Summary: In order to get the Wonder of God’s Word to work in our life we must: Receive it, respond to it and...
In the 1930s, Stalin ordered that all Bibles be bconfiscated and Christian believers be sent to prison camps. Ironically, most of the Bibles were not destroyed, yet many Christians died as "enemies of the state."
With the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., a CoMission team arrived in Stavropol in 1994 for ministry. Their request to have Bibles shipped to Moscow was being held up. But someone told them about a warehouse outside of town where confiscated Bibles were still stored. Remarkably, the team was granted permission to distribute them. Hiring several local Russian workers, they began to load their trucks. Ken Taylor, one of the members of the CoMission team tells the following story.
“One young man, a hostile agnostic, came only for the day’s wages. But not long after they had started, he disappeared. Later he was found in the corner of the warehouse, weeping, a Bible in his hands. Intending to steal it for himself, he had picked a bible off one of the selves. Before stuffing it in his coat he opened the bible to the front page. To his shock and amazement it bore the signature of his late grandmother. Her signature was on the front page! The very Bible that his grandmother was persecuted and died for transformed that young Russian. He would later commit his heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Although we have no way of verifying the truth of this particular story, it is only one of many such stories that detail the Wonder of God’s Word. It is a book like no other and time would fail us to tell of all the good (and miraculous) work it has accomplished in the lives of so many. But there are some who ask, “How do you get that wonder to work in your life.”
Last week we began to explore the answer to that question looking in the Book of James chapter one (turn there with me, please). Here James tells us, in order to experience the wonder of God’s Word, we must do three things.
[First of all, we must:]
I. Receive it—verse 21.
A. Most of us are so filled with our own opinions we don’t (or won’t) receive the truth of God’s Word. We never get there!
1. The first step to experiencing the wonder of God’s Word is to submit to it and receive what it says over everything or anybody else! We must receive it!
[Secondly, we must:]
II. Respond to it—verses 22-25.
[First, we receive or welcome the Word, and then we follow up our reception with the appropriate response.]
A. I’ve never met a person who desires an unhappy or cursed life. Everyone I have met desires a blessed life.
1. In this passage of scripture, James tells us a blessed life comes by responding to God’s Word.
2. The illustration James uses is that of a mirror—v. 23.
a. A person who hears the Word but does not do the Word is like a man who looks at himself in a mirror, sees the problems, and then goes away forgetting (or ignoring) what he saw.
1) Men in general are notorious for this. They tend to glance in a mirror and go on (roosters, shaving cream, eye aucky, etc.).
2) Women, on the other hand…well, they’re a little more discerning, let’s say!
a) I was on my way out the door the other day and paused briefly to say goodbye to my daughterb. Before she leaned forward to place a kiss on my cheek she performed her usual head to toe scan of my person. Stopping somewhere around the top of my head she said, “Stay right there, dad.” Within a couple of seconds she returned with a pair of scissors and began hacking off eyebrow hairs that, in her words were, “disgusting!” I don’t even know I have eyebrows! Women, as a rule, are a little more discerning about these things.
b. Mirrors, if we’ll take the time to look, expose our flaws so that we can correct them.
1) They don’t lie or exaggerate; they only reflect what is there!
3. James calls the Bible a mirror.
a. It reflects the truth of who, and what we are before God.
b. But in order for it to do its mirroring work, verse 25 says, we have to do more then just glance at it occasionally (“whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein”).
c. You see, many of us mark in our Bibles, but we never let our Bibles mark us! That’s the idea here!
d. Hearing the Word without responding to it is like chewing without swallowing; it tastes good, but there is not long-term benefit to it!
e. When we sit under the Word of God, we are to do so as one looking into a mirror.