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Practice, according to the dictionary is “to perform or do habitually or usually”.

The word brings to mind the idiom: Practice what you preach.

There are so many voices “preaching” nowadays. A quick scroll through Twitter will have any number of people telling us how to be our best, what to do, how to achieve success, and how to be happy.

But what is it that we should be practicing?

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24, NIV)

The only way for us to live wisely is as we put God’s Word into practice.

We need our minds to be trained to focus on His ways, His thoughts, His desires. Practice means doing the same thing, or some thing, every day. Practice is the way to develop or learn a habit, the means by which we become proficient at something.

The last few days, I have been thinking about a verse, coming back to read it repeatedly and in other translations as well. Let me set the verse in context. It was when a scribe came to test Jesus questioning Him as to what was the first or greatest commandment:

“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:29-30, NKJV)

Jesus was calling them, and us, to love God fully. More than anything else. Above everything else.

We can come to love other things, even important things, so easily. Idolatry is insidious. Idolatry takes place in our hearts slowly, gradually, and becomes established and set in our hearts before we even notice it.

How do I know this? Because it has happened to me. My husband, my children, and position have all at some point become idols in my life which God, in His grace and mercy, pulled down.

Take time today to read Mark 12:29-30, maybe even in a few different translations. Allow it to soak into the soil of our hearts and minds.

Why do I think this is important for us to think on these words?  I’ll allow Jesus to tell you Himself:

“And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (verse 31, NKJV)

Only as Jesus is our first and most important love, will we be able to love God and others.

Let’s put His Words into practice in our lives every day …
Love God.
Love others.

It isn’t easy to select just one post to highlight. But when a post and a devotional intersect, it becomes easier as it feels like the repeated thought has been highlighted. And that is what occurred for me last week. In her post, Evil Unmasked (HERE), Pam writes: “We want to be peacemakers and peaceable, forgetting we are at war and if we do not pick up the weapons we have been given, we will have surrendered what has been entrusted to us.” May we not surrender what has been entrusted to us, but stand firm.



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 Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash