James 1:22: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible Study time by the effect it has on our behavior and attitude. What are you doing? That word “LISTEN” shows up again in v. 22. This is listening attentively. It is hard to listen when you are distracted. Whenever I am reading or studying Scripture, I pray beforehand, asking the Lord to remove any distractions and help me focus. I then keep a notepad handy so that if something pops into my head while studying, I can write it down and forget it. Sometimes, my grocery list or to do list comes to mind when I’m trying to study. Instead of shoving those thoughts away, I write them down and then can get back to studying.
James is encouraging us to respond to the Word of God in obedience.
Some Scripture is descriptive (describes and event or situation) and some is prescriptive (telling us what to do.) For example, there is a passage in Scripture where someone hears a donkey speak and then engages in dialogue. Does this mean we are to go around talking to donkeys? Of course not. But then there are other passages where the Bible tells us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. The Bible also tells us to care for widows, orphans, and the foreigners living among us. Those are prescriptive. God wants us to do those things!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 encourages us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
The main business of our life should be doing what the Bible says, no matter where you are (work, home, school, play)
Keep on becoming a doer of the Word, don’t sit, soak, and sour. Anybody can listen to a teacher, but to get up, follow, and try to live like them, those are disciples! And we are to be disciples of Jesus and make disciples of Jesus.
Finally, we obey the Scriptures, regardless of our comfort or what we may want to do, regardless of our circumstances or the consequences, we obey.
I recently heard someone say that when our thoughts, attitudes, or emotions are in direct opposition to the Bible, we should assume that we are wrong.
Some things to consider:
-Where are you listening to the Word but not doing it?
-Where are you listening to the Word but doing what it says you shouldn’t?
-What is one step you can take today to be more obedient to the Word of God?
-Why do we find it hard to put our faith into action?