“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says.” (James 1:22 NLT)
It will be nearly impossible for you to believe this, but my beautiful, wonderful, dearly beloved wife believes I have “selective” hearing. She thinks I pick and choose what things to listen to when she speaks. What’s going to be even more difficult for you to conceive is that you and I do the same thing with God’s Word, the Bible, and it’s having devastating consequences.
A new study from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, directed by George Barna, revealed that less than 50% of pastors in America have a Biblical worldview. An article on wnd.com about this study said: “A new poll has revealed that most Christian pastors believe what they want to believe, a ‘blending of ideas and applications from a variety of holistic worldviews into a unique but inconsistent combination that represents their personal preferences.’”
The Apostle James was one of Jesus’ literal, biological brothers by the same mother, but he didn’t put His faith in Jesus until after the resurrection. James was a “doer.” He believed if you professed to be something, you should live in a way that confirms that. I agree.
The reality is, the only way to become a “doer” of God’s Word is to read, study, and know what God’s Word says. The terrifying piece of the above referenced study that frightens me most is the statistics of Senior pastors mentioned has a trickledown effect. Only 12% of Youth and children’s pastors have a Biblical Worldview. Yet, they are commissioned to teach the next generation what the Bible says.
How can the next generation learn how to become a “doer” of the Word when their teachers and leaders don’t know what the Bible says? If you’ve read many of my posts, you’ll know that the Bible is central to what I share.
A Biblical worldview essentially means that everything we see, learn, and live is filtered through the lens of what the Bible teaches. Whether it’s marriage, the sanctity of human life, politics, health, as well as our theology and rules of faith, all must be rooted in what the Bible teaches. Tragically, what most professing believers today depend on is what their pastor says on any given Sunday, more than half of whom aren’t teaching the Bible.
James said in 1:25: “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says then God will bless you for doing it.” “Carefully” in this verse literally means “to stoop to a thing in order to look at it; to look into something with the body bent.” It’s a metaphor that means “to look at something with great care, to inspect curiously; it speaks of one who would become acquainted with something.” (Strong’s)
And the irony is, it’s not even how much time or effort you put into learning what the Bible says, as much as it is allowing the Holy Spirit to apply what you learn to the way you live. If studying the Bible doesn’t lead to positive life change that enables people to see Jesus in and through your life more clearly, what’s the point?
Being a “doer” of the Word has very practical implications. Foundationally, what you believe about God will be reflected in how you treat the people in your spheres of influence. How you care for yourself and others; how you respect what God is doing, not only in your life, but in the lives of fellow believers; how you treat your spouse, children, and extended family; and how you order your life as a child of God.
To profess faith in Jesus, but not regularly read and study the Bible is like a toddler drinking nothing but milk. Their growth will be stunted, and their physical capabilities will be reduced. A child needs nourishment that only solid food can provide, and a child of God must have the nourishment of God’s Word to grow to maturity.
We must become not only “listeners” or “readers,” but “doers” of the Word.
Blessings, Ed 😊