Knowing vs Doing

I just want to say a quick encouragement to the body of Christ, that is to believers. I think that one of the hardest things to do for believers is to let go of pride and be truly willing to fully submit yourself to God. So, so many things in this life can take away from a life that is truly all about God. And some of these things can even be good things when they are put into perspective and prioritized. Things like family, having fun with friends, leisurely things, music and so on. We need to learn to put God and his word first in our life. I know we have heard this a million times before, but I think that this is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things, that we put into practice what we hear in God’s word. When God is telling us to do something, we need to strive to have that be a part of our lives. A lot of us, including me, are like, um yeah I know that, that is a good word, praise the Lord, but we leave it at that. That is knowledge, yes, and that is good, but we need to take that knowledge and meditate on it and find ways to incorporate that into our lives. We need to not only be a knower, yeah, I said it a knower, but be a doer, be a person that is intent of putting God’s word to practice in your life, even if that means to swallow your pride and be like yeah, I am with you Jon, I am one of the people who knows what God’s word says, but I don’t really truly put it into practice in my life.

Biblical knowledge is not equivalent to spiritual maturity

James 1:22 “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”

My challenge to you today is, Be a doer. Don’t just know what to do, but really truly do something with it, If God says forgive, then forgive. If God says, be slow to anger, then do it. If God says to pray for those who persecute you then do it. If God says seek first his kingdom, then do it. Instead of knowing all these things that the Bible talks about and thinking you are something pretty special, well how about you give practicing it a try. I challenge you to take God’s word for the Holy Awesome word that it is and be a doer!


At one point Jesus was kind of cornered by some religious leaders, and they were asking him how do you sum up the entire bible, what is the greatest commandment. And in Jesus’ day we have to know there were about 633 commandments they made from the 10 commandments, Jesus said I’ll do you one better than that, I’ll boil them down to two main commandments. #LoveGod and #LovePeople (the first and second commandments). It’s very easy for someone to say go out and #LoveGod and #LovePeople, but a lot of times we don’t know how to do that. It’s not that we don’t want to do just that, but we can’t Love them (whoever it may be family, friend, coworker, etc), at least not in the crazy passionate love kind of way that the Bible is truly referring to. And that reason is because of ‘Baggage’. Baggage can be anything from jealousy issues, self-esteem issues, unforgiveness/bitterness issues, anger issues, pride issues, taming of the tongue issues, etc.

In John 17:20-26 Jesus is praying to God. Right there we have to think this is very important, I mean it’s Jesus, he could be praying for anything, and this is his prayer.

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me….25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

He said, I’m going to pray that some how all those who believe in me and for those in the future who will believe in me (which is talking about us – Jesus prayed for you) will move together and flow together in community and love as one, and he goes on to say the way in which they love one another will be proof of my existence and my character.

*The way we relate to each other, is reflective of God

God created us in his image. God is a relational God. He creates community within himself, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Everything he created was created in community and is all intertwined, the mountains, the sun, the moon, the galaxies. God created for us to live in this loving context of community. God is a relational being and if we are going to reflect that, we have to live in the context of that love and that is community.

Jesus said, the proof that you are my follower and proof of my character is that you love one another. I think that the reason we have a hard time sometimes to love people is baggage and it’s keeping us from living out the commands that God has called us to, to #LoveGod and #LovePeople. And by not doing that, we are not reflecting God the way that we are to reflect him. Your baggage is what’s keeping you from reconciling with your parents, your baggage is what’s keeping you from calling your sibling this afternoon, your baggage is what is keeping your marriage from ever moving beyond mediocrity, your baggage is what makes you jealous and makes it hard to celebrate when others have success, its your baggage.

There is hope, It’s God’s desire for you to have freedom. We have to realize it may be a battle and may take time. We have to be Honest with ourselves with the junk that we may have in our lives. Whatever it is in our lives we need to be honest with ourselves and give it to God. If it is unforgiveness, we need to let it go and forgive. Even though it may be hard, that is the first step to healing, giving it to God. If we are dealing with trust where we have hurt someone. Confession to God is a start, but take a look at Matthew 5:23-24

23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” God not only tells us to ask forgiveness from him but to reconcile with our friends and family. The bible also says in James 5:16 “16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” It may be scary and tough, but it is clear and simple of what we are to do, and trust that healing will come. When dealing with Envy of others, we see so many things commercials, ads and everything this day in age of the world telling us what we need and want, when God tells us what we really need is Him and his love and contentment in that. Seek that first. With all of what the world is telling us everyday what we need, a good start and reminder of what we really need would be to focus our thoughts on one message a day from God and his word. No matter how put together someone may seem and how much together we think they have it. We all need healing. We all need each other and we all need freedom and we all need God.

For us to begin to love like God has called us to love, for us to reflect God the way we are called to reflect him, we need to be honest with ourselves and begin the healing process in our lives by facing the Baggage we may have picked up somewhere along the way. We need to face the Baggage and start the healing process what ever that may be. I recommend, in what ever situation you are in, to take that Baggage problem and talk to your pastor about a good way to start the healing process. Get God’s word on the situation and begin heading towards a life of freedom.



