James 1: 21-25
“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.” James 1: 25
How often do we listen without hearing? ‘In one ear and out the other,’ the saying goes. There were so many times as a Police Officer that I gave public warnings for people’s safety which were seemingly just ignored. Sadly we are being made aware of occasions where people are listening to Government and Health warnings today but not heeding them. As Christians, as God’s children, we are well versed at listening to God’s Word on a Sunday morning or in our daily bible readings and prayers; BUT do we really hear what is said? Do we understand God’s truth so that it changes our ‘being and doing,’ or do we walk away and carry on with unaltered lives?
Many years ago my brother, Andy, and I were putting together a playhouse in my backyard for my daughter. It came with instructions. Yes, you can imagine what I am now going to say. Andy and I didn’t bother with the instructions; we thought it simple enough that we’d know what to do. It ended up with an unplanned extension (!) and the need to take it to pieces, go to the instructions and build as directed. Today we are being called to go to God’s Word, His bible, and not just listen but to do as well. So often we know God’s truth because we have heard it but we have remained trusting our own strength or other false foundations; we hear and walk away without doing. We all, right now, need not to just hear but to do. We miss out on such peace and have such fear because we hear God’s promises but then walk away without trusting them and putting them into practice. We keep hold of our fears and worries instead of giving them to God (1 Peter 5: 7). Hearing and doing is a learning process that takes time but is so worthwhile.
James, in our reading today, tells us how crazy it is to hear God’s truth and then not to act on it (vs. 22-24). He reassures us that if we do obey His Word we will have freedom and be blessed in all we do (vs. 25). Imagine how much our lives would be transformed if we were doers as well as hearers; how many other people would be helped and blessed. By God’s grace and our perseverance let’s hear AND do!
To Ponder: What words of God have you heard that encourage you and mean something to you? What do you need to ‘do’ with these Words?
Prayer: O Lord may you make us worthy of your calling. Help us not just to hear your Word but by your grace enable us to ‘do it!’ By your power please bring to fruition our every desire for goodness and our every deed prompted by faith so that the Lord Jesus may be glorified because of your grace that is at work in us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. From 2 Thessalonians 1: 11-12
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.