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Theoretician or Practitioner?...

01.17.16 | by Ray Jones

    As I write this article, I am in my office, its Monday morning, and I am preparing to have knee surgery later in the day. Now in the grand scheme of knee surgeries, arthroscopic surgery, due to the wonderful advances in technology and technique is today considered minor surgery. (Although, since it’s my knee, I consider it major!) But even at that there are certain things that I want to know… like is my surgeon a believer? He is, that’s good. Second, I want to know that my surgeon is more than a theoretician but a practitioner. There is a world of difference, as you well know.

    A theoretician is someone that has knowledge, ideas and theory, but not necessarily a history of practice at their craft. Kind of like the person who stayed at a “Holiday Inn Express”! On the other hand, a practitioner is one who has knowledge combined with experience and a track record of doing their craft not just talking about the matter. When it comes to surgery that is what we all want! And fortunately, in my case that is exactly what I have.

    But how about the Christian life; how does it work there? You see, a lot believers are more like theoreticians, that is, they have knowledge of the truth, but no pattern or history of combining what they know (the truth of God) with real life practice. They are kind of like the description that Paul gave of some who claimed to follow Christ in 2 Timothy 3:7, they are “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” In other words their actions betray their confession and they are mere theoreticians. And that leads me to remind all of us about the importance of practicing the truth not just confessing it and acknowledging it.

    This month, as in past years, we begin 2016 by emphasizing the truth about stewardship, not just knowing the truth (theoreticians), but doing the truth (practitioners). We’ve called this year’s message series, WE DO- Life. Why? Because real Life done God’s way is all about being stewards of everything- time, talents, gifts, and resources. Most believers get the time, talent stuff pretty easily, they don’t always practice it well, but they generally get it. But the hardest area of stewardship for many believers to get is with their resources and money. Why? Because it feels sacrificial, it feels costly and because often our priorities are not Kingdom priorities. And yet Jesus talked more about this particular area of stewardship than any other. So, it is vital that we get it, because with it many things result… things like, God’s promised provision for your life. Things like God’s work/mission being accomplished through His Church. And things like seeing the favor of God from an obedient life.

    So I want to invite you to start this year right and as a biblically obedient practitioner of God’s Word by tithing faithfully of your income. I promise you God will take care of you and His work will be done. The last Sunday of this month will be our annual “Prove the Tithe” Sunday… this isn’t a special offering like our fall one, just an obedient beginning to the new year. WE DO Stewardship all for the glory of God.

    Remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!!!

    For God’s Glory Alone,

    Bro. Ray