by Rick Warren — June 24, 2023
From 40 Days in the Word
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Matthew 7:24 (NIV)
Did you know studying the Bible can be dangerous? In fact, the results of Bible study could be disastrous!
Sounds strange, I know. But God intended for us to apply the Bible to our lives—not just read it. So when you read God’s Word but don’t apply it, the foundation of your life may crumble.
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24 NIV). That wise man’s house stayed strong through the storm.
But then Jesus spoke about someone else: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (Matthew 7:26 NIV). You probably know how the story goes: The foolish person’s house collapses during the storm.
God has given you the Bible for transformation, not just information. When you apply it, you’re building a firm foundation for your life.
Here are three more reasons it’s important that you apply God’s Word to your life:
1. Knowledge produces pride if you don’t apply truth to your life. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 8:1, “Knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (NIV). Christians can be the most cantankerous, evil, mean-spirited, critical, judgmental people the world has known—if we never take the extra step and apply the Bible to our lives. That’s because knowledge on its own produces pride. Instead, God wants you to apply that knowledge in love.
2. Knowledge requires action. James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (NIV). What a person knows should be reflected in what that person does. You can’t grow spiritually just by taking notes on a Bible study. God expects you to follow his commands—they’re not optional!
3. Knowledge increases responsibility. The Bible says, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it” (James 4:17 NLT). When you study the Bible, God will show you areas of your life that need to be changed. And once he shows you those areas, he’ll hold you responsible for what he’s shown you. A deeper knowledge of Scripture equals a greater responsibility to follow it.
As you study and apply God’s Word, you’ll be building a strong foundation that will keep you steady during life’s storms.