>What is the Church? Day 3: Apply Truth
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 a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 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 1:22-25 (NIV)
Francis Chan, pastor and author of Crazy Love, says “If you tell your kids to clean their rooms, is it enough for them just to memorize your words?”
Years ago, Howard Hendricks said, “The Bible was not given for our information, but for our transformation.” Just memorizing Bible facts is sort of like watching all of those cooking shows, but never tasting the food.
I used to look into the mirror of God’s Word and feel very defeated. I just didn’t measure up. Then, one day the light turned on: as a believer God’s Word wasn’t to judge me, but to show me God’s vision for my life. The Bible didn’t just poke at what I wasn’t, it pointed to what I could be. After that, when I read verses like Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV), I didn’t walk away thinking about how bad I was. I just turned it into a prayer. “Lord, you know that I am not this kind and compassionate on my own, but this is Your vision of who you want me to be. Please do this work in my life…”
Where have you felt defeated in reading God’s Word? What has been difficult to change? Pray and ask God to bring about this transformation in your life. It probably won’t happen all at once, but He will keep working as you remain open and willing to change.
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
>I realize your questions are somewhat rhetorical; however, I feel I must answer them 'aloud.' The book of James is one that I refer to again and again, as it convicts me and pierces my heart like no other. I only need read those exquisite words to know what God requires of me. For me, God speaks to me in those inspired words. I am a better person, no, a person who has a better relationship with God, because of a man named James who wrote what I needed to hear in order to grow.