“Do not merely listen to the word,
and so deceive yourselves.
Do what it says”
Any serious reading of the Scriptures as God’s Word must lead us to the realisation that it guides us to three great truths. The truth about God, the truth about ourselves and the truth about living Godly lives. It will also show us how these three truths are further revealed in and through Jesus Christ who is Himself the Truth (John 14:6)
James in the first chapter of his letter warns us three times about being deceived. (16, 22, 26). He teaches us that it is by paying close attention to the Word of God that we will be enabled to identify and avoid deception. This is particularly important when we live in an age which seems to recognise opinions and fails to see deceptions, and which places great store on information and not transformation.
The first step is to be attentive in listening to and hearing God speak through His Word. In saying that we should all be quick to listen (v19) he is recognising a very common human failing. Generally speaking people are not good listeners and are inclined to make premature responses – yet listening carefully and respectfully to others is at the heart of good and harmonious relationships. In listening for God and to God we need to listen to all that He says and not only the passages that make us feel good. If we do listen prayerfully we will find that this Word does speak to us and into our current lives and situations in many ways. His voice speaks through His Word.
“Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word”
(Psalm 103:20 NKJV)
This leads us to the second step which is responding in obedience to His Word. As. we read and reflect we will discover that God is showing us who and what we are as well as revealing to us who and what we could and therefore should be with Him. To make this future possible Jesus has dealt with our past on the Cross and God has given us His Spirit to guide, equip and empower us for the journey ahead.
What is God showing me today?
Lord God please help me to hear Your voice speaking to me through Your Word – and to receive it and respond to it as You love, encourage and guide me forward in Your Way. Amen.