June 9, 2024

Are You Doers of God’s Word?

Man with a backpack walking on a road formed from the Bible

Worship Service on June 8, 2024

For the last couple of Sundays, the message has been God’s role in our lives and Jesus, who is our friend and savior. The Bible tells us about all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed on us as Christians. But what is our role in all this? What is our responsibility? Are we doers of God’s word? 

Be Doers Not Merely Hearers

James 1:22, as we read this morning, “but prove yourself doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” Obedience is connected to trust and respect. It actually comes from the Latin word meaning to hear. When we obey God, it is a sign that we really trust Him and are listening to what He is saying and truly believe that He knows best. James deals with the issue of true faith, which is important to Christians. Which is important to Christians. Knowing your faith is genuine is a wonderful assurance, but when people think they are saved when they’re not, it can be the most frightening deception imaginable. In our New Testament reading this morning in Matthew 7, Jesus spoke of those who called him Lord and even do miracles in his name but aren’t redeemed. Verse 22, “Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, didn’t we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles? And then I declared to them, I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” 

Being Doers Means Aligning to God’s Will

In this verse, he is telling them, “if you’re going to talk the talk, you must walk the walk”. God is not looking for lip service. God tells us in the continuing verses that anyone who hears his word and acts upon it, they are like a wise man who built his house upon a rock. Being doers of God’s word means aligning our will to God’s will, doing what God has asked us to do. It is when we completely surrender to His authority and base our decisions and our actions on his word. 

2 Timothy 3:5 warns us against those who seem to be godly but are not. “Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power, avoid such men as these.” Sadly, many people today are victims of the same deception. They think they’re Christians, but they are not doers of God’s Word. They are just going through the motions. They need to recognize that they not only need to read the word, but they have to act on the word. They must have the right heart condition and be repentant. Deception in this day and age is very great. It can become a tragedy beyond description. True doers of the word need never fall prey to the deception around them. We may struggle to obey, listen, and live our lives according to God’s Word. This is because we are sinners that are full of pride and are scared of rejection at times, and we do not completely trust God. There are many examples of the test for true faith in the book of James, one of them being your attitude towards God’s Word. Your attitude towards God’s Word is essentially important. The word is the agency of both your salvation and sanctification. The Holy Spirit empowers it to save you and he continually works through it to conform you to the image of Christ. 

1 Peter 1-2, “According to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, Holy Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood, May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.” Verse 3 goes on to tell us, “blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

In verses 24 and 25, it explains the importance and the lasting of God’s word. “For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Peter goes on to tell us in Chapter 2:1-2, “therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow to respect in respect to salvation.” Jesus himself characterized believers as those who abide in his Word and obey his commandments. John 8:31-32, “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed in him, if you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” That’s pretty. We all know that one pretty well. The disciples received the word with an attitude of submission and humility, and so should we. However, unbelievers resist and disobey the word. As we read in our responsive reading this morning, Psalm 119:155 says, “salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.” 

Being Doers of God’s Word is Hard

Being doers of God’s word is hard for us Christians. We struggle to be true and live our lives according to the scripture for many reasons. We do not want to feel weak or feel like we have no control over our lives. Being a follower of Christ means being obedient, even if we struggle to listen and obey His Word. You might say that you can’t love the Lord that way, and you just don’t have enough strength to obey him in that way in our world of today. Well, you’re right, and I don’t have it either. You see, the Christian life is a hard life. It is an impossible life. And the only way that you’re going to obey the Lord is for God to give you supernatural strength to obey him. And how does that happen? He gives you the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it refuses to let the Holy Spirit in. John 14:15-17. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper that he may be with you forever. That is the spirit of the truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see him or know him, but you know him because he abides with you and will be in you.”

