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James 1:21-27

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 1)

“Do as I say and not as I do” is an all too often heard statement from parents. The idea that we can somehow get away with something that we know is wrong and expect our children to follow our word is ridiculous. Our “bad habits” have no place in our lives, and we want better for our children. What example do they truly have to follow? Profanity, drinking, smoking, and the ill treatment of a spouse can usually be tied back to an example that the person has learned. Unfortunately, even one parent’s “good” behavior usually does not supercede the bad parent’s example. It is a terrible thing when you don’t see both parents on the same page for the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 calls for us to...“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” How many times have you seen a child brought to church by only one of their parents? It’s sad but true that those children will often follow the lead of the absent parent. It seems very easy to not go to church. It can also seem very easy to not serve the Lord.

What bad examples have you learned? What bad examples do you share? Thankfully as Christians, we have the perfect example to follow in Jesus Christ. We will no longer have to say “do as I say and not as I do.” God calls for us to shine His light to the world. That light should be shining to our family, our co-workers, and the world. If our lives are not reflecting the Lord’s example, we are not serving God. Christians are many times labeled hypocrites because we are not doers but hearers only. It’s not that any man is perfect, except the Master, but we are called to a higher standard. We should not be satisfied with where we are, and we should not be holding on to any habitual sins. We must look to the example of Jesus and follow.

James, the oldest half brother of Christ, spoke of how we are to be doers, not only hearers in James 1:21-27.

21Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

One key to following the Lord’s example is to know the Word. Unfortunately sin can and will hinder our reception. The original Greek term for filthiness referred to moral vices, dirty garments, or even ear wax! How clogged is our spiritual hearing? Jesus wants us to do as He says and does. If we can’t hear His direction, we are putting ourselves on a path toward destruction. Sin makes us filthy, and then there is “superfluity of naughtiness” or the evil desires or intentions that come from wearing that sin. Once these barriers are removed, we are able to truly receive the Word that can be engraved into us through salvation.

22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Are there people that claim to be Christians that are really lost? Absolutely, and they are generally fooling themselves. The devil is hard at work in the churches, and he is still whispering those same lies that he told to Eve. Jesus said that we would be known by our fruit, and that new nature is shown when we are doers. We don’t have to live our lives with a Christian name tag firmly placed on our forehead. Once we know the Truth, we must follow the Truth. There is no in-between or fence riding. The scripture points out that it is ludacris if we don’t remember the Truth. If that Truth is engraved into us, the Holy Spirit will remind us of It when we go to step out of line. What is mightier than a Spirit-filled conscience?! James compares our forgetting of the Word to forgetting our own face. When we look into a mirror we see the good and the bad, and we remember it. How many times do we look at our reflection during the day to make sure that hair we saw in the morning is still in place? If our hair is messed up, we fix it. Likewise, we are to look into the Bible to see our spiritual reflection. If we see the sin in our lives, we better fix it! After we’ve seen our reflection in the Bible, we remember it. The Spirit and Word empower us to live for God, and we will be blessed for it. Our faith has to be real, and to say that we are saved and not obey is vanity!

26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Jesus was not generally found in fellowship with the “religious” of His day. The Pharisees prided themselves on how holy they were in their rituals and ceremony, but their actions revealed their true hearts. If we are not doers of the Word, our true hearts will also be on display. Even the demons acknowledge that God exists, and such an admission does not save them. True saving faith is displayed in our new nature. Most people will never kill someone or commit adultery. These seem to be some of the “big” sins, but how well do we control our mouth? Again, James points out that we are only deceiving ourselves if when we not doers of the Word. If we are not controlling our tongue, he says that our religion is in vain! Our holy lives are evident when we bless and not curse, think before we speak, and honor God with our words. Those that do not “walk the walk and talk the talk” have not forsaken the world. They try to hold on to things of the old man and it is evident in their lives. If we are to have the heart of our Lord, we will have compassion and sacrificial love for those in need. We will keep ourselves unspotted from the world and serve God. In the Lord’s perfect example through His Word, we have clear instructions on how to walk. God is not offering the confusion that “do as I say and not ast I do” gives. What example are you setting, and who is watching you?

From: Volume 1 - Issue 1


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