But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. – James 2:22
The apostle James, brother of Jesus, writes to us here on the truths of being a disciple of Jesus and what it means to actually be a true follower of Jesus the Messiah. Here in this passage he addresses those that hear God’s word and do nothing versus the those who hear and do it. He says it’s one thing to hear God’s word because faith only comes by hearing and hearing from the word of God, but not doing it is as bad as not believing it.
The apostle James was plagiarized by the Nike corporation when they came out with their, “Just do it,” campaign. There is truth in the slogan though. James teaches us to not just hear God’s word but to apply it our lives. That is why this devotion blog was birthed, so that I would not just read it everyday as a route practice but to apply its truths daily. The need to apply what we learn puts into practice the truths and practicality that exists in the word of God. What absurdity it is to hear something that will better one’s life and never live it out. What good does it do us to go to a doctor, for example, and be diagnosed to find out we have an affliction, purchase the medication, and then never take it? What wisdom is there in hearing God tell you how to live your life and not do it? This is the essence of James’ warning to be a doer and not a hearer only. Therefore, let us put into practice what God teaches us, so we may become the people he wants us to be.
Father, thank you for your infinite love and wisdom. You know better than we what we need, want, and should have. You filled the pages of your written word with a guideline and pattern of how we should live. You didn’t place your truths in it to be bottled up and never applied. When I think about the penned words of James, I think of sunscreen lotion. How useless it is to go play in the sun and bring along sunscreen lotion but never apply it! How can the lotion do its job if never rubbed on the body? Accordingly, how can your word operate in our lives if we do no more than read it and never apply to our lives? Help me to be better at actually living out the truths of your word to perfect my life and make me more like you? Jesus, give me the grace to do your will and not mine, as your words describes and dictates. In Jesus’ name, Amen.