“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”– James 1:22-25
It’s Christmas! Ok, we are 9 days away, but according to stores, Christmas started two months ago.
Anyway, Christmas songs started about a month ago and one of the songs that plays is “Do you hear what I hear?” (sidenote: I can’t listen to that song and not think of the movie Gremlins). Although the lyrics are weird, the song is a staple during the Christmas season.
The question still begs to be asked though, “Do you hear what I hear?”
When it comes to the message of Jesus coming to this earth and the ministry He lived out while walking with His creation, we need to be sure we listen carefully to what He shared.
The message of hope, peace, redemption, love, grace, mercy, and new life is something to be celebrated! The message that calls us to serve the least and love the lost should be ringing louder than ever in our actions and our words. The truth of reconnection with our Creator for a greater purpose should be told and lived out for all to see and hear.
We can listen to the word of God on Sunday and/or Wednesday. We can stand up and praise Him through song. We can lift up our hands in joy. We can say “amen” from our pews. We can pray out loud with our fellow believers. We can walk with a smile on our face in the building we worship in.
However, what happens to the message beyond those two days?
I think we settle for the “easier said than done” concept when it comes to the Word of God. I think we listen to what Jesus said and love what we hear, but feel inadequate, so we choose to say “Thank you Jesus for being so good! I wish I could be like you!” and walk out the door not giving it another thought.
We forget the message we said “Amen” to just minutes before. We walk into a restaurant expecting to be served and treat our servers horribly. We go home and yell at everyone because they’re not doing what we want. We speed passed people on the road and get mad at them because they’re not speeding like we are. Yet, we just said “amen” to a message of loving our neighbor.’
We walk into our workplace with grudges on our hearts and harsh words on our lips. We judge people for not being “like” us. We shun the person in need because “they need to help themselves”. Yet, we just said finished singing and raising our hands to a song about “Amazing Grace”.’
We forget who we are supposed to be beyond Sunday. We come in doing what we are supposed to on church day, but beyond that the message is lost.
We need to truly hear the message. We need to truly hear the hope spoken to us through the Spirit. We need to embrace the fact that we will not be Jesus, but we need to strive to be like Him.
Focus on His Word. Write down notes from the sermon on Sunday and/or Wednesday and reflect on them daily. Remind yourself of the fact that you are nothing without Jesus, so we need to walk in the joy of His good news. Put His words into action. Intentionally love your neighbor who lets the dog poop in your yard by sending them a card with a pet supply gift card. Intentionally say “good morning” to the co-worker who is stabbing you in the back. Sincerely pray for your enemy.
These little things might change them, but most importantly will change you to truly being a doer of God’s Word, not just a listener.
May we truly listen to the Word of God so we will be hearing the same thing and doing what we are supposed to do for His glory.
Peace and Blessings friends.
QUESTION: What are some things you can do this Christmas season to share the love of Jesus with someone you might not get along with?