So last week we were reminded of the many characteristics of the Bible.
It’s authoritative. It’s trustworthy. It’s without error. It’s alive. It’s powerful. It’s cohesive. It’s truth. It is the Word of God.
Simply knowing what the Bible is should be reason enough for us to want to spend time daily reading God’s Word – hearing what God has to say to us.
But we can’t stop with just reading it. Simply reading God’s Word isn’t enough. That’s a critical step #1, but step #2 is equally important – and that is that we have believe it and obey it. We have to live our lives in a way that reflects what we’ve just read.
James talks about this in James chapter 1, starting at verse 21….
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
We can’t just read the Bible – we have to accept it as truth and then live accordingly! If we don’t, James says it’s like glancing at your face in the mirror. Most of us do this every morning, we get up glance into the bathroom mirror – and we’re usually appalled at what we see! Crusties in the corners of our eyes, hair looking like we just went at it with the weed-whacker, drool residue on the side of our face – maybe even some pimples that grew up over night.
When we look in the mirror, the mirror tells us the painful truth. We’ve got some issue that we need to deal with. The question is: What do we do when we see that truth?
Do we walk away and forget what we look like? Do we just go on through our day oblivious to the disaster on our face? Hopefully not! As I look out at your smiling faces this morning, it looks like most of you – when you saw the truth in the mirror this morning – you did something about it!
You combed your hair. You washed your face. You popped the pimples or whatever…. But you addressed the issues that you saw in the mirror.
Well, we have to do that when we read the Bible too! When we read the Bible, it’s very much like a mirror – it shows us the things in our lives that we need to change. It tells us the truth about our situation. It points out the areas where our attitudes and actions are out of line with God’s.
Like we read in 2 Timothy 3:16 last week:
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16
The Bible makes those things quite clear. But the question is: what will we do about it when we see the truth?
When we read those things that point out where we’re off track, will we walk away and just ignore the issues in our life – or will we actually do something about it?
Like James says, we can’t just listen to God’s Word – we must do what it says. Otherwise, we’re only fooling ourselves!
But on the flip side of that, if we do listen to and obey God’s Word – James tells us that we will be blessed. He writes in verse 25….