When I was a child, there was a verse that I learned in Sunday School that has stuck with me. There have been times that I heeded what it said, and unfortunately many times that I fell into the trap of what it warns me against. In James 1:22, it says “Be be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
There is more to being a disciple of Jesus than hearing the word taught (think parable of the soils here). There is more than simply nodding your head in agreement. There is more than getting excited, having good intentions, and talking a good game, it is following through in obedience to what Jesus has demanded of us. Unfortunately I think there are a lot of hearers in the church, but far too few doers. And if you think that hearing is enough than the Bible says we have deceived ourselves. If we think that talking about doing is enough, than we have deceived ourselves. One of my great fears is that we have deceived ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is enough.
It would be in our best interest to quit simply quoting John Piper, Francis Chan (I am thankful for these men as well as others who teach and challenge the church), fill in the blank with whoever we would quote and start doing what Jesus has commanded. The church does not need more books on service, missions, or whatever the new fad is in churches today (I personally enjoy and am encouraged and challenged by these books), we need more men and women who are devoted to living out the gospel and taking the words that God has called us to seriously. This means to all nations, all people, all socio-economic groups.
It is time that we grow up to maturity in Christ, quit waiting for someone else to tell us what to do, and start living as disciples of Jesus, DOING what he has said. Let me leave you with this, “But be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving your own self.”
For His glory and your joy,