In the late 17th century, the Age of Enlightenment was the beginning of the modern era, a time when knowledge became more emphasized than being. It was a shift epitomized by Descartes dictum, “Cogito ergo sum,” (I think, therefore I am).
Today, we live during a time with so much information at our fingertips! We have access to Bible apps that put knowledge and facts of the Scriptures in our pocket! We should keep in mind that the same God who said to Israel “keep my commands and follow them” (Deuteronomy 22:31 NIV) and walked on this earth, calling out the hypocrisy of the first century religious leaders, also said this:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22 NIV)
We live in a world that accuses followers of Christ of being hypocrites. Sometimes God’s people seem to treat His Word like an à la carte line, opting for the commands and precepts that suit personal interests. Jesus held people accountable to the knowledge they had. It seems He especially confronted those who claimed to have a corner on religious knowledge.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23 NIV)
Maybe it’s time for us to do a personal assessment? Could we be accused of knowing a lot, but doing little with it? Should we instead choose to embrace and live boldly in the weightier issues of the law—“justice, mercy, and faithfulness”? This is the kind of life that is produced in lives of people who have been gripped by grace and realize how saved they are!
Jesus stands with open arms to walk with us in the kind of life that reflects Him, a life of action, lived out by His children whom He loves. Maybe then, the people of God will be known more for lives that reflect the spirit of Jesus. May God help His children to be known less for what they are against, and more for what they are for, and actions that reflect our awareness of the grace in which we stand.
What are you doing to be more than a hearer of God’s word? Are there areas of service where you can reach out in love to those who are far from God and who lack hope? Are there family members or co-workers that need to see a tangible expression of the love of Christ?