January 3, 2019

Hearing and Doing

January 3, 2019


Luke 8:16-21
This weekend’s reading: Revelation 1:9-19

I like to read self-help books. Maybe the topic is time management — learning how to prioritize tasks, get things done, and achieve my highest goals. Or maybe the book is about fitness and health — “growing younger” or following a low-carb diet. I’m especially attracted to any book that promises to show me how to “live my best life” or become my “best self.”

The ideas and suggestions in all these books are great. There’s only one problem — I have to actually DO something. I can’t just read the books and voila! — I’m a new person. I have to “obey” the commands of the book.

Today’s reading about lamps and family relationships reminds us of the same truth — when we hear God’s word, we must obey it to reap the benefits. Just as a lamp has to be put into service to light a room — not buried under a jar or bed — we must actually put into practice Jesus’ teachings. As he told the crowd in verse 21, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”


  • With a trusted adult’s help, light a candle. Observe how it lights up the room. Now put that candle under a mug or glass. What happens to the flame? Jesus says that his teachings are like a candle and they should not be covered up and ignored, but put into a holder and allowed to shine. Talk with your family about ways to obey Jesus’ teachings and let other people see them in your life.

  • Is there a teacher at school you like more than all the others?
  • Have you ever disappointed or disobeyed him or her?
  • How did that make you feel? How do you feel when you please him or her?


Gracious Lord, give us the self-awareness to see where we’ve covered up your truth with our own concerns and agendas. Give us the desire to obey your word and put into practice your teachings. Amen.