21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 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 1:21-25 NIV
The book of James is full of practical instructions for our lives. In it, Jesus’ half-brother encourages his audience to endure testing and trials and to put their faith into practice. The reference to “the word planted in you” evokes the image from Jeremiah 31:33 where God promises to put His instruction (usually translated “law) into His people, writing it on their hearts. James echoes that idea here, but teases out the major implication: our lives should be changed by it.
Lord God Almighty,
Time and again You have proven faithful, in big ways and in small ways. You promised to implant Your teaching inside of Your people long ago. Today, I am living in the reality of that promise. Thank You for that faithfulness and for the gift of Your word. Help me to look intently into the mirror that Your word gives. Help me to not simply walk away and forget what I see, whether it is because I don’t like what I see in myself, because the call seems to difficult, or because of the trials and temptations I face. Transform my heart, filling me with a desire for You and Your ways. Enable me to walk in obedience, continuing in it, reflecting Your perfect love and perfect way to the world around me.
In Jesus’ holy name I ask these things. Amen.
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© 2019, 2020 Jennifer Brown Jones