Doing the Word of God

Introduction

How many of you remember algebra or trigonometry?? How much do you remember of what you learned in high school?? If you are like me then there is a whole lot that you do not remember.? We don?t remember those things because we haven?t used them since high school in most cases.? We tend to remember the things that we do.? If you have to regularly determine the length of one side of a triangularly shaped object given the lengths of the other two sides then you would remember the Pythagorean Theorem (a2 + b2 = c2).? We remember what we do.

The same applies to the word of God.? If we consistently do the word of God then we will remember it and be blessed because of it.? We are going to look at James 1:119-25, which deals with this very thing, namely doing the word of God.

 

Lesson

James 1:19-25 (NKJV) — {19} So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; {20} for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. {21} Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. {22} But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. {23} For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; {24} for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. {25} But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

 

Hear, Quietness, and Anger

In verse nineteen James says,

  1. Quick to hear.? It is very important that we learn to listen.? Sometimes we are so intent on getting our point across or to express our feelings that we don?t listen to the other person.? We tend to ignore the other person especially when we are in a dispute.? Instead of listening and perhaps understanding the other person?s disposition, we are more intent on making our own point.? Sometimes we could avoid lots of misunderstandings if we would simply listen to the other person.This is especially true when we discuss Christianity with others.? Sometimes we may become so motivated to push Christianity onto the person that we don?t hear what he or she is trying to tell us.? We should instead be quick to listen.
  1. Slow to speak.? A consequence of not being quick to hear is that we are quick to speak.? James instructs us to be slow to speak.? If you are not speaking then you can listen.? You cannot listen to someone if you are busy running your mouth so to speak.? Instead, be quiet and listen to the other person.? Silence yourself and listen to what the other person has to say about his religion or her understanding of Christianity.

If you listen to people and consequently not running your mouth constantly then you are better able to understand them and communicate with them.? You can surely minister to them more effectively because you will grasp their problems or dispositions about those things pertaining to God and Christianity.

  1. Slow to wrath.? Now that you are quick to listen and slow to speak, you will be able avoid emotional reactions such as anger.? We many times become angry because we don?t listen to the other person, misunderstand him or her, and subsequently become offended.? We can therefore avoid anger by listening to the other person and responding peacefully and respectfully.

Self-control is necessary in order to do the three things listed above.

Proverbs 16:32 (NKJV) — {32} He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

The person that masters self-control is powerful indeed.? Imagine if you were able to control yourself when you are offended.? Imagine if you could keep yourself from even being offended in the first place.? What power that would be.? Imagine being in a dispute and you control your tongue to let the other person speak while you intently listen.? That is power and much more effective.

Romans 6:12 (NKJV) — {12} Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

Paul tells us to control ourselves by not allowing sin to reign in our bodies.? He instructs us to not obey the lusts of the flesh.? It?s our decision and what is necessary to make the proper decision is self control.? The person who learns self control is a person that can truly get things done.? Think of a person who decides to change her eating habits in order to become fit.? Self-control would enable her to avoid eating the ?wrong? foods that will not contribute to her goal of fitness.

Self-control dictates how we respond to people day after day.? Instead of retaliating we could respond with wisdom and effectiveness.? We will be able to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath if we have self-control.

James also says that being angry does not produce the righteous living that God desires.? Anger is an emotional response that can lead us to do things that we didn?t want to do or will later regret.? Now this doesn?t mean that we should never become angry.? Of course sometimes things simply make us angry.? However, feeling one way and doing something are two different things.? I can be angry and yet still maintain self-control and not do something that I may regret later.

In verse 21 James says,

  1. Eliminate moral filth and evil.? Again this is something that we have to do.? We have to purpose to rid ourselves of the wickedness in our lives.? Again this can be accomplished through self-control.
  2. Humbly accept the word of God that is planted within.? James notes that the word of God can save us.? We also note that the word of God is planted in us, which implies that it will grow.

Do What The Word Says

It is not enough to simply hear the word of God.? It is not enough to listen to a sermon, attend a bible study and hear what is said, or attend some other gathering where the word of God is proclaimed.? We have to live our lives according to the word of God and not just hear it.

Matthew 7:24-25 (NKJV) — {24} ?Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: {25} and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

Those who merely listen to the word are deceiving themselves because they think that is all that is required.? It is not enough to merely hear.? We must also do what the word says, i.e., live according to the word of God.? The word of God should affect our lives.

Merely hearing the word of God is pointless and therefore accomplishes nothing.? Only when we do what the word says do we accomplish anything in our lives pertaining to living the righteous life.? Imagine if you attended school and only listened to the teacher.? Would you be able to solve a problem? Probably not.? What you heard is meaningless to you if you don?t use it so that it will remain with you.? We remember what we use.

James says that those who listens and does what the word says will be blessed in what he does.? That makes sense when you think about it.? If we are doing the word of God then we will be blessed because of the word.

 

Application

Some might say that knowledge is king.? The Bible however says that wisdom is king (See Proverbs 8:11).? Wisdom implies action because it is the effective use of knowledge.? Wisdom is discernment.? We take action after we make a decision (at least we should).

James instructs us of the importance of doing what the word of God says and not to just listen to it.? We need to obtain self-control in order to accomplish the things necessary to live righteously such as being slow to wrath.?? However, there are other areas in our lives that could benefit from what we?ve discussed in this lesson.

Suppose you discover that there are certain foods that you can eat or supplements that you can take to help you with a particular condition.? That knowledge itself is very good however it is meaningless if you don?t act on it.? You will have to begin to eat those foods or find and purchase the particular supplement.? Likewise we may learn something new, but do nothing with it.? It is a waste of time in my opinion to learn something that you have no intention of using or don?t use.

We gain knowledge from new experiences and from various resources.? However, that knowledge can come alive if we act on it.? Our lives would be much better if we just acted on the things that we know.? So let?s begin to act on what we know instead of just accumulating knowledge.? Do the word of God and do the things that you know to do.? Amen.

 


Do the Word of God
By William R. Cunningham
July 29, 2007

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