Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Power of the Word

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. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 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.  James 1:23-25

Knowing what the Bible says is a great resource for Christians, but if you want your life to be changed by Jesus Christ, you have to apply God’s Word to your life.  You have to live out what you know.  It takes work, sacrifice, and diligence, but to not apply what we know is to waste the valuable instruction that God has provided us with His Word. 
In the verses above, James speaks of two different men, one who looks quickly at himself in the mirror and goes away and forgets what he is like.  The other man looks intently, and he is changed.  One looked at himself and was “gone away” without lasting results. "Just a glance and off he goes."  One looks “intently” and is transformed.  One man looks at “himself” and the other at the “perfect law of liberty”.
The Word of God is like a mirror as it reflects what is taking place in our hearts. It shows us areas in our inner lives that need to be cleansed.  A quick brush with truth will not produce lasting results. A fleeting vision of what God wants us to be will not produce character.  Our tendency is to quickly forget what we do not like in ourselves when we come under the steady, pure light of God's truth. We want to turn our heads from reality and go back to our selfish ways.  
Some of us has heard it all our lives.  We have grown up in church, going to Sunday School every Sunday, revivals and VBS.   But the practical side is, are we "doing" the tasks? The truth of our lives is revealed in our acts of doing. Jesus speaks of hearing and doing as a "wise" man in Matthew 7:24 - One who acts upon the word of God and thus builds upon the rock-solid foundation.  "Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:”    
As long as we obey our own passions and emotions and desires, we are nothing less than a slave. It is when we accept the will of God that we become really free- free to be good, and free to be what we ought to be. His service is perfect freedom, and in doing His will is our peace.
The Word of God is not meant to be a forced code of external rules and regulations. It is our living power that enables us to find true freedom.  But crucial to everything is our attitude toward God, His Word, and our spiritual appetite. If I have the right attitude toward God's Word it becomes a living power in my life. Do I love His Word? Am I eager to obey it? Am I anxious to forget what I don't like as soon as possible? Do I make His Word my daily delight? 
The Word of God roots itself like the seed in our hearts. If we water it, it grows to be a part of our nature. It becomes a part of our thinking, emotions, and decisions.  When we are living out God’s Word in our lives, not just telling everyone what it says, we can reflect Christ to the rest of the world.  We can show others Christ in our lives, His power in our lives, and the transformation that we have experienced because of Jesus and His Word.  

Scripture to Claim:So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  James 2:17

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