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[thoughts] Doers of the Word (July 28 - August 3, 2008)

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  • Mark Roth
    Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition goes out today to 4107 subscribers. Thank you! Please check out Reaching
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2008
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      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth
      http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/


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      This edition goes out today to 4107 subscribers. Thank you!

      Please check out Reaching Out Magazine online:
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      DOERS OF THE WORD
      (James 1:13-27)


      SCATTERED REFLECTIONS FROM THE TEXT

      Everyone is a doer. He who "is drawn away of his own lust"
      (14) becomes a doer when that lust "bringeth forth sin" (15). She
      who is "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (19) is doing
      "the word of truth" (18). They who "lay apart all" (21) selfish
      and worldly contaminants, choosing instead of "receive...the
      engrafted word," are doers whose friendship is with God and not
      with the world. Anyone who looks carefully "into the perfect law
      of liberty" becomes a doer when that looking turns into
      purposeful faithfulness to the Word. Some doers control their
      tongues; others do not (26). Those whose friendship and kinship
      is with God exhibit the Father's compassion and holiness (27).
      What kind of doer am I?

      "Do not err" (16) -- the pull of the flesh will always draw you
      away from God (14). "Do not err" -- wrong desires entertained bring
      forth sin, even for those who "will be careful" and "know when to
      stop." "Do not err" -- the end result of sin is death. "Do not err"
      -- your very own flesh will always lead you straight to death.

      God desires that "we should be a kind of firstfruits of his
      creatures" (18). He wants us to be the cream of the crop of His
      creation. He wants each of us as that satisfying first produce
      from His garden. That's why we should "be swift to hear, slow
      to speak, slow to wrath" so that we might work "the
      righteousness of God" (19,20). That's why must "lay apart...and
      receive" (21). That's why we ought to be "doers of the word"
      (22). That's why He wants us to look into "the perfect law of
      liberty" and to continue faithfully in it (25). That's why He
      expects us to be of bridled tongue and of spiritually-perceptive
      heart (26). That's why He calls us to compassion and to ongoing
      separation from things worldly (27).

      Genuine Christianity springs from the heart which maintain itself
      "undefiled before God" (27). True Christianity doesn't rely on an
      annual Spring Cleaning. No! Daily it sweeps down the cobwebs
      and scoops up the stray grass clippings and wipes off the dust
      and scrubs off the smudges. The heart after God makes no
      excuse for keeping and treasuring any spots of the world. How
      is your heart? How genuine is your Christianity? Or do you find
      satisfaction in some of what the world offers? Maybe you think
      your careful allowance of some things worldly doesn't affect you
      (and might even prove or enhance your spirituality). "Ye
      adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of
      the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a
      friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). Whose
      friend are you? And whose enemy?

      OK, so you had answers to all those questions in the previous
      paragraph. Would I get the same answers from the ringtones on
      your cell phone? Or from the station your radio is tuned to? Or
      the book on your pillow? Or that item on your cash register slip?
      Or the bookmarks in your Web browser? Or the CD in your
      player? Or the lyrics in your download folder? Or the words
      from your lips? Or the attitudes of your heart? Or your
      friendships? Or your appearance? Or? Or? Or?

      I want to be a doer of the *Word*, not of the *world*!


      DO AND BE BLESSED

      I suppose that in all of history, God's people have never had the
      super abundance of Bible study resources that we have in our
      generation. It seems it surely has never been easier to accumulate
      knowledge from and about the Bible. I think that is wonderful.
      In this we have been tremendously blessed. And in this we have
      been made immeasurably responsible.

      We must guard our hearts lest we allow knowledge to become
      its own end. In the Christian faith, we do not learn just for the
      sake of learning, nor do we study merely for the sake of
      knowing more. No! The driving force and the ultimate goal of
      Christian study and learning is knowing Christ and living His
      life. Listen again to James 1:22 -- "But be ye doers of the word,
      and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Those who
      complacently content themselves with mere knowledge have
      deceived themselves.

      God gives knowledge and enlightenment to His people so that
      we might put to the practice what we hear and learn. Knowledge
      and understanding are not the end. They are the beginning.
      Remember always that "the doer of the work...shall be blessed
      in his deed" (James 1:25). While knowledge imparts its own
      satisfaction and blessing, living that knowledge brings far greater
      blessing: the approval and acceptance of God. "Not every one
      that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
      heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in
      heaven" (Matthew 7:21).


      HAVE YOU LOOKED RECENTLY?

      Mirrors -- how handy they are! A single mirror could show me
      the condition of my face. Two mirrors properly employed
      together could show me the status of the back side of my head
      -- the cranial back forty, if you will. But no matter how handy
      a mirror may be, if I don't look in it, it is utterly useless to me.

      God's Word is a mirror for our soul and spirit. But unlike a
      physical mirror, this divine mirror will do more than show us
      ourselves as we presently are. It will also show us what we
      ought to be and what we could become. Imagine that! If we say
      natural mirrors are handy, how would we describe this kind of
      spiritual mirror?!

      God's Word bears another similarity to the mirror on the wall: If
      I don't look into it, it will do me no good. And yet another
      similarity: If I don't act on what I've seen, it will do me no good.

      My friend, how recently have you looked into that "perfect law
      of liberty" with the intent of continuing faithfully in its precepts,
      striving to be "a doer of the work" (James 1:25)?


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      Mark Roth


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