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Practice Makes Perfect

June 27th, 2019

See Choices Clearly. Make Choices Wisely.

 “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things.” Philippians 4:9 NAS.

My thoughts and comments today are that, “practice makes perfect.”

It is commonly said that, “practice makes perfect.” Of course, that requires that your practice is improving. Athletes have their drills and practices. Musicians have their rehearsals. Students have their studies and exams. Marathoners have their conditioning runs. But the point of them all is the same for you in your pursuit of an authentic and growing spiritual life. To succeed in your spiritual life and growth, you must embrace the necessary spiritual disciplines.

Prayer, Bible reading, meditation on Scripture, obedience to truth, the discipline of fasting, meaningful fellowship, and developing a servant’s heart are essential practices. Doing the right thing each time does not come naturally or easily; it comes from desire, determination, and discipline. Practice is a recurring theme in Scripture. “Let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” Revelation 22:11 NAS.

No one really enjoys practice. You learn by doing, not once but again and again and again, until your knowledge and skill is so well practiced that it is predictably the same, becoming instinctive more than requiring conscious thought. But enjoyment is not the source of worthwhile accomplishment, nor the goal of life. Practice provides no thrill of victory because practice lacks the invigorating challenge of competition and the satisfying reward of achievement.

Meaningful practice is hard work, consisting of numbing repetition and deferred reward. A good coach requires more hours of practice by their team than game times, because they know the needed physical and mental conditioning that will be essential. In the pressure of the game situation, the endless drills during practices result in quicker reflexes and a game-winning edge that can make the difference between winning or losing.

For meaningful development and maturity, your spiritual life requires priority and systematic effort. Athletic games are not commonly won by a dramatic big play. They are won by what preceded and followed the big play. Success in the game is possible because of the stamina and skills acquired by the discipline of preparation and practice. A winning athlete is prepared to excel and put themselves and their team in the place for victory.

The Apostle Paul used the example of a committed athlete, as he wrote, “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control.” Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT. Whatever the endeavor, practice makes perfect.

The challenge that involves your life every day is much more consequential, both presently and eternally. The risk is great, the reward even greater. Paul wrote to his young protégé, Timothy, “Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future.” 1 Timothy 4:8 TEV. It is unfortunate when we expend considerable time and effort to things which matter so briefly.

You are being trained to make wise life choices accordingly, reliably, and consistently. Your well-being depends upon your success in doing so. In this, practice does make perfect. “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9 NAS. Practice these things.

See the choices clearly and make your choices wisely according to God’s Word. “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” 2 Peter 1:10-11 NAS. Your spiritual development demands practice that requires priority, diligence and determination.
Today I pray for you to keep your goal in focus and your efforts consistent.
EDL Communications 2019
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