18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
How do you know if you are responding to the Word? It will show in your:
A. WORDS Vs 26 carful LIPS
Are your words controlled by Christ’s Word? What comes out of your mouth reveals what’s going on in your mind and what’s going on in your mind reveals what’s happening in your heart. Are you filtering your thoughts through truth before they hit your tongue? Most of us pride ourselves in speaking our mind, but we are not called to communicate our mind, we are called to communicate the mind of Christ. Instead of giving people a piece of your mind what if instead you shared the mind of Christ? Words can win people or wound people. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” So, based on your words what kind of a witness are you being? Are you drawing people to Jesus or pushing them away? Do your words reflect the world or Christs Word? James reminds us here that, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” Is the Lord in control of your lips? When we are responding rightly to the Word not only will it show in your words but also your:
B. WORKS VS 27 caring LOVE
Receiving the word will result in not just a change of words but also your walk. The Word of God doesn’t just impact your lips but also your love. James say Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father is caring for orphans and widows in their distress. It’s serving the suffering. Protecting the helpless. Jesus modeled this kind of ministry everywhere he went. Jesus led with love and so should we. If we are not careful, we will be in danger of knowing the Word but not sowing the Word. In John 8:37 Jesus confronted the religious leaders who hated him and wished to see Him dead by revealing why instead of leading in love they had hate in their hearts, “You seek to kill me because there is no room in your hearts for my Word.” Like them we can have a bounty of information but a bankruptcy of implementation. These leaders knew their Bibles better than anyone. But the word of God “found no place in them.” Why? Because they were so full of themselves there was no room for God. Self will always keep me from service. The three greatest enemies to ministry are, me, myself and I. The seeds of service cannot find life in soil that does not welcome it. The greatest danger in the church is the deadly dynamic of becoming educated beyond our level of obedience. Most of us have more knowledge than obedience, more information than implementation. What good is revelation without application? Today we have a surplus of knowledge and a deficit of obedience. In terms of health we are spiritual obesity. We eat more than we exercise. Don’t just observe the word obey the word. Thirdly responding rightly to the Word will show in our:
C. WALK VS 27 corrupt LIFE
God’s Word doesn’t just affect our words and our works but also our walk. The Lord desires to be in charge of more than just our lips and our love but our whole life. James says that our walk will be like one who is going to war, ready to resist evil. The only way to be prepared to do battle is to be in the bible, but it’s not enough to be in the Word the Word has to be in you. So where are you at, are you receiving His Word? Are you responding to His Word?