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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

James 1:22

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"Do What It Says!"

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says"
(James 1:22).

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

I recently gave counsel to a young man seeking to overcome an addiction. He shared with me some steps he had learned in a program and confidently informed me, "If anyone follows these steps he will not fall back into addictive behavior." He knew the right course to take but by his own admission had stopped doing it. He's again trying to get back on track as others encourage and pray for him. I am pleased that he appears to be doing well. Today's lesson is vital in regard to any form of overcoming we have in life.

Our short Scripture passage was the memory verse in Brooksyne's Sunday School class this last Lord's Day. She's a stickler with memory verses and we have proof of that as we occasionally hear from former students now in their 30's and even 40's, still recalling some of those verses. One of her most common techniques is putting the Scripture to music (including reference) as well as other creative means. Good Sunday School teachers have a pocket full of methods in this regard.

Today's verse is, as we would expect from God's Word, good counsel for all ages. It's a truth we need to apply throughout life and always be on guard against any lapses. For preachers it's a ready made three point sermon:

1) "Do not merely listen to the word." When Brooksyne taught this on Sunday she explained to her young students what the word "merely" meant. That's a big word for a third grader along with 'deceive'. We are certainly to listen and pay attention as we hear and read the Word. But we must not stop there. There is a danger in churches where the Bible is faithfully preached, for many walk away with the mistaken concept that simply listening to a Bible-based message is sufficient and will result in their spiritual growth and living right. Never think you are "safe" and spiritually maturing simply because you are hearing the Word!

2) "And so deceive yourselves." It seems many are deceived in this manner based on the number of self-described Christians in America who hold to and regularly practice unbiblical views. Old-time evangelist Vance Havner writes, "Away with the notion that it does not matter much how we hear! The man who hears and refuses to obey walks out of church having betrayed himself into deception. One cannot hear the truth and remain the same!"

3) "Do what it says." The old hymn calls us to "trust and obey". Jesus taught, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). We need to keep before us this question, "Am I doing the will of my Father who is in heaven?" Pastor Steve Cole comments, "Obedience should always be the bottom line of Bible study or biblical preaching. Correct application must always be built on correct interpretation."

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow'r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Remember, do what it says!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, we don't want to merely listen to Your Word and so deceive ourselves thinking that we have fulfilled the law of Christ. Instead we want to listen and apply Your truths, thereby obeying Your commands and honoring You in all we think, say and do. Take Your truth, plant it deep in us; shape and fashion us in Your likeness so that the light of Christ will be seen in us through our acts of love, our deeds of faith, and our words of truth. Fulfill in us Your purposes for Your own glory and honor we pray. Amen.

*Adaptation of "Speak, O Lord" in second half of prayer

Ron Hoover 10/8/14
Today following our chaplain visitation we stopped by a store and ran into Ron Hoover. We didn't literally run into him and it's a good thing with his shoulder surgery last week. Ron is the local chair for the Convene group and has a mentoring role with many local businessmen. Brooksyne is expressing her "sympathy" for the temporary loss of his right hand since he is right-handed.

Happy face tree stump
Here's an idea if you have an unsightly tree stump in your yard!

Amish mules
These team horses are relaxing in the barn after a hard day of field work.

Pantry shelves at the Dourte house
A well-stocked pantry is colorful evidence of an abundant harvest!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Speak, O Lord"  Video  Keith & Kristyn Getty

"Trust And Obey"
  Video  Chelsea Moon w/ the Franz Brothers

"The Obedience Song"  Video  Here's a good song for kids we came across.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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