Can you enjoy the taste of fresh biscuits by merely reading the recipe? What benefit would there be from a recipe that doesn’t give you the full set of instructions? If an instruction manual told you what tools the project required, but not how to build the thing, how would you get the product you’re seeking? If you read about health and exercise, will you magically become fit?
What are all these examples lacking? They’re lacking the step where you do the work. Now apply this concept to the Word of God. James 1:22-25 tells us the difference between the one who hears the Word and puts it into practice, compared to the one who only hears the Word.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 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 1:22-25
How many of us read the Bible and feel a sense of accomplishment, yet walk away not following its instructions? In the same way that you can’t be nourished by reading a recipe, you can’t be nourished by solely hearing the Word. You need to do what the Word says. You need to complete the recipe by mixing the ingredients together. It’s not a hard concept to grasp, yet many Christians rarely seek to apply the truths they read.
James says the person who looks into the perfect law and perseveres, will be blessed in his doing. Two definitions I found of perseveres were, “Persist in anything undertaken,” and, “Maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement.” How perfectly does that sum up our attempts at reading and living out the Word of God? We are always blessed when we hear and do what the Word says. Yet, almost all Christians will admit they struggle to stay in the Word and consistently live out its instruction.
The ways of God are higher than the ways of humans. We’re imperfect, whereas God is the standard of perfection. The way that the Bible instructs us is not easy and it goes against the sinful ways of the flesh. It’s not easy to fight our flesh and live an opposite lifestyle of what it desires. Yet that’s why James says the man who perseveres will be blessed. The Christians that
do not give up their quest for truth will be blessed. The Christians that maintain their purpose as followers of Christ, no matter the difficulties, will be blessed.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5: 6, 10
God will bless our perseverance. He has given us His Word, the Bible, straight from his heart. Can we find anything in this entire world greater than the words of the Lord? We should treasure them, seek after them, and pursue the life he calls us to in his Word. With God’s Spirit dwelling inside of us, guiding us and helping us, we can do these things. God will not force us to do anything; we must make choices and let the Spirit guide. Don’t be the Christian who looks into the Word and walks away with no memory and no change of heart. Hear it, reflect on it, and become a doer of the Word.