March 14, 2008

Practical Christianity

John 13:12-17

“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
John 13:17


Someone once figured out that 80 percent of Jesus’ teachings are practical, while only 20 percent are theory or doctrine. I don’t know if that’s exactly true, but I do know that Jesus places a lot of emphasis on daily living. Of course, who we are comes before what we do. Faith in Christ remains most important. But faith in Christ must result in deeds of practical obedience such as kindness and caring for the poor.

Jesus once asked, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who … laid the foundation on rock” (Luke 6:46-48).

I remember a story about an American soldier who was stationed in England after Word War II. Driving to his barracks, he saw a young boy staring at some delicious pastries in a bakery window. He stopped his Jeep, went up to the little boy and asked, “Son, would you like one of those?” “Yeah,” the boy said, “I sure would!” The soldier went inside, bought some donuts, and brought them out to the boy. As the man turned to walk away, he felt a tug at his coat and heard the child ask, “Mister, are you God?”

Our broken world needs servants who reflect something of the character of God by the way they live.

Lord, you have taught us that serving you by caring for and serving others is the way to have a firm foundation in life. Fill us with your love, Lord, each day. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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