Are you a Doer of the Word!
God's Word gives us our spiritual birth and reason in life (Col. 3:16; 1 Pet.
When we really hear God's Word without putting up any barriers, it will impact us existentially (change us internally) down to the depths of who we are in personality, thinking, and attitudes, then it will lead to godly actions. It will model and show a loving concern for others and His precepts in concert. We have to be willing to hear before we can practice it. If we do not practice it, it becomes useless. This does not mean doing something without the knowledge to do it right, or going off without purpose or direction.
We are called to be a doer and a hearer, this is a statement that characterizes self delusion and hypocrisy. In contrast, some Jews at the time believed they were only required to memorize the Law (Word of God), but did not need to practice it. The value was only in the learning; the practicing of it was considered with contempt. James is using the stoic philosophy and tweaking it to attack the complacent Jews. (Ezek. 33:30-32). Thus, when we memorize Bible passages, we have the power and means to implement God's precepts into our lives and then they can flow onto those around us! Conversely, complacency is deadly to a growing faith and a church, as it will cause us to fail and fall swiftly and hard into utter worthlessness and eventual closure or dysfunction.
The Word of God is to reflect God's character into our life. Just like the purpose of a mirror is to show what we really look like so we can improve ourselves. It is the examiner of what is plainly seen, not by us, but by others. It is the same with the Bible. God's Word examines us and gives us the information to "comb the hair" of our faith, to make us worthy of going out in public, and being practical and appealing to others. The Bible helps us see ourselves so we can fix, with the Spirit's empowerment, what needs attention and improvement or whatever is needed.
God's Word sets us free; it does not bind us to traditions and meaningless rhetoric; it liberates us into joy and contentment; it brings out our best and gives us purpose and real, authentic meaning. The application of this is in how we control what we say and do, as we are called to do. Our words reflect what is in our heart as do our actions. Serving the needy is our character and maturity in action.
In the previous passage of James 1:19-20, we are called to Listen, and that means to listen and apply His Word the Bible! To listen means to pay attention, to open our ears and hear. If we are reluctant to listen, then we will also be reluctant to learn and grow. When we listen, we open our minds and hearts to the Truth of our Lord. We can hear what others are saying to sharpen us and we will know when there is error. The person who listens is the one who is of good character and exhibits godliness. This truth transitions into the following verses to be doers of the Word.
The Word of God cannot take root in us when we are full of the toxic waste of anger and pride! The spirit of revolution was in the midst of
James wants to make sure we are not only are good listeners, but that we also listen to God, His precepts, and call. We cannot put our faith into practice unless we are listening. Listening is quintessential to relational development and personal growth. For us to adhere to God's truths, we must be willing and able to receive them, and we receive them by listening! So then or take note of this, is a call to attention, a call to "listen up". It is an exhortation for us to hear God's call. Because of this passage in its context, we can adhere to His call and put His precepts into practice. Remember, The Bible is also a book about the application of our faith, so we can apply our Christian conduct in how we treat others!
Questions to Ponder
Read Col. 3:15-17
- How does God's Word give you a spiritual birth and reason in life? Consider the age old philosophical questions: Who am I? What am I here for? What is the meaning of life?
- How is God's character reflected in our life? How should it be?
- Why is it a necessity to put the Word of God into your life?
- Have you considered how it affects how you feel, how you are, and how it transforms you in how you treat others?
- Do you fully believe when the Bible has impacted us, we will makea response to it? How have you done this? How can you do this better?
© 1984, 2006, Rev. R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org/