Sometimes we disingenuously fail to align our actions with our words. Speaking with a friend the other day, she told me of a Bible study she was having with some people who have known the truth for a long time, were baptized many years ago, but just seem to have a hard time pulling themselves out of the world and fully committing to Christ. During the study, finding truths in the Word that very much need to be applied in her life, one woman commented, “Wow! This is good stuff!”
But as days went by, her attendance patterns continued to be poor, her parenting haphazard, and her zeal for God continued to plummet. My friend, exasperated by trying and repeatedly failing to motivate change in her faltering friend, looked at me as she described the study and the ensuing manner of life. “Really?!” she said. “How good is it?”
I thought about that question as I reflected on this conversation with my friend. My friend was frustrated, with good reason, at the admission of the goodness of God and His word by one who could leave the study table and go back into the demands, pleasures and monotony of everyday life, unchanged.
How good is it (the truth of the Word)?
Is it good enough to elevate the kingdom to the number one place of importance in my world, knowing that God will provide all that I need (Matthew 6:33)?
Is it good enough to make me step out in faith to be submissive in my marriage and fully dedicated to the raising of my children for him (Ephesians 5, Titus 2:3-5)? Is it good enough to make me tell my children “no” when the proposition in front of them is spiritually hazardous? Is it good enough to make me take the time to fully monitor the devices and friends of my children?
Is it good enough to make me reject raunchy forms of entertainment (cursing, sexually implicit and explicit material, immodesty, and blasphemy), determining to abstain from the appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22)? Is it good enough to make me clean out the entertainment center, the ipod, and my facebook page?
Is it good enough to make me value the souls around me so much that I am wiling to leave my comfort zone to invite a friend to study that “good” truth with me (Matthew 16:26)?
Is it good enough to make me realize that I can endure anything for a short lifetime, as I reflect on how “good” the Savior was to endure the shame of the cross for me (Heb.12:2)?
Is it good enough to make me choose to worship every time the saints assemble, even when I am extremely tired, even when I am shortstop and the game is on Wednesday night, even if I am on vacation with a group of people and I have to pull myself away from the group and find a ride with local Christians (Heb. 10:25)? How good is it?
Is it good enough to make me give sacrificially– until it hurts–to the church (II Corinthians 9:5-8) and to see to the needs of those around me (Matthew 25: 31-46)?
Is it good enough to make me work and work and work some more in His kingdom, without seeking any praise or glory for myself, but with souls for heaven constantly on my mind (II Corinthians 10:17)?
Is it good enough to affect my tongue? Is it good enough to make me stop saying “Oh my Gosh!” or “Oh my God!” or “Lord, have mercy!” when I really have no thought of God or awe at His name in my mind (Matthew 12:36)?
Is it good enough to affect my shopping patterns? Can I be satisfied with less stuff–less bling–and, rather, shop a little more for good study materials and maybe even devote a little more to benevolence, missions and evangelistic tools (Matthew 6:21)? Wow! Is it that good?
Is it good enough to have any real practical impact on my daily life? Really?