Doers of God’s Word are Used by Him

That was Jesus when he was getting ready to go up into heaven and leave his disciples. That stands for them and it stands for us. We have the Holy Spirit. When we are doers of God’s word, he can use us for his good purposes. Jesus was obedient until death, and his death saved many souls from eternal punishment. Adam’s disobedience however, impacted the world in a negative way. Because he did not listen to God and wasn’t a doer of God’s Word, sin entered into the world and that sin led to death. Sometimes the task may seem too great for us, but we need to relax because obeying the Lord is not in the strength of our own flesh. It is in the power and the might of the Holy Spirit of God. We cannot accomplish anything without the Spirit. 

In verse 26, “but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” Jesus was speaking to the disciples and telling them that there will always be someone there even if he isn’t physically there to help guide and energize them. This goes for us as well. We are not called upon to do it by ourselves. That’s why we have the Holy Spirit. There are some people who think the answer of being a good Christian is intelligence. People can spend millions and millions of dollars on teaching programs and fill their heads with all the knowledge, but sometimes the fuller their heads get, the emptier their hearts become. Just studying the Bible does not make you spiritual. There are some people who think the answer is emotional. They feel that a service has to be hyped up in order for them to experience the Spirit. There is nothing wrong with emotion. There is nothing wrong with people getting excited in church. But at times, the emotion and the emotional experience can run so high that the next day, the only thing that they have is a jaded memory of a great emotional experience that doesn’t bring the Holy Spirit into your heart. Being a busy Christian can be a double-edged sword. If you’re only focusing on doing better and trying harder and you’re failing in the process, you’re missing the whole point because your focus is on failing and not on the word of God. Many people may reject the Holy Trinity because they say it’s unreasonable to them. We should never reject that which is unreasonable to us because our great God is always beyond human reason. Remember the Holy Spirit is a person. I don’t mean that he has a body but I mean that he has a personality. The Holy Spirit has the attributes of personhood, which is intelligence, and it tells us so in Romans 8:26-27. “In the same way, The Spirit also helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we would, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts, knows what the minds of the spirit is because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Challenges of Being Doers of God’s Word

We will face many challenges in our lives that will test our ability to stay obedient to God’s word. What can we do? How can we stay on track? Number 1, we can listen to what God says in the Bible. Number 2, we can follow Jesus as his disciple. Number 3, we need to serve others and not put ourselves first. Number 4, we need to be polite and follow the rules of a good society to show our consideration and respect for others. We need to decide that being a doer of God’s word is a priority. Psalm 19:7-10, “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandments of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true. They are righteous. Together they are more desirable than gold. Yes, than much fine gold. Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of a honeycomb.”

Doers of the Word Don’t Have to Do it Alone

We need to develop a “God is here” type of mindset. Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord continually before me because he is my right hand. I will not be shaken.” We need to obey what you need to be known to be true. Deuteronomy 30:2, “and you return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and soul according to all that I commanded you today, you and your sons. Remember the reward for being a doer of God’s words in Hebrews 11:6, “and without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that he, meaning God, is that he, God, is a rewarder of those who seek him. Remember, you are in reward of those who seek him.” Love for the Lord and strength in the spirit of the Lord are the secret for remaining in the word. By being doers of the word, it allows us to really get to know Jesus and God and ourselves as we were created by Him. Love for Jesus is the motive for obedience. We cannot claim that we are obeying if we do not bring our lives into conformance with the word. Our strength is the Holy Spirit within us. Be grateful that we don’t have to do it ourselves. And if we yield to the Holy Spirit, he takes over. He changes us and He transforms us. Are you doers of God’s Word? As doers of God’s Word, we do so with all our hearts, minds, and spirits. We strive to live our lives marked by honesty, character, love, and faith. We need to surrender our will to God, obeying His commands and trusting God completely with the result. When God wanted to create fish, He spoke to the sea. When God wanted to create trees, He spoke to the earth. But when God wanted to create man, he turned to himself. Then God said, “let us make man in our own image and in our own likeness.”

If you take a fish out of water it will die. When you remove a tree from soil, it will also die. Likewise, when man is disconnected from God, he dies. God is our natural environment. We were created to live in his presence. We need, we have to be connected to him because it is only in him that life exists. Let us stay connected to God and be doers of his work. Amen.

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