January 11, 2020
James 1:22-25 (NIV)
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.
We come to our fifth formative, Spirit-empowered way of engaging the Word of God. It comes from our First Word—Last Word text for today:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
The R word: Rehearse. If we do not practice the Word of God all of our other engagements are for naught. Listen to the prescient words of Jesus on this same point from the celebrated Sermon on the Mount.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
The only difference between these persons? They both “heard” the Word of God. They both built houses. They both faced horrific storms. The only difference between the two people is one put the Words of God into practice and the other did not. It made the difference between building on rock and building on sand.
Consider the mnemonic device of the five fingers. This fifth practice represents the thumb. Try picking something up without your thumb. The four fingers are rendered incompetent without a thumb. So it goes if we read, ruminate, rememberize, and research without rehearsing the Word of God. In fact, we engage the Word of God in all these ways in order that we might become better at doing what it says. Only when we actually do God’s Word does it become enfleshed in our own lives. Only when we do God’s Word can it become a blessing to others for their good and a witness to others of God’s glory.
First Word. Last Word. God’s Word.
Our Father in Heaven, thank you for your Word, which endures forever. Thank you for not only calling me to be a doer of your Word but for empowering me to do it by the power of your Spirit. I want to build my life on the rock of your Word. I confess that all my engagement with your word is for naught lest I put it into practice in my life. Lead me in this everlasting way. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
What Word from God are you presently working to put into practice in your life?
For the Awakening,