Study Notes on James 1:22-27

Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life! If you listen to the Word and don’t live out the message you hear, you become like the person who looks in the mirror of the Word to discover the reflection of his face in the beginning. You perceive how God sees you in the mirror of the Word, but then you go out and forget your divine origin. But those who set their gaze deeply into the perfecting law of liberty are fascinated by and respond to the truth they hear and are strengthened by it—they experience God’s blessing in all that they do! If someone believes they have a relationship with God but fails to guard his words then his heart is drifting away and his religion is shallow and empty.True spirituality that is pure in the eyes of our Father God is to make a difference in the lives of the orphans, and widows in their troubles, and to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values. (James 1:22-27 Passion)

Spurgeon used the term affectionate hearers to describe many in church congregations. Hearers but not doers. God relentlessly pursues His people, going after their pain, offering to carry their burdens, and setting them free from the heavy and binding bondage. Through Jesus, He speaks with love to the hurting, without judgement, but with forgiveness. We too must go after the hearts of the hurting with grace and love on our tongues.

I know that I need to be more of a doer. Sometimes I ignore the call of God in my heart. I love the practice of worship and oftentimes get stuck as just an affectionate hearer. Wisdom and revelation from God gives me strength and inspiration to live with joy. But if I don’t share that joy with others, God’s love is stuck and contained within me. I am made to be a vessel pouring out love onto humanity, more than just my inner circle. I must be willing to let God stretch my borders beyond my comfort zone. I want to look in the mirror and see myself reflecting the love and mercy of Jesus.

Lord, Help me walk with You in more practical ways. Show me where you want to use me to serve. Show me the widows, the orphans, the hurting people who need the joy You have set within my heart. Help me to control my tongue as I go throughout the day. And keep me unstained by this world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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