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 JULY 10 - THOUGHTS BY WILLIAM MACDONALD


“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (John 13:17)

Those who teach and preach the Christian faith should practice what they preach. They should present to the world a living example of the truth. The will of God is that the Word should become flesh in the lives of His people.

The world is more impressed by action than by talk. Wasn’t it Edgar Guest who wrote, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day”? And there is the well-known jibe, “What you are speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you say!”

It was said of one preacher that when he was in the pulpit, the people wished he would never leave it; but when he was out of the pulpit, the people wished he would never enter it again.

H. A. Ironside said, “Nothing locks the lips like the life.” In similar vein, Henry Drummond wrote, “The man is the message.” Carlyle added his testimony: “Holy living is the best argument that tells for God in an age of fact…Words have weight when they have a man behind them.” E. Stanley Jones said, “The Word has to become flesh in us before it can become power through us.” “If I preach the right thing but do not live it, I am telling an untruth about God,” said Oswald Chambers.

Of course we know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who perfectly embodies what He teaches. There is absolutely no contradiction between His message and His life. When the Jews asked Him, “Who are you?” He replied, “Just what I have been claiming all along” (John 8:25 NIV). His conduct corresponded to His claims. Ours should do so increasingly.

Two brothers were doctors, one a preacher and the other an M.D. One day a troubled woman came to see the preacher, but she was not sure which of the doctors lived there. When the preacher opened the door, she asked, “Are you the doctor who preaches or the one who practices?” The question impressed him afresh with the necessity of being a living example of what he taught.


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