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larry_waltersYou probably heard about Larry Walters several years ago. Larry was a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.

Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky -- smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country.

Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:

"Where you scared?" "Yes."

"Would you do it again?" "No."

"Why did you do it?" And I love this response. He said, "Because you can't just sit there."

Now, don't get me wrong. What Larry Walters was a terribly stupid thing to do. But I wish more Christians had the attitude that we need to do be something -- "because you can't just sit there!"

Last week, I wrote about the importance of knowing, doing and being in our Christian lives. Yesterday, I expounded on the idea of "knowing." Allow me this morning to say a few words about the need to "do".

James wrote, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22). He goes on to describe a man who reads the Bible, but he doesn't put it into practice. He says he is like a man who looks in the mirror. He sees his hair is messed up, he needs to shave, he has a dirty smudge on his cheek, but he goes his way and does nothing about it. Looking in the mirror has done him no good. So is the man who reads God's Word, but makes no effort to put what he reads into practice. But, "He who looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:25).

In Matthew 25, Jesus described the scene of the Day of Judgment. He describes the separation of the sheep from the goats (and our eternal destiny) based on what we have done. It is clear from the words of Jesus that Christianity is a series of verbs, action words -- visit, feed, clothe, go, teach, encourage, give, love.

So, what are we accomplishing for the Lord? What are we doing? The Lord doesn't demand the unusual or the sensational, but he does expect something. What are we doing? We're not truly living Christian lives unless we're doing the work of Christ. We don't just need to know; we need to do.

We need to strive for balance in our spiritual lives. There are some Christians who spend all their time learning God's will. Constantly studying, learning, getting a handle on every obscure passage and an argument against every false doctrine. But they never get around to doing. And there are others who are busy doing good works, but they haven't spent enough time with God's Word to know if they're really following God's will. But God's desire is that we have both knowledge and obedience:

"That you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." (Colossians 1:10).

May God make you "fruitful in every work" as you "have a walk worthy of the Lord."

Have a great day!

Alan Smith