“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22 NLT)
Nothing becomes dynamic until it becomes specific. That’s why when you read God’s Word, you try to move it from what it was to what you need to do now — your application.
A great habit to get into after you read your Bible is to write a one-sentence application to what you’ve just read. It’ll help you become a “doer of the Word,” not just a hearer.
What makes a good application sentence? It has four characteristics:
It’s personal. You can't write an application for somebody else. It’s not about what the world needs to do or what your husband needs to do or what your kids need to do. It’s about what you need to do!
It’s practical. Your application should be something you can actually do and something you are able to make a plan to do. Broad generalities won’t help you. In fact, they’ll produce little action and will make you feel helpless.
It’s possible. If you can’t actually accomplish your application, you’ll likely get discouraged. If your application is that you need to pray five hours a day, you won’t do it. Don’t go a day without prayer. That’s practical. Praying for five hours isn’t practical.
It’s provable. You need to set yourself a deadline to check on yourself. Until you set a deadline and a goal, you can’t check yourself. Then it’s just a dream.
You can do this with any portion of the Bible you’re reading. The Bible says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”
Talk About It
- After reading this devotional, how will your quiet time change?
- What one-sentence application will you try to put into practice today?
Learn how to be a DOER of God’s Word.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.