"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?' Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!' "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!" – Matthew 7:21-27 HCSB
Does reading a book on guitar playing make you a guitar player? Does the memorization of certain facts make you a scientist? Does the public recitation of those facts magically transform you into Stephen Hawking or Albert Einstein? Does the possession of a mirror make you a super model?
The answer is obviously a resounding “no!” Simply thinking about an activity, a state of mind, or a condition of life does not make it come about. We must act upon those thoughts. We must apply the principles learned in books or from tutors to our lives. That is how we become famous Spanish guitar players, martial artists or influential speakers.
Some people, however, are not able to transfer this very basic principle to their walk with the Master. They believe that church attendance will make them tzaddikim (righteous people). Let me ask you: are all the people that attend a football game – football players?
Others believe that reading the right authors will give them some magical knowledge that will transform their lives overnight and they will wake up miraculous, magically spiritual beings with the power to overcome sin and to call down fire from heaven. So they read Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Billy Graham, Dietrich Bonhoffer or Saint Augustine. Personally, if there were such a human author – if there was some man or woman who had the power to magically transform us into tzaddikim - my vote would be for A.W. Tozer. Unfortunately, there is no such human. Reading cannot turn us into good people any more than it can turn us into great chefs.
No minister, whether pastor, priest, rabbi or guru, will be of any good to a person who will not listen and apply the appropriate truths to their lives. We do not become good people by thinking good thoughts, but by doing good deeds again and again until they become second nature.
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