Do what it says!

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.

James 1:22-25

One of my very favorite verses in all of the Scriptures is verse 22, and I can’t help but notice that it’s almost never quoted outside of a study of James; not even by me! I really love this verse because it just brushes past all the arguments and excuses and comes right down to the bottom line: Do what it says!

We aren’t just to read the Word, we’re supposed to follow the Word, just like we aren’t just supposed to be in Christ, we are supposed to follow Him. So simple, yet so seldom done. If we just read it, we deceive ourselves because we get the idea that everything is great, after all, I read my Bible today. Then what do we do, go out and do what everybody else does? In the immortal words of Chef Gordon Ramsey, “That’s not good enough!”

James follows with an interesting illustration, that of someone looking into a mirror, seeing their face and then forgetting what they looked like. Hearing the Word and not following it is pretty much a waste, for we are to put it into effect in our lives.  Even better, James tells us exactly what he means.

We are to gaze at the “perfect law that gives freedom” intently, and then act accordingly. To fully comprehend James’ instruction, all we need to do is to know what he means by “perfect law that gives freedom.”  I think Jesus can help us out here:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37-30

James is talking about putting our love of God and of one another into action; if we do we will be blessed in everything that we do. What a simply amazing little passage, so simple, so clear.

What holds us back?

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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5 Responses to Do what it says!

  1. Sue Love says:

    Amen, Amen, Amen! This is a message that needs to be heard!!

  2. Sue Love says:

    P.S. This love, too, is not human love. It is divine love. It prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, just, honorable, pure, etc. And, scripture says that this kind of love does no harm to its neighbor, which means it does not lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, bear false witness, hate and murder, etc. In other words, when we love God this way and we love our fellow humans this way, we will be putting the Word of God into practice. We will be doing what it says. And, we won’t be looking for loopholes to get out of obeying God’s Word. We will want to obey our Lord.

  3. Wow! This is really the Word for today. I just posted the exact verse!😊Have a great day.

  4. Pingback: Do what it says! | A disciple's study

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