“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” – James 2:22 (NASB)
“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” – James 2:25 (NASB)
Sometimes we hear without listening and when asked, “Did you hear?” we may reply “I heard you.” But we may have only heard, but not listened. If we listen, then we can respond by being a doer. God’s Word is given to us so that we can become doers of what we have listened to do. God wants each of us to become a doer.. How do we listen? By paying attention to what we read in the Word of God or listening to those teaching the Bible to us. James calls professing believers to be “doers,” rather than simply to do, because he emphasizes how our entire personality should be characterized in that way. Those who are only hearers are like those who can’t remember who they saw after looking at themselves in a mirror. Practice makes permanent and God wants us to be permanent doers of His law. Throughout the Bible, God’s revealed, inerrant, sufficient, and comprehensive Word is called “law.” The presence of His grace does not mean there is no moral law or code of conduct for believers to obey. Believers are enabled by the Spirit to be faithful doers. Let’s do that today.
“It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” – Psalm 119:71-72 (ESV)
Each verse in Psalm 119 uses one of eight different words to focuses us on the Word of God. Terms are used have different meanings but each is a reference to Holy Scripture. Because the Psalms were written before New Testament times the psalmists had in mind the Scriptures they knew. Even the psalms were written by many guided by the Holy Spirit and then collected into what we have as the Book of Psalms. Today, these citations include the whole Bible as we have it. First we recognize the value of tough times, difficult days⸺even days of affliction (v.71). Even those times when others cause grief and heartache. Nobody really likes to be afflicted but we can recognize that God uses it to teach us to trust him. The next verse tells us how valuable are the words from God’s law, that come from His mouth. Worth more than a large pile of gold and silver. God’s law and testimonies, his precepts and statutes, his commandments and judgments, his word and ordinances are all given to us for our benefit. We have all this blessing so that we may know God in a more intimate way.
“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165 (ESV)
We don’t usually think of a law as something we love but the law of God is different. When we speak of the law of God we are not thinking of more than the ten commandments, although they are a part of what God has revealed to us. We believe that our verse can be applied to the Bible where God has revealed His thoughts on many subjects. We can truly love the truths which He has made known to us in the Bible. What happens when we love God’s word? Our verse says that it gives us great peace in our hearts and minds and protects us from stumbling. The psalmist who wrote Psalm 119, includes his regard for God’s Word in every verse. Those like himself who love God’s Word and hope in Him for salvation, enjoy great peace. We do not have to be disturbed and wonder what real truth is in any situation. We know God’s Word is true and our hearts sense the peace that he gives. It is a promise for us to remember today. Great peace comes when we love the law of God, and it makes our footing is secure.
“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another..” Galatians 5:14-15 (NASB)
The promise that we find in this verse is that “love” is of paramount importance in the life of a Christian. Jesus said it was proof of discipleship. Apostle Paul in this letter to the several churches in Galatia (we don’t know exactly how many), that had been under attack by false teachers, the Judaizers. These Judaizers were aggressive in their legalistic methods to keep Christians as a sect of Judaism. In the fruit of the Spirit we studied yesterday, Love was the first of the list. Paul urgently writes in this letter and makes clear that such love needed to be mutually expressed in the Galatian churches.. As a result of the inroads of the false teachers they were insisting Christians uphold observance of the Mosaic Law as they interpreted and corrupted it with thousands of added legalistic requirements. The church was divided and engaged in bitter strife. The followers of the legalists and those who remained steadfast were biting and devouring each other. This was far from the biblical ideal of believers dwelling together in a loving unity, and threatened the churches with destruction and the loss of their individual and corporate testimonies.