I have so often been convicted by this passage in James 1:22. For a long part of my Christian life, I struggled with that age-old dilemma of knowing WHAT to do, but having no clue as to HOW to do it.
In those early years following my salvation, I recognized the practical definition of a biblical PRECEPT. I knew it was the clear stated requirements of God for pleasing Him. As I grew, I came to realize that there were also biblical PRINCIPLES given as applicational guidelines. While they were as critical to spiritual growth and maturity as were the precepts, there was still that seemingly impossible matter of the means to accomplish them.
As I began to seek the Lord in this matter, I realized that there could be many and varied ways to see them fleshed out in my life. Thus, I began to define some steps of action in my mind that would being practical biblical change in an obedient response to the precepts and principles of Scripture. Those methods, or "tools", I began to think of as "PRACTICALS".
St the time of my salvation, God had equipped and enabled me for the ministry of exhortation, and He began to show me that moving from Truth to Action by specific and definable actions would accomplish The desire of His heart, as revealed in Scripture. You may be wondering what some of those what I call Truth and Action steps are. I would like to think through a few of them with you. For instance:
1. TRUTH : When God says in Matthew 22:37-39 ( a precept) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
ACTION : Study God's Word the first thing every morning, showing God is top priority. Note verbs (action words) and determine what would accomplish them. Write a key verse on a card and review aloud frequently during the day.
2. TRUTH : When God states in 2 Corinthians 10:12 ( a principle) For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
ACTION: From that key meditation verse, jot down Christlike Attitudes ( how He would think), Behaviour ( how He would walk), and Communication (how He would talk).
3. TRUTH: When I am reminded in Proverbs 25:28 ( a principle) He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
ACTION: Structure time by a written schedule, structure money by a written budget
4. TRUTH: When God teaches from 1 Peter 2:13-15 (a precept) Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake:whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
ACTION: Deal with temptation to be non-submissive to authorities by Scripture - write this verse on a card to keep handy to review
Prayer - prayer of agreement with the passage
Action - action of agreement with the passage
5. TRUTH: When God teaches in Romans 8:28-29a ( a principle) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son...
ACTION: Consciously rehearse Gods divine purpose of conformity to Christ in all things, keeping a journal of God's good working toward that end in each circumstance.
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