The Gentle WayWhat does it look like for you to live out Jesus’ gentleness before others?
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Stop Fooling Yourself
Don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves (v.22).
According to a newspaper report, the police ticketed a New Zealander man 32 times over a 5-year period. Why? For not wearing a seatbelt.
Though his violations were costing him money, he refused to buckle up. So he resorted to deception—fashioning a strap that would hang over his shoulder and make it appear he was wearing a seatbelt. He got away with it for a while, but his deception came to an end when he was involved in an accident that thrust him into the steering wheel and took his life. In his attempt to deceive the law, the man was only fooling himself.
James, in the opening chapter of his letter, taught his readers how to avoid the land mine of self-deception. In order to avoid it, he encouraged them to be hearers of God’s Word (1:22). James understood that when they heard the Word, it had the potential to transform their attitudes and actions. God, through the Scriptures would get to the root of things. He would treat them as they are and not as they pretended them to be.
James also encouraged this congregation to be doers of the Word (v.25). According to James, hearing God’s Word was good, but it wasn’t enough. They had to do what it said. As the mirror of God’s Word revealed what was out of place in their lives, they were to align their lives with the truth. To hear God’s Word and not practice it led to self-deception. However, to be hearers and doers of it led to blessing.
Hearing and doing what Scripture says reveals what our lives are really like, not what we pretend them to be (v.26), and it helps us to avoid deceiving ourselves. Let’s practice hearing and doing what the Bible says and experience the joy and blessing that accompanies obedience.
Read Matthew 7:24 and see an illustration of hearing and doing God’s Word.
What prevents you from hearing the Word? What biblical truth that you’ve received this past week will you put into practice?
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