James – Day 16

Introduction

Today’s text is probably the most famous passage in James’ letter. Here he encourages his readers to go beyond just hearing God’s Word to acting on it.

Jam. 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (23) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: (24) For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (25) But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Doers of the Word

This is the best counsel you’ll ever hear – do what God’s Word says. Do it if it’s easy or hard. Do it if it’s pleasant of painful. Do it regardless of your mood. Do it despite opposition.

Filling your head with Bible facts shouldn’t be the goal of your Bible study. You’re only fooling yourself if you think this makes you spiritual. It certainly doesn’t impress God. Living what you know is more important than knowing a lot. Remember what Jesus said:

Luk. 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

The point of reading and studying Scripture is to put it into practice:

Jos. 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Reflecting on the Reason for Mirrors

Why is there a mirror in your bathroom? What’s the point? Obviously, it’s there for self-assessment and correction. What would you do if you looked in the mirror and saw that your face was dirty, your hair was a mess, and you had poppy seeds between your teeth? You wouldn’t just walk away and leave everything the way it was. Hopefully, you’d wash your face, comb your hair, and brush your teeth.

James compared hearing God’s Word to looking at yourself in the mirror (glass). What would you do if you discovered during your Bible reading that you were a gossip, a liar, a sluggard, or a thief? Would you walk away and pretend you did see what you just saw? Would you feel bad, but keep doing these things? What’s the point of reading your Bible or listening to sermons if you don’t fix the problems you discover? Honestly, I think many Christians act just like the people did in the prophet Ezekiel’s day. God warned him:

Eze. 33:32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

Ezekiel’s audience acted like they were attending a concert. He was entertaining, but they had no intention of acting on his message. But let me ask you, why read you Bible if you’re not going to do what it says? Why go to church and leave unchanged week after week? What’s the point? You’re wasting your time.

This Man Shall Be Blessed

There are three keys to blessing in verse 25.

Looking into God’s perfect law, His liberating Law, is the first step to God’s blessing. You have to have God’s Word. Nothing else can bless you like the Scriptures. But having 10 Bible’s on your bookshelf isn’t the path to blessing, either. You have to look into it, to read it. If you ignore it, you’re in trouble.

Pro. 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

Next, you need to continue in it. The key here is to stick with it – to keep on reading, studying and believing God’s Word. You need to immerse yourself in the ongoing of process of self-evaluation according to the Scriptures.

Finally, you need to act. You’re not blessed in your hearing or your continuing, but in your deed. It’s not the Bible knower, but the Bible doer God blesses. (Remember Joshua 1:8?)

Luk. 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Joh. 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

How’s It Going?

  • Are you a doer of the word?
  • Name the last two specific changes you made in your life in response to a Bible passage you read or a sermon you heard.

Homework

Read James 1:26-27 and ask yourself if you are practicing true religion.

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