But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. - James 1:25
As many of you know, my happy place is Floyd, Virginia. We have a dear friend that owns a cabin that sits in the middle of 40 acres overlooking the Buffalo Mountain. If you hear a car, then someone is coming to visit. We try to spend at least one weekend a month there regenerating from the daily struggles of life in the city. You can usually find me (or Stella!) sitting on the front porch in one of the rocking chairs or sky chairs (a great place to take your afternoon nap). It gives you time to think and ponder the good and the bad. Here lately, it’s about all the unrest going on in the world. It seems everyday something else bad has happened. Wars, murders, shootings, sexual assaults, fighting among political parties, countries spying on each other, and the simplest things like drivers not stopping for a “Stop” sign which happens to be my pet peeve.
“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” - James 1:25
Sometimes it’s easy to follow Jesus. Other times, you may be tempted to abandon him. Listening to Jesus can mean being by yourself, or with friends, standing on a mountaintop by yourself, or going through a storm. You may have stopped following Jesus, but now you want to follow him again. When you stopped following Jesus, you did so on your own.
Last night Stella, Jordan and I watched a movie called 12 Strong. This movie is based on the true story of the US Special Forces team, who are chosen as the first American troops into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission following the 9/11 attacks. The captain of the team is Mitch Nelson and they have to meet up with an Afghan General Dostum to try and neutralize a strong-hold of the Taliban. In one of the scenes, Captain Nelson tells General Dostum they have to make the right choice. General Dostum says “There are no right choices here. This is Afghanistan - graveyard of many empires. Today you are our friend, tomorrow you are our enemy.”
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” - James 1:13-14
Plain and simple, it is not enough just to hear God's Word. We must be doers of the word. We must walk the talk. We are to move beyond listening alone and do what God's Word tells us to do, and keep doing it! James is telling us that our words matter because they are a reflection of our hearts – who we are. If our words are ungodly, then are our hearts not as holy as we thought they were? James explains how believers ought to handle their study of the Word of God. Christians should look intently into the perfect law, the law that gives freedom. When they routinely do that and obey what they see there, they will be blessed in what they do. James is not calling believers to see legalistic rule-following as the path to being blessed. He is writing to people who believe that Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses by obeying it perfectly Himself. In Christ, the Word has been planted in us (James 1:21). That's the Word we hear and obey because we trust our Father. That Word is the perfect law, the law of the love of Christ, which brings freedom. (BibleRef.com)
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” - Galatians 5
Dear Lord, as we rise with the sun today, the previous day is gone. Any regrets, mistakes, or failures I may have experienced are over. It's a day to be glad and give thanks, especially for our young folks. We ask that your peace lead us, that it would guard our hearts and minds in our movement and thoughts. Amen