It is not enough to know what we should do, but we must act upon what we know and do it. The Bible tells us that we must be doers of the Word. As a follower of Jesus Christ we are to be an example in our words and actions. Our actions must line up with what we say. Double-mindedness has no place in a believer’s life. People will not listen to us if we say one thing and do another. We must practice what we profess in our relationship with God, in obedience, and in good works.
Luke 10:25-37 NKJV
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’ But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Then Jesus answered and said: ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these do you think was neighbor to him who fell among thieves?’ And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
I. Practice What You Profess In Your Relationship With God
A priest was a special servant of God who performed certain religious acts or ceremonies. A Levite was a member of the tribe Levi, from which assistants to the Jewish priests were chosen. The priest and the Levite had knowledge of God’s law, however they did not have an intimate knowledge of God Himself. They were religious, but they did not have a personal relationship with God. Are you merely religious or do you have an intimate relationship with God?
II. Practice What You Profess In Obedience
The lawyer wanted to justify himself. He already knew what the law stated concerning inheriting eternal life. His question to Jesus was an attempt to do justify minimal obedience by putting stipulations on the law. His question suggested that not everyone is your neighbor, somehow you could pick and choose who your neighbors are. Do you walk in minimal obedience or in absolute obedience? Is minimal obedience really obedience? Minimal means least possible; very small; doing only the minimum.
Absolute means free from imperfections or lack; complete; whole; entire; with no limits or restrictions; unqualified; certain; positive; and infallible.
III. Practice What You Profess In Good Works
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The more we study God’s Word the more our faith will grow. As our faith grows so should our good works (mercy, love, compassion). Good works do not just happen in a believer’s life. Good works must be stirred up.
Hebrews 10:24 NKJV
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”
Showing mercy, love, and compassion will require many things from you.
1. Good works will require your time.
2. Good works will require your personal possessions (things).
3. Good works will require your money.
Do our actions line up with what we declare openly? Are we full of dead works?
James 2:14-17 NKJV
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Matthew 25:31-40 NKJV
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
When Jesus returns, and we are gathered before Him, will what we professed line up with what we did? As people are divided, will we be on the right , or will we be on the left? Will we hear, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” ?