This morning I'm assaulted by God's ultimate challenge: Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Though I usually place a link to the Scriptural context in these posts, today's reference is so crucial that I pasted it here directly.
James 1:19-25 ESV Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (20) for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (21) Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. (24) For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (25) But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.I think my getting this message from two independent sources this morning was no coincidence. God is telling me to put feet to His Word which is, for me, a singularly appropriate instruction. I love splitting exegetical hairs—or rightly dividing His Word—and getting lost in the minutia of language. Yet, I so often struggle with the simplest issues of obedience.
The Lord's apostle James well understood this most human of impulses, and its devastating effect on our Great Commission. He well knew that non-believers are the best B.S. detectors, and that any lack of genuine love in Christ-followers will render our testimony impotent.
How can non-believers' resistance to Christ's gospel mystify us when we demonstrate so little joy in our own walks? In fact, we typically demonstrate just the opposite; we're uptight about obeying the rules, believing just the right doctrines and worshiping in exactly the correct order. Brethren, that is not the joy non-believers seek, and will attract them like insecticide attracts bees. Be doers of the word, and become the pollen they desperately seek.