Practice What You Preach!

With these words, Jesus teaches several powerful truths: - Practice precedes preaching. Unless we “walk the walk,” we should not try to “talk the talk.” That does not mean sinless perfection, but a sustained effort to know and to do God’s will with a humble heart. - Greatness consists in goodness. Not prestige, or power, or position, or possessions, but consistent discipleship, will earn one the title of “great in the kingdom of heaven.” How many seek success, but not sanctification! - The “Old Testament” continues to be relevant. “These commandments” probably refers to the teaching of the entire Old Testament (“the Law and the Prophets” referred to in 5:17), as fulfilled and interpreted by Jesus. Though we do not have to observe aspects of the Mosaic Covenant that were abrogated by the teaching and saving work of Christ, we are to honor the whole Bible as God’s Word, and follow the principles revealed in the Old Testament, as well as the precepts in it which are confirmed by Christ and the Apostles. Likewise, we are to believe its history and its prophetic promises. - “Little” things matter. We have no authority to decide which of God’s commands carries more weight than others. Each one claims our total obedience and our attention in teaching others. Resentment, greed, and a bad temper incur as much guilt as murder and adultery and theft, and our speech should reflect “the whole counsel of God” (Matthew 28:20: Acts 20:27). - Doers must be teachers, too. It is not enough simply to honor the commandments of God. We must also seek to instruct others. All of our words should be for the purpose of bringing others to Christ, or building them up in Christ (Matthew 12:37; Colossians 4:5-6; Ephesians 4:25, 29). May God give us grace, forgiving our sins and filling us with the Spirit of holiness!