I don’t think Francis Chan can help himself. He recently wrote a book with his wife called “You and Me Forever”. Ostensibly this is a book about marriage. Yet from the first pages, Chan is exhorting Christians to live out their faith. He is so passionate about his desire to see people not only come to Christ, but also to live for Him, that it bleeds into everything he does. Can the same be said of our lives? Should we not all strive to be so consumed with Jesus that He spills into every thought, action, and word we speak? If that’s not the case, then what is the proof of our love for Christ?
In the first pages of the book, Chan makes a statement that is both spot on and convicting in horrifying proportions. He says Christians today are “fed more and more knowledge every week. They attend church services, join small group Bible studies, read Christian books, listen to podcasts – and are convinced they still need more knowledge. Truth is their biggest need is to do something. They don’t need another feast on doctrine. They need to exercise. They need to work off what they’ve already consumed. Some have become so used to consuming the Word without applying it that you wonder if they even can. These are the spiritually bedridden, resigned to spending the rest of their lives studying the Word without ever making disciples or tangibly caring for others.” (See James 2:14)
Can you relate? I’m afraid our generation is one that is “ever hearing, but never listening” (Matthew 13:14). We are inundated with information, valuable spiritual content that has the ability to both draw us closer to Jesus and mobilize us for His Kingdom. Jesus warned about those who hear the Word but never let it take root in their soul (Luke 8:13). If what we learn takes root, it will grow and produce results. Are we seeing evidence of that in our own lives and in our culture?
We read, listen, and think. We make great plans to live for God. But unless we ever put the plans into action we are no better than those who have never heard about Jesus. In fact we are worse, because we have the knowledge and choose to do nothing with it (2 Peter 2:21). With great knowledge comes great responsibility (Luke 12:48). It is not only our responsibility to act, it is our duty.
We can’t allow ourselves to be lulled into a constant state of learning. While we learn, people are dying without Jesus. All the time we spend planning to help our neighbor, that same neighbor is passing into eternity separated from God. Knowledge is good, but applied knowledge is essential. We know everything we need to know. The world is waiting to see what we’ll do with that knowledge. It’s time to exercise, to put some legs onto our faith. Let’s not only be hearers of the Word, but doers (James 1:22). It’s time for us to do something.