Summary: The Lord speaks to us through James and shows us the important things we should be aware of to keep us from a hypocritical religion.
A Priceless or Pointless religion! (Part 2)
Last time we engaged in one verse of this chapter of James and I promise today we will finish chapter 1. We continue on with the last two points of living a priceless religion. This is all based on James last few words in verse 26 admonishing us to keep ourselves in the Word and avoid a “useless religion”. It should be important to everyone one of us to live a lifestyle that reflects our Christianity. Let’s read the whole and then we will look at it in parts. James 1:22-27. The first thing you want to do to avoid a useless religion is…
I. Practice listening, remembering and doing what the Word says (22-25)
a) Listening (Verse 22)
i) Do not let the emphasis of doing what the word says negate the effectiveness of listening
ii) For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
iii) I know many of you work a late shift, you have to do that. But if Saturday night parties and Saturday night clubbing effects your Sunday morning listening skills something has got to change. And you have to ask what is important.
iv) How many of us were paying attention to the radio while coming in, you were listening to the song being played or the words on the television and you were singing along perhaps…
v) Make coming to church like driving at 3 in the morning. If you fall asleep you will crash. Same with God’s Word if you fall asleep you will miss that warning and it could cause a wreck that effects your life. Many people are sleeping right through the most important hour of their week.
vi) Wake up! And Let the Word of God dwell in you richly (Col 3:16)
b) Remembering (verse 23-25)
i) For many of us it is not listening it is remembering what was even said. I have a hard time remembering things:
ii) We blame age, kids & hormones
iii) Yet we memorized lines movies, from Seinfield, from songs and what Bill O’Reilly or what Rush said. We are better at paraphrasing the Bible than quoting it. (Songs are repeated and so should the Word in your heart be)
iv) James knows our two most popular words “I forgot”
(1) Forgot the garbage
(2) Forgot that thing was back there
(3) Forgot her birthday, anniversary, dinner
(4) Forgot God’s promises
(5) Forgot you are a Christian
v) Jesus doesn’t give us an out for our forgetfulness and James tells us how to overcome it… That when you look into the perfect law of liberty which is the word of God (not the Constitution of the US) that as you look into it “continue in it”. If you continue by doing it immediately you won’t forget it. If you continue to read through it over and over you won’t forget it.
vi) I personally have a hard time remembering scripture verbatim so I always have a Bible that I know the location of the verses. If you can’t remember what it says maybe you will remember where it says it.
vii) I know my preaching Bible. I know the lay out of it. It is like knowing the lay out of your house. You may not be able to find where you placed your keys but you know where to look. You know where the bedroom is to look there or the Kitchen and so on.
viii) Know your Bible the same way. You may not know the details verbatim, but you will always know where to find it. But you have to have it in your hands you have to have it readily available. How many of you can say for sure that someone won’t come up to you in your work place or the grocery store or the park and give you an opportunity to share the word with them.
ix) I had a woman who asked me about hell… (Illustration) couldn’t remember verbatim what it said but I knew right where it said it.
x) You’ll be able to do more and say more if you are able to remember more.
xi) You will be a doer of what is said that is the goal…
c) Doing (verse 25)
i) A friend of mine spoke wisely when he said he went to Bible school to master the word, but realized that the word had not mastered him.
ii) We can study all we want read through the Bible in a year and still come away as ineffective Christians. In a few weeks we will be talking about how faith without works is dead how can you respond to that claim now?
iii) James tells us plainly that you are deceived to think you have any kind of an effective religion if you are warming a seat and not putting feet to the word.