Listening and Doing
By Pastor Donald Parker
My hope is that you have a Bible (God’s Word) in your home, and if you don’t I would love to give you one; just stop by the church and I’ll give you one free! God’s Word will change your life. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” God’s Word is useful and helpful, yet if often sets lying on a table or shelf rarely opened and read. So the question becomes; “What do I do with my Bible?”
I want to give you three things in particular that you need to do with God’s Word based on the passage of Scripture found in James 1:19-25. First, you must accept God’s Word.
James says in verse 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.” The Greek work for “accept” is often translated in the New Testament as “welcome.” You should welcome God’s Word into your heart and read it with the desire to obey it and apply it to your life.
The second thing you are to do with God’s Word is study it. James goes on to say in verse 23 and 24, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
Now, we might not want to admit it, but sometimes we stand or sit in front of a mirror a long time studying ourselves, making sure we look just right. The older I have gotten, I have to look more closely at myself to make sure I don’t have hair growing out of my nose or out of my ear, or crazy bushy eyebrows. If I see them, I don’t just walk off and forget about them, I do something about them. What good is a mirror if we don’t do anything about what we see?
What James is trying to teach us is God’s Word is like a mirror. A regular mirror reflects what we look like on the outside, but God’s Word reflects what we look like on the inside. Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is alive and active. Shaper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word shows us who we really are on the inside; and there lies the problem for a lot of people.
Many people don’t want to look at themselves in the mirror of God’s Word. They don’t want to read God’s Word because they are afraid of what they might see. They’re like people who don’t want to go to the doctor, because they’re afraid of what the doctor might tell them; but the doctor is only going to tell them the truth so that they can get well.
What you need to understand is there’s nothing more healing than God’s Word. It gives us hope, strength, guidance and encouragement. It also exposes our weaknesses, our sins. It tells us if we’re spiritually healthy or spiritually unhealthy; and if we’re spiritually unhealthy, if gives us guidance and instruction on how to get well. But you’ve got to get in God’s Word and study God’s Word and not just glance at the high points or things you like to read that make you feel good about yourself and then turn and walk away.