Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Those Who Can, Do; Those Who Can't, Teach? Really?

Good morning friends. My life is in such a place that I am often accused of forgetting things. I am not sure it is a memory problem as much as it is an organizing problem. Being organized does tremendous things in helping with memory for tasks and appointments. If you took a moment and considered what an average person has to remember each day you would understand why many of us are so occupied with aides to help us remember. James touches on this need to remember but his subject is by far a more important subject than anything else we do in a day:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)

Our first challenge in the Church is to get people to read and study Scripture. The second challenge is to get them to do something with it. We were given this Holy Book for more than carrying it around or collecting dust with it. North America has huge Bible sales rates, yet we remain Biblically illiterate and it is showing in our behaviour and attitudes in life. James gave the easy solution; read it and do what it says. He gives us this ridiculous picture:

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (James 1:23-24)

A silly notion that we could forget what we look like. The only way we could forget is to not look often, however, most of us see ourselves several times a day in a mirror. The only way we should be able to forget the Word is when we do not spend enough time in the Word, but that is not always the case. Some people read it over again and again but they fail to apply it and so they forget it. "Doing" is part of our learning process:

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.  (James 1:25)

Jesus told us that if we really love him we will do what he has told us to do, we will do what he has commanded. Our words, our confession, our testimony are proven worthless if we do not put it into practical action what Jesus taught us to do. And let's clarify this; we are to do what we are told in the Word he told us to do, not what someone's interpretation is of what he said. We need to know the Word for ourselves and not rely on other people to tell us.

There are no short cuts, no Reader's Digest version that we can follow. We must know the whole counsel of the Word and put that into action in our lives. So let's get it out, dust it off and open it. Once it is open and we start reading let us surrender ourselves to it, that we will do what we have been instructed to do and be blessed for it. Then we will see what God is able to do with our life.

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