INTRO.- ILL.- The preacher stood in his pulpit and said, “It’s a fact that you are sitting here, but it’s a matter of faith that makes me believe any of you are listening.”
I think I know what that preacher is talking about. If I didn’t use some humor in order to make you laugh I wouldn’t know if some of you were listening at all. Why? Because your faces do not show your listening skills at all! Are you listening?
ILL.- Two little girls were starting out to play. One insisted on going quite a distance away from her house. “Why do you want to go so far away?” the other asked. The first little girl said, “So that if my mamma calls me I won’t hear her.”
Some kids don’t want to hear their parents, but listening is not a problem of youth only. We ALL have this problem at times. We are selective in our listening. We only hear what we want to hear or only listen to certain people. ARE YOU LISTENING?
In our text, James says, “Everyone should be quick to listen…” We should become better listeners. We should have a listening ear for people, and even more so, for our heavenly Father.
Brothers and sisters, we believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Consequently, we measure ourselves and everything else in life with the Bible. And one thing that God keeps telling us in scripture is that listening isn’t enough! But are we listening?
“Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only.” James 1:22
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
There are many listeners and talkers in the world and in the Christian world, but God wants us to be doers. Just because someone calls Jesus the Lord, it doesn’t mean they are doing any good in this world.
I’ve known a number of people in my time that called Jesus “the good Lord,” but they weren’t good or else they didn’t do any good. They never went to church, didn’t give, didn’t serve in any form, and weren’t concerned about anybody but themselves. God wants us to both “listen and do” what He says in His Word.
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
The truly wise person puts the words of Scripture into practice. He or she is a doer of the Word. And we all need to be committed to doing something as far as the Christian life is concerned!
As someone said, “If we are standing on the promises then we don’t need to be sitting on the premises.” WE NEED TO BE DOING SOMETHING! There’s a time to sit and there’s a time to do.
ILL.- I recall the story about the church that had what is called a “Quittin meeting.” What’s that? I had never heard of such a meeting before, but apparently, it’s similar to a revival meeting. The only difference is in this meeting the people are called on to quit certain things: quit drinking, quit smoking, quit carousing, etc.
One elderly lady went forward during the invitation time. The preacher asked her why she came forward, because he and everybody else knew that she’d never done anything wrong in her life. She replied, “I ain’t been doin nothin and I’m a quittin!” And so it should be with us. If you’ve been doing little or nothing in the Christian life, that is, doing little good or no serving then you need to quit and start doing something.