Among Christians God’s word is highly honored, little read, less understood, and rarely applied. You need to hear that word with open ears.
Attentive ears rarely keep company with an open mouth. Unless your mouth is closed, it’s almost impossible to hear what God is saying.
Anger doesn’t accomplish God’s will (verses 19-20). Hot heads and smoldering hearts don’t either. You’re never in worse company than when you fly into a rage and are beside yourself.
You can’t receive God’s word properly while compromising morally. New Christians bring much into their new lives with Christ that’s inconsistent with it. Dirty stories, filthy talk, and jokes with double meanings are like stinky clothes that must be tossed. They’ll never be in style in God’s Kingdom.
Deliverance from the sin’s power depends on your receiving with meekness the ingrafted word. God’s word is grafted in you when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You’re like a lemon tree engrafted with the bud of an orange tree. Getting rid of moral filth means cutting off the lemon tree immediately above the engrafted bud. Submitting to the engrafted word results in a bumper crop of sweet fruit.
James warned of the dangers of deceiving yourself (verses 22-24). Sometimes you congratulate yourself because you hear the word taught and preached whereas others don’t. Hearing God’s word earns no special favor with God. One act of obedience is better than hearing 100 sermons.
You don’t impress God by Christian positions held, number of church services you attend, how loudly you sing, or how long you pray. You impress Him by doing what the word says. Singing about winning the lost isn’t the same as winning them. Singing about loving others is no substitute for sacrificing to benefit others.
James described four mileposts on the road to blessing (verse 25). The first is to be totally absorbed with discovering the message of the Scriptures. The second is to continue to search the Scriptures diligently. The third is remembering what you hear. The fourth is applying what you hear to your life.
A doer of the word is gainfully employed in the Lord’s work. The kind of religion God accepts changes how you live. Real faith expresses itself through love (Galatians 5:6). Caring for widows and orphans is one way love reveals itself. There are many others.
As God’s child, you must avoid the world’s pollution. Avoid being shaped by the thoughts and action patterns which exclude rather than exalt God.
Beware of putrid religion (verse 26). Non-believers easily detect its stench and don’t want to be anywhere near it. Pure religion has a sweet, clean smell. It draws rather than repels unbelievers. That’s real Christianity! #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
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