Today’s Scripture: “21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” James 1:21-24
It’s taken us till almost to the end of this series before we got to take a look at this passage of Scripture in the book of James. We’ve looked at it briefly before in other messages, but today we are looking directly into these Scriptures about not being just a hearer of the Word, but a doer as well. So, let’s see what the Lord would have to say to us today about “Listening Without Obedience”.
If you’re following along…then you will note that we are a day behind. I had to take some time to think about what I was going to say in this message, and to consult the Holy Ghost. Yesterday was a really good opportunity for the Lord to test whether I was going to just wing it…or obey what I felt in my spirit.
Can I be honest with you today? What I felt in my spirit yesterday was for the first time in this series…I didn’t know what to write, and as I sought the Holy Ghost for direction…none was coming. So, in that instant I’m faced with two choices. I can either wing it, and hope that I write a good message that will make sense…or I can wait until I have something from the Holy Ghost…and write under inspiration of the Spirit of God…instead of my own abilities.
I’ll even be further honest with you. I tried several times to write a message on my ability before I realized I just didn’t have anything to write…and I wasn’t getting any unction or utterance from the Holy Ghost. So, I did what I felt was right…I waited…and it wasn’t until just a little while ago that the Lord started downloading something for me to write.
Listening to the Word of God is important. We all know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. However, when it comes to growing from faith to faith what is necessary here is to do something with the Word that we hear. How so?
We come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior by hearing the Word, taking the Word by faith, and then confessing Christ as Lord. Often times when someone receives Christ they’re asked to take a step of faith, and go up to the front for an altar call. What is so important about the altar call…they are doing something in response to the Word they heard.
When you preach a message before receiving the tithes and offering…you pass around the offering plate or have them leave their offering in the bucket out of a response to the offering message. The message is about building up their faith, but if they don’t respond to the message…then they don’t get the reward of being able to see God rebuke the devourer over our lives.
Listen, I’m going to be honest here, and I’m not going to be super-spiritual. This message is a good one for me, and maybe the reason I had a hard time writing it is because this is an area that I need to improve in with my walk with God. Listening with Obedience. I’m not too overly spiritual to admit that I don’t always do a good job of being a doer of the Word. I’m not perfect, I’m certainly not flawless, and I have areas of my life that I have heard the Word about…but am still working out the obedience side of the Word I heard.
I can be honest like that. If it makes you think less of me because I’m not perfectly obedient to the Lord or the Word of God on all things then I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m still a flawed person with flesh that rebels, and that I have to put under. Not too long ago I had to do a three-week fast from the worldly entertainment venues because I’d made watching television more important than the presence of God. I was disobedient to the Word to not put anything above my relationship with God…so if you’re looking for a perfect and flawless minister…then I’m not that guy.
I’m certainly working on becoming that guy, but I’m not there yet. Not even close. But I do understand the point that hearing the Word of God isn’t enough. It’s the doing of the Word that produces growth because the more we do with the Word that’s preached to us…the more signs and wonders follow…and the more faith comes as a result. When you are obedient to the Word, and then you see God respond…faith comes…and you mature and grow.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a forgetful hearer, and I certainly don’t want to deceive myself. I just want to become more and more of who God has desired me to be…and that only comes by listening to the Word…with obedience…Amen?
Points for Pondering:
“21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” James 1:21-24
- What do you have to do to get the “mirror effect” from the Bible?
- Is there something you’ve learned from the Word of God that you haven’t put into practice?
Conclusion & Prayer:
I think if we’re all honest then we know the answer to question two is that there are definitely things we’ve learned from the Word of God that we have yet to put into practice. That’s really what this message is all about. Putting action to what we’re learning, and that’s how we grow. I know I’m certainly not perfect with it comes to putting everything I’ve heard into practice, but I’m working on it…thank God I’m a work in progress…Amen?
Lord, thank You for helping me to write this message. I still don’t really feel like I did it justice, but I hope that You were able to speak through me. Help us all to become better doers of Your Word that we might continue to grow in grace, faith, and all that You desire of us to grow up in. I love You Lord. Give You praise, glory, and honor…in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen