It is my hope that you’ve found a good, bible believing church that teaches the word of God as uncompromising truth. If you have, that’s great because not all churches prioritize their values in that way. But even if you are blessed with a good church and a pastor that brings the message to you in a powerful, Spirit-led way, remember that our job isn’t just to listen to the word of God, but to take action - to do what it says. James warns us in chapter 1 verse 22:
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
You see, we can deceive ourselves into thinking that hearing is enough. We can hear the word, we can read the word, we can listen to great podcasts or read books that highlight what the bible says, we can become bible scholars, but if we aren’t doing what it says, we are deceiving ourselves. Even Jesus called out the Pharisees as being deceivingly together on the outside but dead on the inside. So I encourage you to do what James suggests. Don’t deceive yourself. Don’t just listen to the word, but do what it says.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” This sounds easy enough, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Even if you aren’t living a life of sin, you might not be doing what the bible says. So many things in the world can occupy our time and drown out the things of God. We have to be careful. And of course, if we hear the word and continue in our sin, we are definitely not doing what it says. So I encourage you, do what the bible says. On the day that you face death - and we all will eventually see that day, you want to know that you’ve been active doing what the bible says so that you have no regrets. Life is not more important than our afterlife, so don’t treat it like it is. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.