Summary: In this sermon you will find help in evaluating your reception of the word of God.
Remember the fairly tale where the wicked witch consulted the mirror but disregarded the mirror’s advice. We sometimes do the same thing. We hear the word of God but disregard the teachings we hear. James used a mirror to challenge our thinking concerning our receptivity of the word of God. He said "If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror." (James 1:23 NKJV) So what is the proper way to hear the word. James instructs us.
1. We must accept the word of God. James discusses three attitudes that must exist in our hearts if we are to accept the word of God.
A. As we accept it we must submit to the teachings we hear. James says "my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." (James 1:19) Rather than rebelling against the teachings of the word we are to submit to it.
B. As we accept it we must confess the sin we find in our heart. James says "lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness." (James 1:21)
C. As we accept it we must humble ourselves in view of the teachings we hear. James says "receive with meekness the implanted word." (James 1:21)
2. We must accept the word of God. Next, we should align with the word of God. James says " But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22) As we accept the word we must align ourselves with the teachings we find.
Illustration: When driving down the highway you will find many road signs. These signs are there to instruct you concerning proper driving procedure. When we see those signs we should align our driving in accordance with what we see. If we do not align our driving accordingly we could endanger ourselves or others.
3. We should accept the word and align our lives with the word. Finally, we should apply the word. In James 1:26-27 we find these words. "If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." The essence of James’ words in these two verses is that when you hear the word properly it will change your life. You will apply what you hear. James gives three examples of Bible application.
A. It will affect your speech. James speaks of "bridling the tongue." If God’s word changes your life it will affect the way you talk.
B. It will affect your service to others. James speaks of serving orphans and widows.
C. It will affect you by causing you to separate your life from sin’s consequences. James speaks of being "unspotted" from the world. As you apply the word of God you will separate yourself from things in the world that will taint your spiritual life.
It is my prayer that each of us will have our mirror in proper order. May we see what God sees and respond accordingly.