“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” James 1:22-25 (NLT)
The Apostle James wrote this letter to the Jewish brethren who got born again not long enough to be mature in the faith. Most of these brethren had carried their religious traditions and habits after being converted to the faith of Christ. They are so used to attending prayer hours and listen to their leaders and others read the Scriptures to them. It is customary to them to just listen to the reading of the Scriptures and teachings for the day. James had to step in and charge them to change their behavior toward the Word of God. James is exhorting them to be doers of the Word of God and not listeners only.
There is a reality check in this scenario. It is a fact of life that majority of people claim they are Christians because they attend church services, or they were born in a Christian family and even active participant in church activities; however, applying the word of God in their lives especially in their daily activities is remote.
They actually believe that Sunday is time for “church,” but how about God? What day or what time is for God or His Word? Part of the problem is the integrity of the message these people hear in their churches or meeting places or whatever. And the other part of the problem is the integrity of the preacher’s life. Jesus said to His disciples, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” He also said that man shall not eat by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
It is not enough to accumulate Bible knowledge and insights from the Scriptures without applying them in your daily life. It defeats the purpose of the word of God if you set aside what you’ve heard and learned from the Scriptures, and continue to live like an unbeliever.
If you are not a doer of the word of God, you are like a man with a tool box full of power tools, with gadgets, gears, instruments and equipments, but have never use them for your benefits. What you did was you’ll spend many hours of cutting four by fours with a hand saw when a powerful circular saw will do the job in minutes flat. And when people see you, they would say you’re a fool.
The Bible indicates that man either acts as a fool or acts as a wise. There’s no in between, you cannot be neutral. As a matter of fact, in the kingdom of God, it is either you are in the light or in darkness. And in Christian circles, it is either you are part of the solution or part of the problem. Also, in the Book of Revelation God spits out those who are lukewarm, because they are neither hot nor cold.
James said that you have to be doer of the word of God, otherwise you are fooling yourself. There’s nothing wrong for someone who has memorized the whole Bible from cover to cover, and has read it for a thousand times. We applaud you for such an accomplishment. However, it is absolutely wonderful and great if you can put into action what you have read from the word of God. However, fools like to argue and debate regarding his (acquired) knowledge of the Bible. A fool determines in his heart that he knows everything and don’t need someone to correct him.
Proverbs 18:2, “Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.”
Einstein said, “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”
Einstein is correct because when you listen to a self proclaimed intellectual or knowledgeable, it is like reading a book. So, you might as well shut him up and go to a library and read the book for yourself. The fool has nothing but acquired knowledge borrowed from someone else’s. The fool has no personality.
A fool has no revelation of the word of God in his heart. What he has is pure intellectual information without life. He is dead spiritually. He has no life of God.
Jesus mentioned this fool in Matthew 7:24-27:
“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: 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.”
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
It is not enough to hear the word and continue in daily activities in life without putting the word of God in action. Jesus gave us a clear warning of the grave consequence of not practicing the word of God. It is a fact that while believers are still living in this world, they are subjected to hardships, sufferings, temptations, trials and test faith. However, Jesus promises that he who obeys His word and do them will never be beaten by the storms of life; after the storm he remains standing because he is founded in the obedience of the word.
Faith can only work by putting the word of God into action. James 2:20 (NKJV), “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”
Without obeying the word, the word will not do any good in your situation. First of all, a believer must understand and know who he is according to eyes of God. Not only a believer needs to know who he in Christ and what he has in Christ, a believer must begin to live who he is in Christ and begin to enjoy what he has in Christ.
Through Christ, a believer has been blessed with exceeding blessings. Christ has already provided these blessings to a believer. The truth is, a believer does not need to ask or beg to His Father to bless him, because he is already blessed. The Father expects him to enjoy everything that was given to Him. To understand this truth, read and meditate Luke 15: 11-31, the story of the Prodigal Son.
The story of the Prodigal Son is about a younger son who asked his father to give him his share of wealth before his father dies. The father divided the wealth between his two sons. The younger son soon moved out and went far away and wasted all his share of wealth. Because of extreme hardship, the younger son returned to his father’s house. The father rejoiced and gave him a grand celebration, sort of a “Welcome Home Jack!” style and they feasted for his return. The father gave the younger son the finest robe and a ring and he loved him and kissed him.
However when the older son arrived home from working out in the field, he was furious. He blasted his father, “Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandments at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed fated calf for him.”
The father answered him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”
Pay attention to the father’s respond: The fact that the older son has always been with father, everything that belongs to the father also belongs to him. However, the older son never took advantage of what he has. Everything is right there in his possession. All he needs to do is take it and enjoy it. But he didn’t. He probably thinks that he has to be humble and live the life of an ordinary. He probably said in his heart, “I am a humble son. And I will remain simple and not overly consume the goodies here in my father’s house. I am humble.”
The kid is a fool. He lives with a loving, forgiving, and generous father; and everything in that house is his. In reality, the kid is self righteous and dumb.
Many believers mirror the life situation of the older son. Although God has blessed them with exceeding abundance of blessings, they live the life of a slave. And when they see other Christian brethren who are blessed exceedingly, they cry foul! They are the worst complainer in the planet. The older son could have enjoyed the riches of his father, but he chose to toil the field instead. And now that his younger brother is enjoying the abundant blessings of his father, he got furious, jealous and cried to his father complaining.
It is your choice if you want to live and enjoy the abundant blessings of your Father in Heaven. The scriptures below are absolute truths that belong to you. It is a done deal. All you need to do is act the word, act these scriptures in your life. You don’t have to pray for it, you don’t have to wait for it. You don’t have to beg for it. They are yours. All you need to do now is thank your Father in heaven. Tell God, “Lord I thank you for these blessings. I received them and I appreciated your love and generosity.” James said do the Word of God.
Ephesians 1:13, “…Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ.”
Ephesians 1:18, “ … that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.”
Ephesians 2:6-7, “And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Colossians 1:12, “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
2 Peter 1:3-4, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”