THE COMBINATION THAT GENERATES RESULTS
James 1:21-22 NKJV
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Are you ready for James? James is like that one older relative in the family who loves you but is more than willing to give you the unvarnished truth. You know they care, but their words can sting. James pulls no punches, but his inspired words of wisdom have some calling his book the Proverbs of the New Testament.
In this powerful first chapter are two things that, when combined, can produce significant results in our lives. Of course, there are more than two things in this first chapter. I recently spent four weeks teaching on this first chapter alone. But let's look at these two.
The first is that we must receive God's Word. And James gives us the best conditions for the scriptures to be received. First, we have to put aside anything in our lives that smacks of filthiness or overflow of wickedness. In looking at the meaning of those words in the Greek language we see anything dirty and all evil, especially from a moral standpoint. In the Old Testament, there were many commandments that dealt with things being unclean. Today, there are still unclean things, but our focus is on the moral things that are unclean as opposed to foods and washing of utensils.
Once things are cleaned up, we are to receive with humility God's Word. Not arguing but receiving God's Word into our lives as the highest truth. Meekness, according to Strong's Concordance, is that attitude of spirit where we accept God's dealings with us as good and do not dispute or resist Him or His words.
When we receive God's Word with meekness, it has the ability to save our souls. Receiving God's Word is the first step to becoming a new creation in Christ. But don't stop there. God's Word also has the ability to restore and heal our minds and emotions. With so many disrupted by mental health issues, this is a key to restoration. And receiving God's Word is a step towards the healing of our bodies. Psalms 107:20 says, "He sent His word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions."
Then James gives us the second component that produces great results. Be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. Don't just hear, do. If all we do is hear without putting what we hear into practice, then we are, in James' words, deceiving ourselves. We are kidding ourselves if we think that only hearing God's Word will produce results. James would go on to say in verse 25 that the doers are the ones who are blessed in what they do.
The entire book of James is an application book. But what the Lord instructs us to do through James is extremely important to our walk with God.
So, there are two vital questions we all need to ask ourselves. What am I hearing? And what am I doing with what I know to do? Honestly, answering those questions is a great step toward great results.
Lord help me to hear what You have to say to me and then to do what I have heard. It’s within my capabilities You have not asked too much.