James 1 is an impact passage. It’s full of wisdom that transcends all the years since writing. The truth of slowness to speak and being ever slower to anger would better all our human interactions! (v19)
Listening to God's word is vital, but if we only hear the word but fail to go on to obey it then we are in danger of deceiving ourselves. We can unhelpfully start imagining that all our Bible knowledge is doing us some good, when in fact it's as much use as knowing the 1984 British Rail timetable off by heart - fascinating, but of no use to anybody! Would James, the human author, find you and me quick to listen to God's word?
I fear that James could find us all wanting. The perception of a Bible-believing church may be too shallow, and there is always more depth and capacity for us in God’s word, made alive in each of our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit... reading it, receiving it and living it!
We all look in mirrors every day, don't we? Some of us more than others! The truthfulness of a mirror is that it reveals things about us. It might reveal that your hair is sticking up all over the place, or that there's breakfast debris stuck in your beard. It’s an uncomfortable honesty.
Might we resolve a greater priority of God’s word in our lives? ’Humbly receiving the word planted in us’? For a faith that is worth something is one where our beliefs affect our lives. They affect both our actions towards others and our actions towards ourselves.
The simplicity of the invitation to read, receive and the live the Bible is needful if we are to inhabit our evangelical convictions with any integrity. Living God’s word is what leads to life, and life to the full!
- Johnny Douglas
Posted on Thursday, 18th May 2017