say, enthusiasm for service is an excellent thing. However, when enthusiasm is not continually backed and fueled by knowledge, the energy will fail. How many Christians do you know who accept Jesus and shoot out into living as a Christian at the speed of a rocket only to come plummeting to earth when they face difficult questions or faith-weakening events? Keep in mind this fact: the bulk of the ministry of Jesus' disciples occurred after Jesus ascended to heaven, i.e., after Jesus spent three years filling them with knowledge. He sent them out prepared. As you follow in the steps of Jesus, you will need to commit to both the learning and the doing.
Learn the words of Jesus.
Put them into place.
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