Summary: Sermon from James 1:19-27 on being a Doer of the Word
PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING #3 - "Be Doers of the Word"
James 1:19 My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you. 22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
INTRO: (Bucket List) How many of you know what a bucket list is? A bucket list is a list of things that people dream of doing before they "kick the bucket." What's interesting about a bucket list is that many of the things that people put on their list to do are things that are dangerous, or expensive, they would never consider doing normally, but once they are diagnosed with a terminal illness, decide to do them. In many cases, these bucket list items are things that they've talked about all their life, but never got around to doing it. It's sad that we let life keep us from doing so many things, but when we know life is about to end, we get busy living and doing. So, in essence, the bucket list is all about action; it's all about doing things, and not just talking, or hearing about others adventures rather than our own.
The Scripture passage we read this morning from James is also all about action; it's about doing and not merely hearing. There's no shortage of people in our world today who have heard the Word of God. But, there is definitely a great need for those who will be DOERS and not HEARERS only.
As we continue through the Book of James, you will see more and more just how practical God's Word can be. But, it must be put into practice in our lives before we can receive the power and benefit of the Word. God's Word is not just something we hear and discuss - it is something we hear and then DO!
This morning as we examine in detail this passage we will ask and answer three important questions: 1) Why Should We Be Doers of the Word; 2) How Does Being a Doer of the Word Transform Us?; 3) What Does Being a Doer of the Word Look Like?
Let's start with our first question:
I. WHY SHOULD WE BE DOERS OF THE WORD?
A. Because God "says so." (v. 22)
James 1:22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
(Parent to child - "because I said so" - example of me and my kids - obey now / explain later)
Because God said so is reason enough. When the time is right He will reveal His reasons. But, regardless of whether or not we ever understand the reasons, we are to obey God and be a doer of His Word.
B. Because we are blessed by doing God's Word. (v. 25)
James 1:25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.
The blessing comes not from the HEARING of God's Word, but in the DOING of God's Word.
1 Samuel 15:22 Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
Why does God bless those who are doers of the Word? Because faith pleases God, and obedience to God's Word is the greatest act of faith any of us can demonstrate. We only obey God completely and willingly when we trust completely God.
(How many would follow directions from someone you don't trust - you only follow directions from those you trust)
C. Because the world is watching.
(Ill. Demographic survey - almost 77% of unchurched Pearl residents believe that faith should radically transform a persons life. Surprisingly only 70% of regular church attenders believe that their faith should radically transform their life.)