There is another key word in the definition of keep (to conform one’s heart and actions or practice to) … that we looked at yesterday that also finds its way into Scripture … and that is the word practice.
The list of synonyms associated with the word practice better help me grasp God’s intent: apply, commit, do, drill, exercise, pattern.
Also, this quote by Theodore Roosevelt I encountered yesterday reveals to me another aspect of practice, ‘He who makes no mistakes makes no progress.’ There will be mistakes, but those mistakes result in progress, and bring me closer to the perfection and maturity God is working in the life of every believer.
To me, based on those words, that quote and my own personal experience with sports; practice, from a faith perspective, means that I have made a commitment to the perfection found only IN Christ Jesus … and in my daily life I strive toward meeting that commitment. However, it does not mean I will not falter along the way … and sometime that self-perceived falter or failure is actually a divine revelation of a personal stronghold of selfishness and sinfulness.
Yet when I do encounter such moments in my walk, I must pick myself up, I must once again set my eyes upon the finish line … I must resume or repent to my committed practice of life with and IN Christ Jesus. As Jesus said, we are called to endure until we have finished the race God has set before us.
“The one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Matthew 24:13 (NASB)
As I’m sure you already know … everybody practices something … consider …
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 (NASB)
Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous … 1 John 3:7 (NASB)
And only those who are born-again of the Holy Spirit IN Christ Jesus can truly practice righteousness …
If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 John 2:29 (NASB)
“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought IN God.” John 3:21 (NASB)
As any athlete will tell you, diet is essential to both their practice and their progress. While ‘got milk?’ is a popular marketing catch-phrase and undoubtedly milk is an essentially building block of health, milk alone is not enough for anyone except infants. We grow and progress through the nutrients only found in solid food (even if it is pureed or run through a blender) … consider that concept from a spiritual perspective …
Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Hebrews 5:11-14 (NASB)
Are you practicing righteousness and truth … or are you practicing sin and lawlessness?
Got milk? Or are you taking IN something with a bit more sustenance?
Are you practicing the words of God?
(to be continued with … Word of God)