Monday, February 12: Do what it says
Relying heavily on the teachings of Jesus and especially drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, James, in his New Testament letter, asserts that true faith is more than an intellectual pursuit of ideas. Instead, real faith results in action. James writes a stream of wise teachings that can easily seem like a bucket of ice water in your face. Watch for the Holy Spirit to call you to take next steps in activating your faith, helping you encounter and better follow Jesus to bless a broken world.
Read James 1:22-27
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 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.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
"In one ear and out the other" often applies to us, and we can hear or read even God's truth without letting it affect how we live. One truth the Bible provides is an honest picture of ourselves, almost like looking in a mirror. Reflect for a moment on how God describes us, both our positive and negative aspects.
James here describes God's law as giving freedom, and when it's obeyed, blessing. Is there a specific area of your life where you desire freedom and blessing? How does God's word apply to that? What will you do about it?