Are you making a point or making a difference?

Do “non-believers” need the straight up truth about everything the Bible has to say about everything they may be doing wrong? Do they need you to make a great point about how they are living in sin? Maybe you made a great point about something that they said or did that didn’t match up with God’s word, and all of your Christian friends really applauded you for that. Or do they need you to show unconditional love and to not point any fingers? Do They need someone who won’t judge them for what they may be doing wrong? What does the Bible say? Is there a right and a wrong way to treat a “non-believer”? Let’s take a look at a few scriptures to see how the Bible tells us to handle these situations.

In Luke 19:1-10 “Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. 8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

This was a problem for a lot of the religious people. And I’m sure we can see that a lot today. A lot of people might see someone new show up to church with a baseball cap, tattoos and piercings and smelling of the Marijuana or alchohol and want to kick them out on the spot, but that is not the way Jesus showed us. Jesus didn’t go up to Zacchaeus and say you are a dirty sinner and I want nothing to do with you unless you get saved and then walk over to his disciple buddy’s and say “yeah Peter did you see me drop that bomb on him, he didn’t see it coming” haha. No Jesus didn’t want to make that point, you will see the religious Pharisees doing that, but not Jesus. Instead Jesus made dinner plans with Zacchaeus and I’m sure showed him Grace and Love! And then Zacchaeus changed for the better. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, to make a difference, not to make good points.

*Jesus allowed for people to Belong before they Believed

In Matthew 11 The religious people tried to dis Jesus by calling him a “Friend of Sinners”. But Jesus wasn’t in the business of trying to impress other Christians. On paper Jesus had more in common with the Pharisees than the Pagans and non believers, but Jesus constantly directionally leaned toward the people he may have disagreed more with, the people he had less in common with. I want to make a note that a lot of Christians may not agree with, that is that we should not fear guilt by association. We shouldn’t freak out if someone from church sees us out to eat with a “sinner”/non believer. If you struggle with the sin, then be smart about it, but don’t be afraid of reaching out to sinners and showing them grace and love. We to should be a friend of sinners.

In Galatians 2:11-13 we see an example of Peter getting embarrassed to be hanging out with uncircumcised gentiles. Some friends of James came by and Peter basically ditched out on them, on the uncircumcised gentiles that is. And as a result some other Jewish Christians followed that hyprocritical example of Peter. He was afraid of criticism from other believers. We should not be afraid of criticism.

I want to give some props and credit to someone that I know, that is a great example of how we should be toward sinners and non-believers. Clayton, my brother-in-law, has been such a great example in reaching out to non-believers full of grace and love. Ever since I have known him, this has been his ministry and there is always people coming to the Lord from it just like Zacchaeus did. I think a lot of us “Christians” can learn a lot from him on how to reach out to the unsaved and treat them. He is constantly asking them if they need rides, taking them out to eat, inviting them into his home and that is the way Jesus did it and the Bible tells us to do it. So if you know him, take his example in that area! We shouldn’t judge non-Christians for acting like non-Christians. 1 Cor 5:12 says “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?”

Here is a key verse from what i have been talking about is this

Colossians 4:5-6 “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Surrender your agenda and lovingly serve the people in your path.

Instead of judging and saying sinner, sinner, sinner,  Rather than saying you are a  sinner, doing this wrong, doing that wrong and saying oh yeah, by the way, Jesus Loves You. Rather than those things, Be full of grace and season it with “some salt”. In other words, show them love and we can season it with a little bit of God’s word, but don’t over do it. Balance it the way this verse does “full of grace, seasoned with salt…FULL of grace and just SEASONED with salt. Show them patience and humility so much so that they can see there is something different with you. That something is the same love and grace that Christ showed towards the sinners. He didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it! So we should take his example and run with it. We should do more of it! I know that I need to do more of it and in doing so I can bet that we will be making more of a positive impact and difference rather than a negative “point” or impact.


Why is what I’m about to talk about important? It is, one, because I need this for myself and you may also need this. My life is not and has not been prioritized in the way that it should be. It is a little Out-of-Sync from where it should be.The Real issue is that I have no one else to blame for this, because the responsibility of living this balanced, prioritized life lies solely on my shoulders. My personal life with Christ is not where it should be.

Why your church may need to hear this? I am taking notes from a message I heard spoken. There was a survey taken from Christians that attend church from all different backgrounds across the board (new, old, denominations, non-denominations, etc). They put “us” into 5 categories.

-Exploring Christianity

-Growing in Christ


-Close to Christ

-Christ Centered

They had 4 different practices categories, such as – praying, confessing sin, reading scripture, and setting time aside alone with God. The reason this blog is called STALLED is because people in the STALLED category were often sometimes lower in the practices categories than even the “Exploring Christianity”.

