Do what the Word says

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. – James 1:22, NLT

You know the scene: Your husband is busy watching TV, and you’re trying to get his attention to tell him something important. He finally turns the sound down and turns to listen to you. You talk to him, but it seems as if what you said has gone in one ear and out the other. His lights are on but no one seems to be home. And the fact that nothing happens as a result of your conversation reminds you of the wide gap between listening and doing.

Or here’s another one: You stand at the altar and pledge to your groom and he to you that you will be there for each other through sickness and health, ’til death do you part. Years later, you’re older and not quite as healthy, and your husband decides that it is time to find someone younger. He heard the words at the altar but failed to do them.

But you also know of instances where the same shoe fits, but you don’t wear it. You’ve got a little habit that irritates him. You know this because he mentions it regularly. But you can’t seem to fit into your schedule such things as noting how full the gas tank is on the car, checking the oil, or monitoring the balance in the checkbook. You listen to his arguments; they make sense, but you just don’t get around to doing.

If we read God’s Word but don’t do what it says, how deep is our faith? Do we only follow God when things are going our way? What about when times get rough? The Bible tells us to fill our minds with things that are pure (see Philippians 4:8). However, when you don’t feel loved by your husband, does that make it okay to enjoy television shows promoting extramarital sex?

It’s not always easy to follow God–he never said that it would be. But God’s Word can only make a difference in our lives if we allow it to enter our hearts and minds. I may tell my parents that I love them, but if I don’t take the time to help them, my words are fruitless. If I really love my parents, I’ll do what I can for them. More importantly, if I really believe that God loves me, then I should love others.

Take the time to evaluate your life. Does your “doing” reflect what you have heard from God’s Word? Do you love others as God tells us to? Do you really believe how much God loves you? Don’t just read God’s Word but apply it to your life.


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