But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. –James 1:22 (KJV)
As followers of Christ, we must understand the importance of applying the truths of God’s Word to our lives. It is one matter to read the Word, but we must then heed it, which means doing what it says. James 1:22 speaks of being doers of the word and not hearers only. If we are simply hearers then we deceive ourselves. For example, if we look at the commandments and we take them seriously we will seek to put the values they teach into practice. We will seek to put God first, worship and serve Him only, and reject the idols of the world. We also seek to live lives of honesty and integrity. We find all of these principles in the Ten Commandments. Furthermore, when we begin to examine the teachings of Jesus, we find we are to love God and love one another sacrificially. Let us not just hear the Word, but also let us put it into practice by doing what it says.
When we are serious about following Jesus Christ, we make a commitment to serve Him with such integrity that we will never, for any reason compromise ourselves. This means we will not compromise our faith, beliefs, morals, or values, and neither will we compromise our stand upon God’s Word. When I was a student in Louisville, Kentucky, there was a water main break not far from the seminary. For two days, we had no running water. However, we got by with bottled water that was distributed to the students. Later, I remember hearing that somehow a link between two main pipes had weakened and the pressure had caused it to break. How applicable that is to the human experience. Doing anything out of God’s will compromises our faith, and we are prone to break. The break might involve doing something that can ruin a reputation, do irreparable damage to a marriage, or destroy relationships with family.
Unless we have prayer and God’s Word to daily enrich our lives, we face problems, frustrations, and temptations on our own strength. Reading the Word of God is good and uplifting, but God calls us to apply its truths to our thought processes and actions. This comes through an ongoing process of letting the Word penetrate into our consciousness. We are then doing what the Scripture says by hiding God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Be careful about doing anything that creates weaknesses in the links of our lives. Instead, do what strengthens and keeps us going forward in vibrant and living faith.
Christ calls us to be faithful, stay in the Word, pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17), and walk humbly before God (Micah 6:8), as the Scripture teaches.
God bless you today.