Friday, April 27, 2018

Applying the Word to Life

“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 NIV)

It is that time of year where students are stressed and anxious about all they have to do before the school year ends. Projects are coming due and final exams are looming. I have been known to quote I Peter 5:7 to those who say they are overwhelmed by all they have to do. I know a lot of them do not appreciate it, but I have a point in doing so.

If we grew up going to church or have been involved with a community of believers for awhile, the challenge always is to not only read or hear the Word, but to act on what it commands.  We are told repeatedly of the importance of “getting into the Word” and the expectation is for us, as believers, to be in church every Sunday to listen to the Word being proclaimed.  But according to James, that is of little real value unless we take what we read/hear and put it into practice.  

The danger for us is to grow content with just reading and listening to the Word.  It can feel good and we can get plenty of kudos for our commitment and discipline.  But James pointedly says we are deceived if we think this is enough.  It means nothing if we do not take what we’ve heard and apply it to our lives.  

So when students are all stressed out, I remind them of what the Scriptures say, because it gives them clear instructions on what to do when they find themselves full with stress and anxiety. And if they will only do what it says, they will find they can be at peace even when life seems so overwhelming.

Today, remember the Word of God is not a book merely to be read or listened to.  It is to be applied to your life.  And in doing so, you will be greatly blessed.

© Jim Musser 2018

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