Hearing the Word, and acting upon it…

Hearing the Word, and acting upon it…

James 1 v. 19 – 27

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror
24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

During this intense time of trials, God’s people are to learn to listen (though the temptation is to lash out, to retaliate, to curse) – firstly to God’s word, ‘planted in you’. ‘Only when we learn to listen carefully to His word can we begin to live lives that please Him’
Like a mirror, God’s word shows us the truth of what we’re really like – we do well to let it speak to us, and then to act in obedience to what we learn about who we really are.
A true faith is one which is lived out with compassion for, and a determination to improve the lot of, those who suffer, and are the most vulnerable in our society.

Lord Jesus,
by Your word, You hold up a mirror to our lives.
Help me to see myself, increasingly,
the way You see me.
Thank You for those times and seasons of blessing,
when I’ve chosen the path of obedience,
and things have worked well.
And help me with those areas in my life
where I’m not being truthful to myself
about the need to surrender
and to be obedient
to Your word,
Your plan.
Plant Your word deeply within me,
and I yield all things
give You more of myself,
that more fruitfulness will be seen
in my life.

Phil Gough