Do the Word

The Bible is pretty clear about some things we should and shouldn’t do. But sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the instructions. It’s easy to disregard the commands when they aren’t what we want to do. But if we say we’re believers, then wouldn’t we want to obey what we read in the Bible? Wouldn’t we?

If I’m called to be a doer of the Word, then what does the Word say that I should do?

I’ve read through some of the commands that we should obey if we say we’re followers of God. I read them through the lens of the happenings of my week. Here’s what I discovered about myself.

Be kind. When the unexpected call came that my appointment was canceled at the last minute, I was two minutes away from my destination. I had to turn around and go home. I wanted to be frustrated, but I knew the situation was not her fault. There was nothing to do but reschedule. I told her that I would pray for her, because she was now facing some unexpected decisions. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Honor those in authority over you. Those at work who are in authority made an unpopular decision last week. Some people are reeling from the news. Trying to figure out how to move on. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I was invited to voice my opinion. My words need to reflect a heart of respect for those in authority over me. So when the time came for me to speak, what did I do? I was prepared to share my thoughts on the decision, but I felt led to keep my opinion quiet. So my conversation went another direction. I was able to end the discussion on a high note instead of dragging down the leadership. Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way. Titus 2:9-10

Do good to those in need. I was stopped at a red light, and I saw the person standing at the street corner. She was holding a sign that said she was homeless. I know times have been tough for a lot of people this year, but I’ve seen her there for at least four years. What am I supposed to think? Is this a scam or are times that tough for some people? I was torn trying to decide whether her need was legitimate or not. Call me a skeptic or distrustful. I honestly wasn’t sure whether to look her straight in the eye or look the other way. But it isn’t my job to decide if her need is real. I need to obey God when and if he instructs me to help people holding a homeless sign. I ended up driving away. Was it because I didn’t feel led to give or because I didn’t even stop to pray about what I should do? Father, forgive me if I have sinned. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. Matthew 5:42

Don’t be anxious. He went to an emergency dental appointment. I heard rumblings in my head of annoyance and felt anxiety in my heart. I wondered about the cost. What is covered by insurance? What will have to be paid out of pocket and up front? I made stew with my thoughts. But I did actually pray as he walked out the door to the appointment. Then the call came. Nothing to worry about at this point. We’ll just monitor it. All the x-rays and tests showed no change from previous years. The cost was minimal. Ahh. Relief flooded through me. The stew of worry was turned to a prayer of thankfulness. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6


Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. James 1:22


I can’t say I was perfect this past week. But as events happened and words were spoken, I stopped to reflect on my words and actions. Did I respond as a follower of Christ or as one who lives for myself? As long as I have breath in me, I know there will always be room for improvement.

I find that a lot of what I do is respond to events and words I’ve heard. Do I respond from the viewpoint of a doer of the word? Are my motives pure? Do I treat others unjustly? How do I respond to negative news? How do I deal with the happenings of current events? When all the information I hear about the upcoming election is negative, how do I respond? When the pandemic shut down the world, did I shut down? Am I doing the Word in my daily life?

Because what is in my heart is what comes out of my mouth. Was the word in my heart at the right moment?

As believers, we can’t just hear the word and then do nothing. We must act on the Word of God. We must live the Word of God. Because we are deceiving ourselves, if we think we can get by with just hearing the Word. We must allow the Word of God to infiltrate our thoughts and words and actions. Oh. It isn’t easy. But if we consistently and actually open the Bible and read it, God will speak truth and correction to us. Then we are responsible to put His Word into action.

But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. Matthew 7:26

The Act of Falling

He was stirring up a batch of brownies when I walked into the kitchen. I quietly patted myself on the back for planning ahead for him and having the mix on the shelf. He likes to snack at night and I had purchased the brownie mix and stored it for a time when he was ready. Tonight was the night.

I watched him pour the mix into a small pan. He realized he would have batter left over, so I pulled out another small pan to use. I mean. He was planning to pour out the batter that wouldn’t fit in his pan. No. I said. Put it in a second pan and bake it for later. I’m sure you’ll eat all the brownies. No, I won’t. He said.

It got me thinking. As I sat there smelling the scent of baking brownies, my mind hatched a plan. I could have a brownie tonight. Just one. I told myself. So when he pulled the brownies out of the oven, I told him that I would eat a brownie out of my pan. The smaller pan that somehow became the pan of brownies that I saved.

And there began my downfall.

As I cut into my brownies, I saw that he had cut a very small piece out of his batch. Since my pan was smaller, I decided it was the right size for four brownies. So I cut a piece out of the pan. As I ate the brownie, I realized it needed to cool a little longer. It was too warm and didn’t give me the satisfaction I was hoping for. I prefer my brownies at room temperature. But I was too greedy to wait for them to cool. As I ate it, I decided I would need another brownie that was cooled. After all, it would taste better than a warm one.

So I waited.

