I once heard a saying that "knowledge is not a substitute for action". This is such an amazing and truthful statement and we do not think about it near enough. We learn, we can repeat, but do we do? It is a little ironic that we will learn, repeat, and know that we are not to be hearers only, but doers - and yet our ears tend to be more exercised than out lives.
Today in church, the sermon was on a perfect example; The Good Samaritan. The priest and the levite both had knowledge of the Word of God, but it was the Samaritan that had action. Why then, are our churches so full of "priests and levites" and no "samaritans"? And more importantly, which are we?
But, this is not the title or subject of this post today. What is on my mind is the thought about the action that we cannot substitute with knowledge - and, what action are we taking? The title and subject of this post is "praise is not a substitute for obedience".
I have children (I am lucky and thankful to be a dad). And when I consider my children's response to my parenting (an awesome responsibility); what I desire is their obedience. Sure the "I love you dad" I hear from my children has great value, but it looses it's value when my children refuse to obey.
As Christians who claim to love God, when we say "I love you" with our praise but have no obedience - can there be any value in that? Is not this more of an insult? God's great commission (His command to all of His followers) is that we preach the Gospel to this lost and dying world. Yes, we should praise Him (tell Him we love Him) but we must also answer "yes sir". Our service cannot and should not be only from our lips - our service must be our lives laid down on an altar of obedience as living sacrifices.
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.