Today’s Reading: James 1:22-27
Daily Lectionary: Numbers 9:1-23; Luke 16:1-18
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Our LORD Jesus Christ did not come into the world to save ideas and beliefs. He did not come into the world to save audio presentations and visual images. “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). I always recommend inserting ourselves at the end of this verse.
We can’t reduce Christ’s saving work to the saving of ideas, thoughts, and words, but of sinners, and sinners are real people with real lives–they live and move and have their being (Acts 17:28). They do things, they act, they impact the lives of others and the world. Jesus came to save these real people with real lives who do real things. So what happens when such people are saved? Their real lives are impacted, not just their beliefs. James is warning us, “For if anyone is a hearer of the word [only] and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at hi
mself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like” (James 1:24-25).
When the Christian faith is only a “belief” for someone, it is only a passing thought. But this faith that God creates in us through the Word holds to a strong and mighty Christ, and Christ is so strong and mighty that He affects our very lives. How does Christ do this in us? It isn’t by looking into a dumb mirror, but by looking into what James calls “the perfect law, the law of liberty” (James 1:25).
This is a place in the Holy Bible where “law” does not mean strict convicting law, as in “Law” vs. Gospel. Here the word “law” refers to the WORD, and especially the Gospel! What is the only thing that gives you liberation from the bonds of your sin? The powerful Gospel of Christ! When the Gospel is yours, and your sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus, then watch out: Your faith isn’t just thoughts and words, but real actions. You live for Jesus and you love those around you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O LORD, keep Your Church in Your perpetual mercy; and because without You we cannot but fall, preserve us from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our LORD, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch