Read: James 1:21-25
A Christian teacher often said that his goal in studying the Bible is always personal application. That needs to be appreciated because of his emphasis on putting learning into practice. It is too easy for those of us who study, discuss, teach, and write about the Bible to take a merely intellectual approach to God’s Word.
Oswald Chambers said, “There is a danger with the children of God of getting too familiar with sublime things. We talk so much about these wonderful realities, and forget that we have to exhibit them in our lives. It is perilously possible to mistake the exposition of the truth for the truth; to run away with the idea that because we are able to expound these things, we are living them too.” What a powerful observation and solemn warning to believers and ministers of God!
James reminds us that the person “who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25). The key issue is not what is preached or written, but what is done. It is obedience to God’s Word that matters. Jesus Himself said, “…blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28).
When we study God’s Word, our first question should not be, “What am I going to say about this?” but “What am I going to do about this?” We may take much delight to teach God’s Word, we may say, “Amen, it’s true,” but unless we do His Will, it is of little use to us. Oswald Chambers said, “One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it.”