Today’s brief Bible verse is another case of a mis-translation. The word “filasontes”, which is translated as “keep” in the RSV translation of the Bible can be translated in many ways—keep, preserve, protect, or my favorite, DO. Because not only are we supposed to hear the word of God, and not only are we supposed to keep the word of God close to our hearts. We are supposed to DO the word of God.
First, we must start out with “hearing” the word. If we don’t know what we are supposed to do, we cannot “do” it. This is why we are supposed to be reading the scriptures on a daily basis. This is why we are supposed to listen to sermons and talk about the Bible, so that we can understand God’s word.
Second, we must “keep” the word of God. We must hold it fast in our hearts. We must allow it to grow strong in us, to be foundational for our lives.
But there is a third component, which is action. We cannot be satisfied, or think that the Lord is satisfied, if we merely keep the word. We must DO what we hear. We must put into action that which we hold fast in our hearts.
And we must do that with confidence. I don’t know how many of you played sports when you were younger, or for those who are younger, how many of you play sports. If you play baseball, you don’t think “what if the ball doesn’t make it where I’m trying to throw it,” or “what if I swing and miss when I’m at bat.” If you are a basketball player, you don’t think about missing free throws as you shoot them or shots as you take them. Because when you think you are going to fail, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, you fail. When you have confidence, sometimes you still fail, but more often than not, you succeed. This same principle applies to taking tests if you are a student, or doing a job is you are an adult—If you think you are going to fail, you have a higher chance that you are going to fail.
It’s the same thing with DO-ing God’s word. Sometimes being a genuine Christian will bring us criticism. Sometimes, we try to do the right thing and still fail. But tentative Christians, like tentative ball players, do not succeed as often as those who go about it with confidence (not arrogance, and there is a difference). So, remember two things today—Go and DO God’s word, and go and do it with confidence.
And one other word of advice for today—don’t try, DO. In one of the Star Wars movies, Yoda (the wise old Jedi) says to Luke Skywalker, “do or do not, there is no try.” So choose to DO God’s word, don’t just try. Choose to work at your studies, to work on your marriage, to work at your job, to work on your parenting. Quoting the Nike motto, just DO it!
Lord, thank You for the gift of this day. Help me to not only be a hearer of Your Word but a do-er of it. Help me to do whatever I’m called to do today with confidence in myself and confidence in You. Help me to glorify You in ways large and small today. Amen.
Go do it!