Stop and Listen. Go and Do.

Do you know how to be Jesus’ relative?

Hint. It’s not by blood.

Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:19-21, NIV).

Jesus made this point several times during his ministry, most notably at the very end of the Sermon on the Mount. If you want a vibrant, lasting faith, one “built on a rock,” not one “built on sand,” then listen to God’s word AND put it into practice.

Luke records Jesus expressing the same thought on a different occasion. But the message is very, very similar: If you want a closer, stronger relationship with Jesus, listen to God’s word AND put it into practice in your life.

Even Jesus’ brother James (who was Jesus’ brother by blood!) says it. If you want to stop deceiving yourself and live a life in which you will be “blessed in what you do,” listen to God’s word AND do what it says.

Yes. It’s another one of those teachings in the Bible where there’s an important AND.

None of these verses is talking about salvation. Salvation is all by grace, through faith. And faith comes simply by “hearing the message,” says the apostle Paul in Romans 10.

But maturity? The deepening of the roots of your faith? The lifelong process of sanctification (becoming holy like Jesus)? The growth of your relationship with your Savior — and the resulting fruit such a growing relationship produces?

Jesus is straightforward about that. There’s an AND. Listen to God’s word AND — with the Holy Spirit’s help and power — put it into practice.

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, March 31, is Numbers 29:12 – 31:24, Luke 8:19-39 and Psalm 39:1-13.

Header image based on "Indecision" by Satish Krishnamurthy, CC By 2.0

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pastorjeffgunn

I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “Stop and Listen. Go and Do.”

  1. Our Bible reading for Tuesday, March 31, is Numbers 29:12 – 31:24, Luke 8:19-39 and Psalm 39:1-13.

    “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” (‭Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭25‬ NIV)

    “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools. (‭Psalm‬ ‭39‬:‭7-8‬ NIV)

    Heavenly Father, you are God of all. You whisper to the clouds and make thunder. You command the winds, water and sky. They are your creation as am I. I am yours, but I am also full of sin. Save me Father, save me from failing you over and over again. Lord you do good for me and those I love every day, every moment. Thank you so much for your grace. Help me Lord, help tell others all you do for me. Not so that I am bragging, but sharing the wonders of your love.

    “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. (‭Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭39‬ NIV)

    ~Paul Montenieri

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