James 1:25: “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
When my first daughter started walking, she loved to go get the mail with me. Our mailbox was about a block down the street. What would normally take me less than a minute to do turned into a fifteen minute adventure. She had to stoop down and inspect every ant, bug, and rock we came across. She wanted to look intently at everything! This is the imagery that James uses in this verse for “looking intently” into the Word. It involves deep penetrating absorption. When you and I are not content with a cursory glance at Scripture, but dig in deep, we are richly blessed!
The “perfect law that gives freedom” is the Word of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. It is perfect because Christ fulfilled the law, his law is perfect. Jesus explains in John 8:31-32: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” This freedom is the personal freedom from servitude, confinement, oppression. In Christ, we have been set free from sin. We are now free to live as God intended (not based in fear, but with boldness) James encourages us to CONTINUE IN IT, making it a habit. This means we read, study, meditate on, and internalize the Word of God. If we do this, we will be blessed in what we do, now and in the future.
Some questions to consider:
-When was the last time you looked intently into the Word of God?
-Why is there so much emphasis placed on not only hearing the Word of God, but doing what it says?
-Where do you need to be more obedient to the Bible’s commands?
-What are some of the commands of Christ you are having difficulty obeying?
-What are some of the commands of Christ in which obedience comes naturally?