But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 1:22–25, ESV
When I began writing this devotional blog, I did not intend to blog through the book of James. However, James is so filled with biblical application that I am having a tough time not returning to this letter each morning.
James had just commanded these struggling saints to be quick to hear. Now he tells them that hearing involves a bit more than just listening to words, especially when we are talking about God’s Words. Hearing needs to lead to doing.
To hear and not do is to lie to yourself. It would be like for me to watch my own sermon video and then walk away thinking, “That dude looks as pretty as Tom Brady.” That would be a lie. Sadly, it is a lie well tell ourselves every time we read God’s Word and do nothing with what we read.
Thankfully, James does not stop with this warning against deceptive Bible reading. He reminds us of the blessing that is ours when we hear and do. When we look into God’s perfect Word, filled with truth about reality and commands and warnings that are intended for our good (the perfect law, the law of liberty) we must shape our days, beginning to end, around that Word. When we do . . . here is the amazing part . . . when we do, then our doing is blessed. When we read the Word and proceed to do it, our doing is blessed!
This whole COVID-19 situation has really left me desiring some blessed doing. I imagine that is also true for you. That means that it is time for us to read more of God’s Word. And it is time for us to do it, too. So, as you read the Word today and, in the days to come, let me encourage you to this: walk away each time with a plan for doing. Hear the Word. Do the Word.
You have something special as you struggle through these strange days. You have the Word of God and the promise that, if you will hear it and do it, He will bless your doing.