Responding to God’s Word

“So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].” ‭‭JAMES‬ ‭1:21-22‬ ‭AMP‬‬

IMG_1539Many times when we hear these verses we think of DOERS in the context of works. This verse is about obedience, not works.

When James writes this verse he is speaking to believers about the testing of their faith and how endurance leads to spiritual maturity.

There are two responses to the Word of God: hear or do

DOERS: Weed out all uncleanness and the remains of wickedness in their heart so the Word of God can actually take root giving them the desire and strength to obey.  I am not capable in and of myself of getting rid of the wickedness within me, but when I humbly receive the word of God, “which is able to save my soul”, God’s Word takes root and begins to grow and produce the fruit of righteousness within me.

What is the Word of God that is able to save my soul? It is the message of repentance and faith: The Good News. Over and over in the New Testament we hear the phrase, “repent and believe.”  

If I am a DOER of the Word, I allow God’s Word to be my standard. I choose to actively and continually obey God’s precepts. I allow the Holy Spirit to correct and convict me when needed and live in a state of submissive repentance.  

HEARERS: Listen but fail to internalize its meaning, deluding themselves with unsound reasoning contrary to the truth.  

If I am a HEARER (only), I might listen to the Word, but I don’t allow it to take root in my heart. I pick and choose what I will believe and obey. I want the benefits of faith without the cost. I feel no need to repent because I don’t allow the Word of God to convict me. I am deluding (deceiving) myself.  

God’s Word is God. (John 1:1) It’s unlike any book ever written. It is alive and active,  (Hebrews 4:12) It is food for our spirits and life to our bones. Let’s be doers of the Word, not hearers only.   

Lord, thank You for the Word. I know from John 1:1, “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God.” You are one with Your Word. I cannot separate You from the Word. Help me Lord, to be a DOER of the Word. Help me to humbly receive Your Word and allow it to take root in my heart. Father, I give you permission to weed out all unrighteousness and wickedness in my heart. Forgive me of my sin, and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Holy Spirit, lead, guide and direct me. Convict me when I sin and lead me to repentance. AMEN


Loyalty … Obedience … Perseverance

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”  ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:5 NKJV‬‬

IMG_1516According to Jesus, this is THE greatest commandment. As such it makes sense that we need to truly grasp what it means.

As I read this verse, I asked myself … why did Moses say to love God with:
(a) all my heart
(b) all my soul
(c) all my strength.

How does loving God with my heart differ from loving Him with my soul and my strength? It must be important or Moses wouldn’t have expounded on it.

In Deuteronomy 6 Moses is preparing the children of Israel to finally enter the promised land. Knowing their inclination to idolatry and rebellion he reminds them of three key mandates which in turn answer the question of ‘how do we love God with all our heart, soul and strength?’

Loving God with all my HEART is about loyalty: There is ONE God and He is a jealous God. God will not share His glory with false gods. Anything, or anyone, that is more important to us is an idol.

Loving God with all my SOUL is about obedience: Moses instructed the people to keep the commandments of God AND to pass them on from generation to generation. To love God is to obey God. This theme is seen repeatedly in the Word in both the Old and New Testaments. Our soul is comprised of our mind, will and emotions. To love God with all our soul we must “know him’, through experience/relationship, knowledge of His Word and revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Loving God with all my STRENGTH is about perseverance: Possession of the Land required defeat of Israel’s enemies. To this day Israel has to fight for their land. While God is capable of wiping out our enemies with a single word, He knows we value what we struggle to obtain. Our dreams and visions are worth the fight! Never give up on God’s promise(s) to you.

Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to understand Your command to love You will all my heart, soul and strength. Help me to always love you with loyalty, obedience and perseverance.