Summary: We don't need to fill another notebook, with more outlines, of powerful truths, and wonderful insights, we do not suffer from a lack of correct heads, but what we need is to have more of a consumed heart, and more of walking out what we already know.
Do the Do
Today we are back in our series on James, and today probably more than any other message you will see why I chose for our series title, "James seeing things from the right perspective."
Today we are going to talk about a subject that Jesus spoke on frequently, and in our text today James is going to help us see Jesus teaching from the right perspective. So let's dig in turn in your bible to James 1 and we will be reading from verse 22
Jas 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Jas 1:23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
Jas 1:24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
Jas 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
The bible has a lot to say about hearing the word of God.
8x's in the Gospels Jesus is recorded as saying, "he that has ears to hear, let him hear."
8x's in the book of Revelation, it says "He that hath and ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Many of you are very familiar that Revelation 1:3 pronounces a blessing on those that read and hear the words of that book of scripture.
God wants us to be hearers, and not just that but very careful listeners.
In Lu 8:18 "Therefore take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him shall [more] be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him."
In Luke Lu 9:44 Jesus said, Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
In the old testament God warns of a very special danger that would come:
Am 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Am 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it].
Scholars are divided on when this refers to. Some the period from Malachi to Christ 400 years. Some to the time when the 10 tribes were carried away. There is no mention of prophets ministering to them, but when the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were carried away there was still prophetic ministry.
We also are reminded of Saul, whom the Lord answered not...
I think it could refer also to after the great white throne judgment. People will want to hear a word from God but will not. People we need to understand how blessed we are if God has given us the ability to hear and recognize His word, as His word.
So the bible has a lot to say about hearing the Word of God, but James makes clear that is only half the equation if all we are is hearers we are deceived about our true spiritual condition.
That is why today's message is simply entitled:
Do the Do
James is dealing with people who thought, that since they could hear everything was fine.
(Natural man recceiveth not, since I can hear I am one of the "blessed" ones.)
Hold on now, James says and lets talk a little bit more about this spiritual hearing stuff.
Earlier I mentioned the text in Revelation that says we are blessed if we hear and read the prophecy of that book, I don't know about you but I have heard many a preacher say that Revelation is the only book of the bible that promises a blessing for just reading or hearing it. Really? Is that what it says?
Here is the exact quote:
Re 1:3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.
Do you how many non-Christians have read this book, and never got the blessings intended? Hearing alone is insufficient. Let me show you an extreme example of a hearer who was one of the most lost men who ever lived.
Mr 6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.