The following is an excerpt of our February “Seasonings” presentation held at Dunn Bros Coffee Shop in Eden Prairie, MN. Please join us on Wed., March 16th at 9:30 a.m. for our next gathering. (Directions)
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 NIV
What does it really mean to be a do-er of the word as James writes?
It seems that Jesus was plenty vocal about how to put our faith into action. If you have one of those bibles that prints Jesus’ words in red, you can easily find his directives including:
When we are faced with James’ challenge to be doers, this is the kind of stuff he means. In order to live an authentic Christian life, we must put Jesus’ words into action.
A few simple steps help us begin this process – coupled with the knowledge we glean from our predecessors and Biblical insight.
The first step is to SAY YES! We all know the stories of those prominent bible characters who were called by God to seemingly insurmountable tasks. Moses questioned. Jonah ran. Do either of those scenarios sound familiar? In the end, they followed God, but there was that initial hesitation, and even, avoidance.
However, Samuel, who was called by God, replied, “Speak for your servant is listening.” Saying Yes is a critical first step in becoming a do-er of God’s word.
Ask yourself, “How can I say Yes to God’s call to follow one of Jesus’ directives such as loving my neighbor as myself?”
The second step toward becoming a do-er of the word is to Share the Load! As Galatians says in 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Christ commanded us to rely on one another, lightening our load, because it is often too much to carry on our own. Why is it that we insist then on self-reliance and allow our pride to get in the way of humbly asking others to come along side us? If we put our “independence” aside, we will quickly see how God’s tasks are made easier when we share our burden with others.
We can also step toward becoming do-ers if we Look for the Manna. Not long after the Israelites crossed through the parted Red Sea, they became hungry. God told Moses he would provide for them each day, with manna that fell from the sky. One of his directives was they not collect more than they needed for the given day. Inevitably, they attempted to hoard the manna – so as to be sure they would have enough for the next day, despite God’s clear instructions. As a result, the extra portions garnered and stored would rot…God’s confirmation to them that it was “daily” bread – by design.
How often do we find ourselves projecting or worrying about the future and distrusting God’s promises? If we focus on the unknown (like the Israelites), we cannot see God’s provision in the here and now. But if we fix our eyes on the Manna we are given each day, we will see that God’s tasks are no longer insurmountable… Our job is to trust and watch his mighty hand at work.
Being a do-er of the word is a lofty aim, one that is made much more attainable if we begin with these simple steps. If we just move forward in the doing and not hearing only, we can be within God’s will and witness his provision.