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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.’ James 1:22 NIV

When you listen to or read God’s Word but don’t apply it to your life, you deceive yourself. How so?

1) You settle for knowledge rather than experience. The Bible says, ‘If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them’ (James 4:17 NIV). How does that grab you? When you know the truth but don’t act on it, you’re not simply making a mistake or exercising poor judgement, you’re sinning. The Bible says knowledge without obedience is sin.

2) You compare yourself with others. Paul writes, ‘Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,' Galatians 6:4 NIV). ‘… When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise’ (2 Corinthians 10:12 NIV). That enables you to remain carnal but comfortable, and the older you get, the more seasoned you become at doing it. Over time you build a reservoir of responses, and when the truth gets too close for comfort, you have 101 reasons why it applies to everyone except you.

3) The Word moves you briefly but doesn’t change you permanently. There is nothing wrong with responding emotionally to spiritual truth. But if you go merrily on your way without changing your behaviour in the slightest, your spirituality boils down to nothing more than a vapid emotional experience.

4) You substitute communication for transformation. You talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. You think if you speak eloquently and convincingly about a point of Scripture, you’re off the hook. You’re not! James says, ‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.’ James 1:22 NIV

SoulFood: 1 Sam 20:30 – 23:29 Luke 5:12-26 Ps 102:18-28 Pro 17:11-14

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

The Word for Today

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