I love to learn. There is rarely a moment of the day when I don’t have a book in my hand or at least within arm’s reach. We have access to so much information in our world that you could literally spend your entire lifetime gaining valuable knowledge. While that’s great – and even enjoyable to those like me – it never amounts to anything if we don’t apply what we learn and do something useful with all of that information. This is perhaps no more prevalent than in our churches today. We have so many opportunities to learn more about Jesus, but unless we move out of the building and put into action what we have learned, it won’t account for anything when we meet God.
Francis Chan has said, “Christians in America have become experts at conviction – and failures at action.” We have the blessing of being able to freely gather each week to hear someone relate God’s wisdom to us. Most pastors will even explain how we can take what they are teaching us and put it into action. But most of us won’t. We’ll be back the next week for more “information” though. In between Sundays, we have the opportunity to listen or watch an immense number of other preachers and church services. We can gain even more valuable information from them. There is a vast ocean of websites and blogs (just like this one) that will impart wisdom and (hopefully) implore you to take action. We do not lack for information. We are not short on conviction. But we are woefully inadequate when it comes to taking action.
Perhaps there is so much information that you are confused about what you should act on first. That’s understandable. We’ve never been exposed to such a deluge of information at any point in our history. We are unprepared and overwhelmed. Each of us is uniquely gifted to perform different tasks for the Kingdom of God, but what should you do? Where should you start? Even without knowing you or your situation, I can give you the answer: begin by doing something. It really doesn’t matter what you do, only that you take action. Any action you take for the sake of the Kingdom will build the Kingdom (Luke 9:49-50).
James 1:22 tells us that we are deceiving ourselves if all we do is hear the Word of God. That doesn’t affect where we will spend eternity. It doesn’t prove our love for Jesus. It’s only by taking action on what we hear that we begin to understand what it means to follow Christ. This isn’t about a grace vs. works salvation; it’s about doing what the Word of God tells us to do, and what it tells us to do is to put into practice what we are learning. If no other books were ever written, no other sermons ever preached, we would still have all the knowledge we will ever need to further the mission of Jesus. We have the information. We have the tools. We only lack the action that will activate the knowledge and wisdom we already possess. Don’t be only a hearer of the Word. Don’t be a bystander observing the world as it goes by. Get in the game, take action, and build the Kingdom of God.