Photo Credit: Aaron Alexander (Creative Commons)
In John 11 after Lazarus' death, Martha has all the right answers...her brother will "rise again in the resurrection at the last day" (verse 24) and that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world" (verse 27). But she lacked faith for when Jesus ordered that the stone be removed from Lazarus' tomb, she warned Jesus of the bad smell that would have been present with a body that had been in the grave four days (verse 39). It was if she was saying to Jesus too much time had passed for a miracle to be possible.
Good theology can make a person smart, but it doesn't ensure authentic faith. As I was scribbling notes last week for a sermon on this matter, my pastor stepped on my toes by saying: "Anyone can take notes during a sermon, but authentic faith will practice what is preached."
After I left the service I was reminded of James 1:22-24:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.To be honest, I'm a good listener and note taker on Sunday, but when it comes to applying what I've learned, I fall short so many times. I agree with the message, but often I fail to take it to heart and make changes in my life. I have been convicted to live a more intentional manner and apply God's Word to my life. I want it to be evident that my faith in Jesus is real.