Monday, June 1, 2009

Forgetful Hearer or Effectual Doer?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB

I absolutely love the Word of God. I was reading this morning in Proverbs and in chapter one I read something that is timeless as truth always is. The book of Proverbs was, at the latest, written in 700BC. My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait for someone's blood, let's waylay some harmless soul; let's swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse"-- my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood. How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it. Proverbs 1:10-19 If a concerned Christian mother spoke these words to children she was trying to raise in a drug and gang infested neighborhood in 2009 it would ring just as true and applicable. It is good advice in any country, culture, and any time in history.

God’s word instructs
God’s word convicts
God’s word straightens out what is crooked
God’s word tutors and nurtures us

Jesus told us in a parable in Matthew of a wise and foolish builder. Jesus warns us that the foundations of our lives will be shaken at some time or another. The house that survived the inevitable storms of life was the one that not only heard the word, but applied the word. The Lord gave me a vivid example this past week. Recently I talked to someone who was reading a Christian book and laid it aside for our conversation. She talked about the quality time she has had to spend with the Lord. Then she proceeded to tell me how she has handled several recent tough situations and she didn’t handle them well. She lost her temper and harsh words ensued. She realized her actions weren’t right, but justified herself, and placed the blame on others. God doesn't cleanse us from excuses, He cleanses us from sin. On the other hand, the day before I spent time with another woman who has suffered a lot at the hand of those who should have protected her. She had been in God’s word and she was convicted and enlightened. She realized how she had internalized and dealt with her problems wasn't healthy or right. She was being cleansed and corrected. The strength and the peace in her were evident. In James 1:25 we read that the “one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” It wasn’t hard to see which one had allowed the Word to do His work.

I know that my observations may seem hard, but we have to ask ourselves are we truly honoring His word. Sitting alone in my house listening to music, reading His word, or good Christian literature isn’t evidence of my spiritual depth. Standing in a long line at Wal-Mart with a patient attitude and a smile on my face may be more of a true test. Are we allowing His word to change us and guide our responses in the rough and tumble of everyday living in a fallen world? Are we hearers or doers? One places our feet solidly on a Rock and the other on shifting sand. Applying His word in the daily nitty-gritty’s drives the stake down so deep that whatever comes we will stand. Knowing the word is not the same as living it.

MY PRAYER: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Now Lord you tell us that we are the light of the world. We are letters known and read by all men. May your word become manifest in our lives so that light may shine on the path of those that walk in darkness. 2 Corinthians 3:2

MY CONFESSION: I will not become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer of Your word. I will be blessed in what I do. James 1:25

1 comment:

Melody Ann said...

How blessed I was to read your blog today. My commitment; to become an effective doer of His. Your words are so true, our behavior on a daily basis is what reflects in what we believe. I am so encouraged by your insight. Thank You