Then I ate a second brownie. Since I prefer the edges and the second brownie was a middle, I wasn’t satisfied. Of course, it had two edges, but it didn’t suit me. So I ate another. The third brownie was on the other end of the pan, so it was surrounded by three edges. Almost perfection.

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25:28

Here I was three brownies into a pan of four brownies. I hadn’t planned on eating brownies tonight. I hadn’t even though of brownies until I saw him open the package. And then I was hooked. My desire went down a path I didn’t even try to avoid.

Later in the evening when he saw how many I had eaten, he was shocked. He said I may as well eat the last brownie and be done. So I did. And just like that I had eaten an entire small pan of brownies.

The thing is. They weren’t really that great. Oh. They were the brand I had always bought. But I’ve changed the way I eat, and I no longer eat processed food. Until I do. And I did. And honestly. I felt no satisfaction after eating even one of them. Or two. Or three. Or four.

But it was too late. My brownie pan was empty. His brownie pan had only one small piece missing. What a glutton. What a fool I am.

The next morning, I felt it. The itch of the eczema. The distending of the belly. The number on the scale. Proof of my indiscretion. Proof of my lack of self control.


So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16


Have you ever been tempted to do something you know you shouldn’t do? But instead of turning away, you dive right in? The moment is just right, and you don’t even consider the consequences until you’re past the point of no return.

That is just what the lie of Satan will do for a person. Just a little tease of an indiscretion. Just a little slip of the tongue. Or a small wager. A kiss when a handshake was in order. A second look when the eye should have turned the other way. A walk through a door that should have been locked tight. And pretty soon, we’ve walked down a path we never should have been on.

We’re in the heat of the moment, and the moment just feels so right. We just can’t let it pass us by. That’s what we tell ourselves. Because in the moment, the moment is perfect. Just for the taking. It will never pass this way again.

So we do it. We do that thing we said we would never do. Or we say those words that we’re ashamed to have even thought. But they’ve been said. And words once said can’t be unsaid. We’ve told that story that was shared in confidence. We took another look when we should have looked away.  

It doesn’t have to be this way. The battle for holiness is a battle that must be fought every single day. The thing is. We can say no. We can give up the sins of our past, so they won’t continue to be the sins of today.

Holiness is the state of being holy. A life of holiness and total devotion to God.

There is a battle for the heart, mind and soul. The warriors are God Almighty and Satan himself. Our part in the battle is surrender. But it’s a daily act of surrender. One moment at a time. One temptation at a time. One thought at a time. When we surrender to God, he will fight the battle for us. He will lead us to victory if he is the warrior we choose to follow. But we must choose to be like him. By obeying God, we become more like him.

Our problem following Jesus is we’re trying to be a better version of us, rather than a more accurate reflection of Him.

Bob Goff

Mind over Matter

I received the news. More work is coming your way. Internally I didn’t take the news well. But on the outside, I tried to show willingness for the extra tasks at hand. I was annoyed. I was frustrated. I had finally jumped one of the last hurdles of a busy fourth quarter. I was ready for a slow February. So I didn’t take the news well. But it was news I was expecting. Just not all in one fell swoop.

The words that I kept hearing in my mind were a rebuke.  They were words telling me that my attitude was wrong. They were saying I should know better than to be so upset about something so small. They said you’re bigger than this. Don’t let this annoyance bring you down.

What is in the heart, the mouth speaks.  Matthew 12:34

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23

 So I knew I must be silent, because the meditations of my heart were not pleasing to God. I knew that. And I knew I must not voice them. I knew I needed to dig deep to find out why I was so annoyed. What was the real issue anyway?


We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3-4


Someone else had assigned a task. I did the work. But then they redid the whole thing. The final piece didn’t have one ounce of my efforts in it. I didn’t want to be offended, but I kind of was. Why? What did it matter? Did they think my work wasn’t good enough? Maybe. Did they want to take the project in a different direction? Obviously. So why wasn’t I ok with that? I knew I needed to be. I knew I couldn’t let a bad attitude creep in. I knew that I needed to be able to applaud them for a job well done, if it ever came to that. And I needed to mean it. Not force the compliment.

So I set out to pray. For myself. For my stinking attitude. I’m only human. But I want to be godly. I want to be an example of how to handle a disappointing situation. Did I pass the test? Only time will tell.

Someone else insulted me to my face. She didn’t realize what she was saying. But I sure did. I chalked up her words to youth and ignorance. For one day, she will stand in my shoes. And when the tables are turned on her, we’ll see how she responds. Fortunately, I kept my mouth shut that day.

If I want to be like Christ, then I need to be like Christ at that moment when it counts. Not tomorrow or next month. But right now. Right when the truth smacks me right in the face. Right when I have the opportunity to prove to myself that God is enough in all the trials of life.

I’ve learned that in those moments of  frustration, disappointment, insult or direct honesty, I do have a choice. I can choose to be like Christ or not.  Easy or not. I need to take a step back. Listen to what’s being said. Appreciate the fact that I have work to do. Be willing to take criticism. I can be a godly example. It is a choice.