Growing a Faith that Works – A Study Through the Book of James – James 1 – Part 8

Are you a Radical Doer or a Complex Hearer

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19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:19-27 NIV

I’ve often grown frustrated that far too often our American churches are operated as if it is our purpose as believers to know more information and gain more knowledge about Jesus Christ, rather than move toward living lives of relentless obedience to Christ and a radical life transformation in Him. While we wouldn’t admit it, it is sad that we often consider Christian growth more about becoming complex hearers of the Word, while remaining unchanged and minimal doers of the Word. We can too easily become a church that puts on a good performance rather than people desperately seeking more of Jesus.

James the brother of Jesus gives a strong reminder in His letter to the early church, “do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Don’t settle for being a Complex Hearer.

“do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.” James 1:22 NIV

There is a danger when believers settle for being complex hearers of the Word of God. It is dangerous when we are concerned more about, “deeper teaching,” than a radical life change.

Pursue being a Radical Doer.

Do what it says.” James 1:22 NIV

The real Gospel is less about coming to church to hear more complex or deep messages. Rather, it involves being radically transformed by the power and presence of Jesus Christ.

James reminds us that the Word of God is more like a can of pain than a diploma. With a diploma, we take the classes, study the information, take the test, pass the class, get the diploma, and put it on the wall. Once we get the diploma, it becomes a credential that we own.

A can of paint is only of value when it is opened and applied. Paint has no value in the can. Owning 100 cans of paint doesn’t do a house any good unless the cans are opened and applied to the house. Increased amounts of Bible knowledge and Bible education are of little value until the Word of God is opened and applied in the life of a believer.

Lord empower me to be a radical doer of Your Word. Transform me into Your likeness Jesus. I want to live with Your heart, Your passion, and according to Your desires. I pray that You move me into being a radically transformed, Holy Spirit filled Christ follower today. In the awesome name of Jesus Christ amen.

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