Right now, I would say that way to many of us, including me are in and have been in the STALLED category. New explorers, believers, new to church people for the most part are excited about everything – reading, growing, getting involved in groups and programs, they are growing! That was/is you. Then 2 years, 3 years or further down the road, all of the sudden we “STALL”. We all I’m sure have experienced this before. We look back and think, “What Happened?”, “I was growing, becoming more like Christ, amazing things were happening in my life” and then all of the sudden, it kinda just “STALLED”.

2 things can often happen when we get “STALLED”. 1- They often leave the church, because they are frustrated and angry and they assume that I must not be doing something right, because I was growing and all of the sudden I am stagnant and have been that way sometimes for a couple years. Thinking “Either the Christian thing wasn’t really true” or check out because I’m feeling guilty that I am not where I need to be. 2 – People will stick around and complain about everything, because they can’t quite put a finger on what it is that is going on. So they say “the church isn’t doing it for my anymore” or say “I need something deeper” (Which you probably do, but are looking in the wrong place.)

If you are STALLED in your spiritual life and are Out-of-Sync. You are looking in the wrong place. You don’t need more “me”, you don’t need a better message, or more intense worship, you don’t need another program, You certainly don’t need to find a new church. What you need is more of Jesus Christ in your life. And you haven’t found a way for that to happen yet. You are depending on certain instruments and institutions to do that for you that weren’t intended to do that for you in the first place.

John 15 talks about Jesus being the vine and us being the branches and apart from him we can do Nothing. Look it up and dwell on in for a few minutes. Its pretty simple. It’s not just some cute little phrase, it’s not something Jesus just wanted to put on a t-shirt or something. This is a promise, the REAL DEAL. He tells us to “Be in Me”, not just be in a church or a small group. This next thing I am going to tell you is KEY, make sure that this hits home with you!

“You Have to OWN your Own Spiritual Life”  – You need to get to that place where you understand that that is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

As you grow and mature as a believer you become less dependent on programs and more about an arranged life. The church can do it’s best to team up with you and try and make things clear for you, but at the end of the day, no one can do it for you. No one can read scripture for you, serve for you, give for you, etc)

You have to OWN your own spiritual life.

In Mark 1:14-15 Jesus tells us “The time has come, the Kingdom is near” and is telling us that (paraphrased) “it’s possible for you to live in the context of the kingdom. You can be a part of the kingdom, all you have to do is follow me. Do what it is that I do. I don’t care how old or young you are, how good looking or athletic you are. If you want to be a part of the kingdom movement, you can be a part of the movement, just follow me. You can be like me, you can experience transformation in your life.” The Apostle Paul talks about this in Romans 12:1,2, being transformed by the renewing of your mind. Being transformed as talked about in the Bible is very dense, deep and sometimes really hard to try and figure out and understand. How can we spiritually transform, what is the best way to do that, where do we go from here?

I am going to give you an Acronym that can probably help us in this area.


V is for Vision – Understand what Spiritual Transformation looks like/to really follow Jesus

I is for Intention – YOU have to make a DECISION that YOU want this more than anything else in life

M is for Methods – a process and certain disciplines

Matthew 13:44-45 “Kingdom of Heaven”, we need this Vision, discovering the kind of life Jesus wants you to live.

We have settled for a life of mediocrity, a life chasing after cars, money, popularity, a raise, applause and ignoring the Reality of the life that God has called us to live.

We can grow more like Jesus. Spiritual Transformation is possible if we lean on Grace and Faith and we are willing to center our lives around the activities of Jesus Christ. We have compared this vision of the life that Jesus wants for me and the reality of where we are really at. There is this gap. I’m not really where I want to be. I’ve settled and am chasing after all this stuff that is different from the life God has designed me for.

If we are honest, a lot of us would say my life really isn’t centered around the fact that Jesus is in me. Instead we wrestle with doubt issues, fear issues, anger issues and all of these other things are dominating my life but not Christ in me.

We are not talking about external behavior or legalism, we are talking about the “inside”, about Christ being formed in you and understanding that that’s a reality and that is possible. That is the Vision, and at some point Intention and decision has to come, you have to say to yourself that “That is what I want, I want that.” Of course this won’t be a perfect journey. There will be times when you forget, get off track, screw things up, but the decision we will always come back to the Intention of it! ARE YOU THERE?

Methods – Jesus engaged in certain practices in his life here on earth. He withdrew himself to spend time with the Father, He threw himself into scripture, He was always a part of service and community. If Jesus used these methods, how much more do we need them in our lives, how much more important is it.  Don’t only “trust” Jesus for your salvation, but trust him with your life. Believe that he knew and knows how to do life. The purpose of methods is to free you up in the right things at the right moment. It’s not just another chore or responsibility to make you feel guilty.

Intent – Have YOU yourself made the decision for yourself that you want Christ formed in you and you want something more than a STALLED or stagnant life, more than anything.

John 8:12 Jesus said we don’t have to walk in darkness. Don’t be a slave to earthly things. Follow Jesus into his way and this way of life. Jesus freed us from the power of sin.

John 10:10 Jesus came to lead us to a better life and a better way.

So if you are STALLED. Remember that YOU have to OWN your own spiritual life. Its not anyone else’ responsibility. Sync up with Jesus way of life.