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Deep Thought of the Day: Being a doer of the Word is actually loving God.
I woke up this morning hearing this: “Just do it, Jill. Just do what I told you to do.” This made me think of James 1:22, “Be a doer of the Word, and not hearers only.” Being a doer simply means you apply what you hear to your everyday life.
Here’s James 1:22-24 in NLT: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.”
When I first started learning about God’s grace and mercy it seemed like a contradiction to what James talks about. On one hand you have the verses about resting and letting God do the work, then on the other hand you have be a doer of the word and faith without works is dead. So which is right?
They both are. God’s Word never contradicts itself. We are supposed to rest in God and partner with Him. But our part of that partnership is obedience to the Word of God. Meaning you apply the Word to your life. It’s that simple.
What I find most interesting about being a doer is that God actually links our choice to obey His Word with our love for Him.
Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love Me, obey my commandments.”
He says in John 15:10, “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.”
I John 5:2-3, “We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”
Now before you start scrolling on back to Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy for all the laws and requirements. Remember that Jesus gave us only two commandments: ‘”You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”” Matthew 22:34-40
The point is that when we walk in love and act in love, we are being a doer of the Word. When we are being a doer of the Word we are being obedient, growing, maturing and loving God all at the same time. Many birds, one stone.
Word Nerd Note: The Greek word for ‘hearers only’ is akroates. In classical Greek times akroates was used to describe people who audited a class. (Taken from “Sparkling Gems from the Greek” by Rick Renner.) These were people who went to lectures for entertainment.
A Biblical example of these akroates would be the people Paul preached to in Athens (see Acts 17). They were all about listening to what Paul had to say and learn about this “unknown god” but when it came down to accepting Jesus and living for Him, sadly they passed.
FYI: Today’s Bible Version is the New Living Translation (NLT)
Today’s Deep Thought: If you really want to do big things, you must learn to abide in God
Jesus, Himself, said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 4:6-11
This speaks to me of becoming one with God, entering a true partnership. We do our part, God does His.
Our part is to obey what God has told us to do even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if we don’t understand why. Then we rest, knowing God is faithful. Then, we wait. We trust. Be believe. We speak His word. We stand on His promises. We praise Him for what He’s doing and going to do. We thank Him for what He’s done. We seek His presence. And then we receive from Him. This is our part.
God’s part is everything else. Yes. You heard me. Everything else is God’s part. He’s a big God so it’s easy for Him. But He needs you to partner with Him. He needs you to trust Him. He needs you to abide.
You will have amazing adventures with Him. You will do things that you never dreamt or imagined were possible. But you won’t be doing them alone. You’ll be doing them with Him and in His power. That’s why being connected to the vine is so essential! We need His power to do those amazing things.
Abiding in God is remaining steadfast. Believing that no matter the way we feel or what the situation looks like God is who He says He is and will do what He said He will do.
God abiding in us means that He strengthens us every day. Fresh anointing. Fresh grace. More love. He never leaves or forsakes us.
Abide: To remain; continue; stay. To endure, sustain. To wait for; await. To accept without opposition or question. To act in accord with; to submit to; agree to. To remain steadfast or faithful to; keep. Synonyms: 1. wait. 2. live. 3. persevere, endure.