"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does." - James 1:22-25 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Today's scripture describes character development. It clearly states that it's not enough to listen to God's Word, we need to do it. Jesus said, "But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice." Luke 11:28 NLT
The Bible teaches us right from wrong, and how to make right choices. In a world that claims there is no absolute truth and no right or wrong, people are floundering, doing their own thing, and often ending up making bad choices, choices that harm themselves and others. How comforting to know that God has provided absolutes to guide us. We can find them in his Word.
If we are willing to continue looking into the mirror of God's Word … and then trusting him to help us line our attitudes and actions up more closely with his Word … we will begin the road to godly character.
Consider this …
Think back over the scriptures you have studied during the past year or so. Are there any that you read, but didn't apply to your life? Spend some time in reflection, asking God to show you what you have ignored … and what steps you should take now.
Father, sometimes I rush through my daily Bible reading and fail to seriously consider what you are saying to me at that moment or how I might apply what I have just read to my life. Help me to read for transformation, not just information. Help me to be a better doer of your Word. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Authentic Living in an Artificial World by Dr. Mike Chapman. This 45-minute group study gives understanding about what it means to be real. The facilitator's guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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