Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 22, 2016
By Tripp Prince
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. Psalm 111:10
Some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around sports. Yes, these memories include game day glory (or at least aspirations of glory), but to be honest, the more frequent memories that come to mind are quite mundane and ordinary. Inspired by the great Peter “Pistol Pete” Maravich, I remember lying in bed for what seemed like hours, practicing my basketball shot. I remember bouncing a ball off the side of our house over, and over, and over again. It is these moments – the driveway layups or game of catch with my dad – that made a lasting impression. And in fact, without the daily commitment to develop and refine these skills, game day success would have been even more elusive and unlikely! While this is true of athletic pursuits, it is also true of our spiritual formation and health.
In our spiritual journeys we often look for moments of rapturous joy, wonder, and amazement. We attend convicting church services, transcendent concerts, and inspiring conferences, and we should be quick to thank God for these opportunities. However, if these moments aren’t supported by the daily practice of our faith in simple and humble ways, we run the risk of becoming spiritual thrill seekers, always looking for the dramatic encounter of God yet missing his still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12).
Practicing your faith isn’t a form of works righteousness. There’s a great difference between practicing your faith and striving for perfection in your own strength or for selfish gain. Jesus warns directly against this, reminding us to always “beware of practicing our righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them” (Mt. 6:23). However, later on in Matthew’s gospel Jesus warns people against not practicing their faith, speaking against people who “preach, but do not practice” (Mt. 23:3).
A well-practiced faith isn’t a problem in and of itself. Habits of Christian living, such as prayer and Bible study, are essential for our spiritual health. Yet the goal and aim must never be the appearance of piety or Christian maturity but instead the very life of Christ within us. We must be so desperate for his transforming grace that we know we cannot go a day without him. We know that our hearts and desires are “prone to wander,” as the old hymn says, and so we come to him and sit at his feet, learning again what it means to love and be loved by him. This is what it means to practice our faith.
“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you”(Phil. 4:9).
PrayerFather, give us the grace to seek you faithfully day in and day out, filling our hearts with your love, goodness, and peace.
ApplicationHow can you adopt holy habits of Christian living as a way to more intentionally practice your faith?
Related ReadingColossians 3:9; 1 Timothy 4:15; Hebrews 5:14; 2 Peter 1:10
Post/Tweet todayThe humble often sit at Jesus’ feet, learning again what it means to love and be loved by Him. #practicefaith #wisdomhunters
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Thank you for this today!! A very good lesson for all of us.
Thank you for letting us know. We will look into it and I will email you back. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us.
Grateful for you,
We appreciate you reaching out to us with your kind words. We are thankful that you were blessed by the daily devotional “Practice Your Faith” and give God all the glory. Don’t you just love it when He puts the words right in front of you in His Perfect Time?
We are grateful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter and look forward to hearing from you again.
Believing and trusting~
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139:1-2
Thank you for your thorough study of the word. A friend of mine into the hospital today. And I wrote him what I thought was they come for the note.” Practicing faith on your behalf today”. To which my wife stated that was not in the Bible . And the search was on . Thanks
Good morning Christopher,
Thank you so much for reaching out to us after reading “Practice Your Faith.” First of all, I must say, your friend in the hospital must have been blessed by your kind and encouraging note telling him you are practicing faith on his behalf. What a lovely gesture and quite a blessing!
I felt like Tripp’s devotional had so may powerful reminders of truly humbling ourselves as we draw nearer to God in the practice of our relationship with Him. As I read the devotional, I was struck by the blessing of living out your faith in a day to day practice of humility, love and seeking the Father. This statement, for one, really struck a chord “Yet the goal and aim must never be the appearance of piety or Christian maturity but instead the very life of Christ with in us”. Wow! Amen and Amen! Those words: “the very life of Christ within us” reminded me of the gift that we have as believers.
I hope that your friend gets well soon and I am thankful that he has a praying friend in you!
Keep living the life of Christ within you!
Grateful for you,
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
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