Putting Feet to Our Beliefs
Verse 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Yesterday’s key verse ended by saying that we need to humbly accept the Word that was planted in our hearts and today we will discuss how we go about doing that.
We have been talking about some dangers in our spiritual walk that we need to be on the look for. One of the biggest dangers to the Christian’s life and our light for Christ is that we may know what we are to do but we aren’t actively doing it. That is why James gives this clear warning in today’s key verse.
James goes as far as to say that if we are merely listening to the Word, we are deceiving ourselves. This would also mean that if we are reading it but not living it we are lying to ourselves. It is easy to fall into the rut of going to church on Sunday, listening to the sermon and then reading our Bible and devotions during the week without one single thought about applying what we have heard or read. Why is that?
One reason for that is that we too often think that we know enough already and that we are already living as righteously as possible. We don’t hear the sermon and listen to what the Holy Spirit may be saying to us. We may think about how we wish so and so would hear this sermon and may even be tempted to share it with them. What we fail to do is personalize the message to our own sinful lives.
There is a whole chapter in Hebrews about people who lived out their faith. People who heard a word from God and chose to believe that they needed to abide in it. They listened and obeyed. This is the same thing that we need to be embracing in our own lives. When we simply listen but fail to act we are actually saying that we don’t believe what has been said or written applies to us. And by thinking that we are saying that we are better than we really are.
Belief that isn’t acted upon is a weak belief. When we truly believe we will want to seek out what God is wanting us to change in our life so that we can be more like Him. We will want to listen and read and discern what we need to apply.
Making It Personal
What has God been trying to tell you recently that you haven’t been wanting to hear? Why haven’t you wanted to obey? What are you going to do today to change that?
Making It Personal Kids
Why should you listen to the sermon on Sunday? How does God tell us what to do? Do you obey what the Bible says you should do to live like Jesus?
Father, please forgive us for not really listening to what You are saying to us. Help us hear You clearly any time we hear or read Your message for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.