Summary: Putting our faith into action.
Just Do It…
The Declaration of Independence concludes with this pledge: "For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor."
Fifty-six men signed the document. They came from all walks of life. Twenty-three were lawyers, twelve were merchants, twelve were farmers, four were physicians, two were manufactures, one was a politician, one a printer, and another a minister.
Almost a third of the signers were under forty years of age; eighteen were in their thirties and three in their twenties. Only seven were over sixty. The youngest, Edward Rutledge of South Carolina, was twenty-six and a half, and the oldest, Benjamin Franklin, was seventy.
These men were men of action. I believe they were the first to come up with the Nike slogan—JUST DO IT.
The book of James is a practical book that calls on Christians to JUST DO IT. Our Scripture text reminds all Christians to quit playing games with God and really do what the Bible says.
However, we live in a day where few people really want to do what the Bible says. They seem to think that sin is not so serious and we all have a right to do whatever we feel like doing.
I believe the signers of the Declaration of Independence would disagree with that. The signers were religious men, all being Protestant except Charles Carroll, who was Roman Catholic. That is why they could say, “with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.”
As we celebrate this week our 4th of July, I wonder if we as a church family would rely on Divine protection and pledge our lives to God. See God is not asking us to live for Him, He is asking us to die to self.
My challenge to all of us today is to JUST DO IT. Give ourselves completely to God. Let the Lord Jesus be LORD. James outlines 3 ways we can JUST DO IT by obeying God’s Word.
I. Receive The Word (v.21) Rick Warren said, “We only believe the parts of the Bible we obey.” The Word of God is to totally saturate our lives. We are to be people of the Book. We have to receive God’s Word as the authority that governs our actions and attitudes. It becomes the way we live, the way we speak and the way we walk. Notice two truths about receiving the Word:
A. It Changes our Actions—“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness.” The term “lay aside” means to reject or cast off. It is what the writer of Hebrews said in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (NKJ)
Reject the sin that so easily ensnares us. Sin has to be rejected, in order to run the race God has set before us. If we are to be champions for God we must reject sin.
The Bible not only says to reject sin it also says to cast it off. The Bible says in
Romans 13:12-14, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." (NKJ)
If we have really received the word of God we will change our actions by casting the sin out of our lives.
B. It Changes our Attitudes—“and receive with meekness the implanted word.” The word meekness is a foreign word in the life of the believer today. We have bought into the lie that meekness is weakness. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The word means mildness by implication humility. The word picture is a taming a wild horse, power under control. Since Spiritual Maturity is being just like Jesus we must look at what Jesus said about meekness. Jesus said, in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (KJV)
Jesus said in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (KJV)
Many people unfortunately look at Jesus like He was this gentle, mild mannered clumsy Clark Kent. Listen brother Jesus wasn’t superman He was God man. He calmed the storm. He changed water into wine, fed the multitudes with scraps. Cast out demons, changed funerals into praise meetings. He could have come off the cross, but He didn’t. He chose to be meek so that you and I could become powerful.