doers of the word

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Yesterday the president of RBC Ministries (home of Our Daily Bread and much more), Rick DeHaan, shared with us the importance of asking ourselves the question if we who are engaged in the ministry’s mission to “make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all” are being impacted by God and his word in that way ourselves. A good question and meditation.

We Christians have a history of being creedal, of holding to certain things as true. Sometimes, and I’m afraid all too often we are left with the mindset that as long as we believe it, we’re good.

James (quoted above) has a different mindset, a Jewish one, which while not throwing out correct belief, regards such as worthless unless such belief is followed through with corresponding action. Much of scripture is didactic as in instructive, but it certainly doesn’t stop there. It is prescriptive as well even to the point of offering imperatives/commands both positive and negative (dos and don’ts).

I am one who likes to be in the word a lot. Both in concentrated times and incrementally throughout the day. I think a big part of the reason I do that is because I’m wired to want to learn and teach. We’re all wired differently so that we will naturally approach things differently as well. In my case I can see how I need all the more to be on guard lest I deceive myself. I can easily assume that knowledge is enough. But according to scripture we are held accountable for what we know, the knowledge we have. We deceive ourselves if we think that simply knowing what God’s written word says is enough. Through God’s grace by repentance and faith we need to see our lives lining up more and more with it. We certainly won’t arrive to perfection in this life, there will always be sin we need to confess. But no stone should be left unturned, no hidden place left in the dark, as we continue day to day in God’s word. In our lives individually and together as God’s people in and through Jesus.