James 1:19-25 ESV “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves, for if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and preserves, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
In today’s study post we will be looking into what it means to live out God’s word, how to do it and why.
On social media especially, I’ve seen a lot of “claiming Christians”- people claiming to be a Christian but their fruits showing the exact opposite- and it sparked my personal interest in looking into what it means to actively live out God’s whole and perfect word, and how to share it with all of you in an easy-to-understand type of way with deep meaning.
In my study, I kept coming back to James, which is probably my favorite New Testament book of the Bible, because he addresses this topic as well as taming the tongue, testing your faith, a warning of worldliness, patience in suffering, the sin of favoritism, etc. that I will be sharing from in the coming study posts. In James chapter 1, verses 19-26, we get a picture of being doers of God’s Word and not hearers only! This is something I believe will be the utmost crucial to living out God’s word because we can tell ourselves and others that we love Jesus and are followers of him, but do our actions and tongue reflect those statements? I am going to share that passage again but highlight and underline key words and sentences to emphasize this a little more.
James 1:19-25 ESV “19Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves, 23for if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and preserves, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.“
Starting with verse 19b-20, being quick to hear, slow to speak. I believe this goes with the taming of one’s tongue as James will come to mention in verses 26-27 and throughout the rest of the letter. “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” When it comes to being active in living out God’s word, what do we get from this passage? I got that we must be intent about putting forth the righteousness of God, stewing in it, and being wary of the anger of man which hinders producing such a Godly action.
The emotions in the human man and woman are extremely complex. Emotions of anger, resentment, jealously, covetousness, hate, fear, pride, selfishness, and vanity are common and becoming even more so and more displayed and praised on social media platforms today than ever before. Those emotions, those thoughts, are not of the Lord. As Christians, that is what our daily spiritual warfare is battling- the emotions, thoughts, feelings, words and actions, the temptations of the world. It is in our blood, our nature, to sin because of Adam and Eve’s choice in the garden of Eden as described in Genesis 3, but at the same time goes against God’s design.
We are all in a war, a battle to the finish. It’s a battle of the mind and soul against the world. As we know, Satan is behind this war, as we are children of the High King but live in Satan’s dominion. So of course he wants us to follow him… he hates God and we love, honor, serve, worship, and live for Him! (2 Corinthians 10:1-6) We are in the midst of spiritual warfare as Christian soldiers. It’s not about binding or casting out demons, no… but rather fighting the world in our minds vs. God in our souls. We need to be doctrinally strong, ready to fight, ready to stand up and defend God’s truth. For the enemies are not found outside the church, but on the inside. Beware of false doctrine and false teachers who will lead you astray to fit their agendas. And anyway, our faith should not rely on the wisdom of man, but on the almighty, all-knowing, all loving God! Feeding into human ideologies and secular movements that go against God’s word gives scoring points to the worldly flesh we are battling against everyday.
We must remain strong and choose Christ day in and day out. This also comes with controlling our mouths, our thoughts and our emotions- giving them to the Lord instead of letting them take over our minds and turn into actions. “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Satan wants you to be ashamed of your testimony because he knows it’ll set his captives free. It’s time to share the full story, not a fake, easy to digest version- the one where Jesus rescued you from the pits of hell, redeemed what the world cancelled, and saved you from yourself.
Next, we must also put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness to receive the implanted word of God, which is able to save our souls. But we must put away our worldly desires and actions with meekness. Which means we must do this submissively, willingly, for the greater great of the blessing of salvation, and work everyday at not reverting back to our sinful and worldly ways even if its popular and a part of a trend. Remember that we live in a world that justifies and glorifies sin, even smaller nonchalant ones like crude jokes, impure speech to soften our edges… to conform. Worldly love and worldly words are a masquerade of sin. But God’s love and God’s words are holy and perfect and whole, they build you up and go with His intended design which only produces good and perfect outcomes even though we as humans are not perfect. I never want to be the kind of Christian who portrays themselves as perfect. I have flaws and I have struggles; that’s why I need God.
It goes without saying that knowing is easy, doing is hard. Living out God’s word comes with controlling our tongues & emotions and not letting them take over, putting away our filthiness and sinful acts submissively, but also being doers and not hearers only. For when we do this, we are deceiving ourselves.
These “claiming Christians” deceive themselves by hearing God’s word, maybe even listening to worship music, but never having their actions reflect this. Most people don’t want to hear this but putting a bible verse in your Instagram bio and listening to Cory Asbury’s “Reckless Love” on repeat (a post on that coming soon… yikes) and posting about it on your stories doesn’t make you a Christian. So I don’t care how much scripture you quote, how do you treat people? How do you treat yourself? Judas physically followed Jesus. Judas physically listened to Jesus. Judas physically walked with Jesus. But in the end, Judas spiritually followed, listened, and walked with Satan. Mimicking flesh does not equal moving faith. You can’t walk with Jesus while holding hands with the devil. Meaning, you can’t grow in your walk with Jesus while holding onto a sin that you enjoy.
If you are a true follower of Christ, if you love him with all your heart, soul and mind and desire deeply to serve and bring honor and glory to his name, then you must have actions backing up what you hear at church, in a podcast, what you read on your own time from God’s word. Willingly, submissively, give up your sinful, worldly ways. For example, if you read about taming your tongue from my post, straight from the Bible, or hear a sermon on it and feel moved, think to yourself “that is so inspiring”, but then do nothing to take action and actually work to tame your tongue then you are deceiving yourself! Same goes with sexual immorality, adultery, modesty, lying, pride and selfishness, etc.
“-being no hearer who forgets, but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” When it comes to living out God’s word, we must:
1: Tame your tongue. Be quick to hear but slow to speak.
2: Be slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Control our thoughts and emotions. Tune in and pay attention to what feelings are of the Lord and which are not. For those that are not, the emotions and thoughts that wash over you, pray and give them to the Lord, that they not hinder your walk with Christ by altering your mindset.
3: Submissively put away your sin and old worldly ways. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 And don’t then curse who you used to be. God used your past and made it into a testimony! That being said, Jesus died for us in public, let’s not live for him in private.
4: Do not be hearers only, but be doers. For a doer who acts will be blessed by his doing! So dive into God’s word! Get caught in the rush, get lost in the flow, let the scriptures pour over your heart. Learn the lessons, right your wrongs, and do with the Word of God says. If the Bible says “thou shall not steal”, do not steal. If the Bible says to constantly be in prayer, constantly be in prayer! Apply the scriptures to your life every minuet of every day and share what you learned publicly, tell others of God’s truths and his overwhelming love for us, share your God-given testimony and continue to live it out!
5: And lastly, constantly walk in the newness of life, walk in the renewing of your mind, walk in Godly love and look like it. Talk the talk, but also walk the walk! (Favorite songs for doing this are “Look Like Love” by Britt Nicole, “Love With Your Life” by Hollyn, “Human” by Natalie Grant)
One thought on “Living Out God’s Word”
Excellent. I love how you present it. Thank you, Abby.
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