Listening to James – Part 1

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“The driver on the road is not safe whenever he reads the signs, but whenever he obeys them.” – A.W. Tozer

The book of James is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I usually read through it a couple of times a year. There is so much practical and applicable truth packed into only a few chapters. Every time I read it, I feel as if James is writing directly to me. 

Look at chapter one:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).

Don’t just listen to the Word of God. Really do it! 

It seems like such obvious advice, but it is one of the most crucial calls in the Christian faith. If we are only hearers of the word but we aren’t doers, we aren’t anything!

With anything else, it would be crazy. Imagine that one of your family members got a flat tire but they don’t know how to replace it, so they call you. It’s your job to relay over the phone the steps they must take in order to change their tire. You walk them through each phase until you get to the end.

“So, are you good now?” you ask, “Is the tire changed?”

“No.” they respond.

“No? What have you been doing this whole time!? Didn’t you hear a word I said?” you ask, growing angry.

“Yeah. I heard you. I know how to change the tire, but I just walked to the Starbucks nearby and got a coffee instead.”

You would get so angry! How can they be hearers but not doers! Too often we do the same thing with our faith, but we don’t see a problem in it. We come to church, we do our devotionals in the morning, we go to small group, but none of our hearing is followed by action. 

James says that someone who hears the word of the Lord but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks in the mirror but then goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. Or, if you are anything like me, looks at their watch to see what time it is and then immediately forgets what time they just observed.

It’s useless, it’s futile, it’s pointless. What’s the point in looking in the mirror if you can’t remember what you look like? What’s the point in looking at your watch if you aren’t going to remember the time? What’s the point in hearing the word of God if you aren’t going to do it?

The next time you go to church, read Scripture, go to small group, really challenge yourself to do what you hear. Don’t keep looking in the mirror and forgetting your face. Really do it. Listen to James.

You’ll be amazed by how God can work when we do what He says. 

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