I love you only.
I love only you.
I only love you.
Only I love you.
Not only are the right words vital to good communication, paying attention to the entire statement is also important. In this example, take “only” out of any sentence and the meaning shifts.
Last night I watched a television show in which a woman was receiving important instruction on the telephone. While listening, she was distracted. The person on the other end didn’t know that and kept talking. The woman who was supposed to be listening missed most of what she said, but neither one of them realized it.
Good communication requires paying attention. In the passage of Scripture that I’m studying, one phase is vital to the meaning of the passage. However, whoever wrote the devotional readings for this passage missed it.
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. (Matthew 7:24–25)The questions in the readings indicate that whoever wrote them thinks that the passage is about a firm foundation based on the truths found in the Bible. These questions focus on believing the right things, but nothing is said about “and does them” which I think is the main point.
For example, if someone told me my house was on fire and I needed to get out, what good would it do if I believed them, even saw the fire, but stayed in the house? Action is necessary.
In the same way, the Bible says that Jesus is God in human flesh, came to save me from my sins, and I need to repent (turn) from sin to God. What good would it do if I thought that was true, even told others about it, but hung on to every sin that I enjoyed? I may (or may not) believe, but without repentance and other actions that prove it, I’m standing on sand and will not stay standing when those inevitable tests and storms of life hit me.
Christian living is about submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, not choosing commands or parts that I like from what He says. While it is important to base my faith on the solid truth of Scripture and the Rock who is Christ, if I don’t do what the Lord tells me, then I am mocking Him. I’m also a hypocrite.