Whatever you have learned or received or heard from Me, or seen in 
Me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 
(Philippians 4:9)

You never see an athlete becoming a starter on a team without any practice.
Practice gives the athlete an opportunity to refine his or her skills.
With enough practice, 
all of their efforts to do something new becomes natural.
Why? Because they have “retrained” their muscles and physical coordination.

In order to be successful, 
they have to develop new skills, strength and techniques.
But what if they were taught how to perform something new 
but they never went to practice?
None of their muscles, etc. would have an opportunity to be retrained.
They also would not be able to hone their skills 
and develop confidence in their abilities.
How many times have you seen someone go to a lot of practices, 
but decide not to participate in what they had been training for?
It would be ludicrous to practice something and not use it, right?
The Bible gives us instructions for retraining our minds and habits.
We can read these guidelines, but if we never put them into practice, 
then we cannot expect to be successful 
in becoming the person God wants us to be.
Of equal importance, we fail to have a positive influence on others.

Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. 
Young people want to see integrity, honesty, truthfulness, 
and faith in their elders. 
They hate to see hypocrisy and phoniness. 
That is why it is important for us to go to church, 
to read the Bible, and pray. 
We need to let them see us doing what we would like them to do.

Sometimes a child goes wild when they become an adult.
However, in many cases (not all of them), 
the parents never set an example of a solid foundation of faith.
They let their children down 
by failing to take them to church while they were at home.
More importantly, 
they failed to show their children that their own faith is genuine.

We can tell our children what they should do, 
but if they don’t see our faith in action, 
then they assume we are only giving lip service 
to a faith that is not real to us.

The scriptures tell us plainly 
to “put into practice what we have learned from the Lord”.
Putting it into practice is not a suggestion, but a command.
If we do not put it into practice, 
then we are guilty of rebellious disobedience.
That may sound harsh, but it is true whenever we refuse to obey the Lord.

We can try to rationalize or justify our actions, 
but failing to obey what we have learned is disobedience. 
Partial obedience is still disobedience, because it means 
we have chosen to obey only some of the commands from the Lord.

What can we expect when we put what we have learned into practice?
The scriptures tell us that the “peace of God” will be with us.
We live in a tumultuous world where peace is a valuable commodity 
that everyone would welcome into their lives.
The scriptures tell us how to do that.

Are you failing to show your children and others that your faith is real?
During their formative years, maybe you failed to show a genuine faith.
Perhaps you failed to take them to church 
and impress on them the importance of faith and obedience.
As a result, 
a child of yours may have grown into an adult who is making bad decisions.

It is never too late to show them (not tell them) 
that you have a sincere faith.
Sometimes the ‘adult child’ 
will estrange themselves from a hypocritical parent.
They refuse to listen to a lecture from a parent 
who did some of the same things they are doing.

They also refuse to listen to the importance of a right relationship with 
the Lord from a parent who only talks about it, but doesn’t show them.
Some parents try to justify reasons for failing to attend church on a 
regular basis, but church attendance is an act of obedience often used 
by children for assessing the genuineness of the faith of their parents, 
or anyone else.

“Heavenly Father, forgive me for only being a hearer, and not a doer of Your 
Word. You know the failures of my past, and whether or not I am sincere in 
having a desire to start putting into practice what I have learned. If I am 
failing to let my children know that my faith is real, then help me make 
changes that will show them how much I sincerely want to spend time with You 
and other believers. If I have failed them and they are adults now, shower 
me with Your forgiveness and instill in me a confidence that it is never too 
late to show them my faith is real. Father, take away the hypocrisy and 
“religious facade” that has crept into my life. Teach me to live in such a 
way that young people will be drawn to You. If that means that I need to 
become less selfish and change my habits, then I pray that You will help me 
in this very important area of my life.”

About Don Woodruff

Retired from FedEx and dedicated to sharing God's Word with others. I send out devotionals M-F and have written two books: "The Crucifixion Catalyst / Unspoken Messages From God To Believers" (published and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble **out of print**) and "I'm Saved Now What?" (unpublished). I am currently working on a third one that will be a Daily Devotional.


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