Just Do It (James 1:22-25)

September 18, 2022

Series: James

Scripture: James 1:22-25

Good morning, everyone. Happy Sunday. All right, so I definitely wanted to be sure to mention this. So all of my football fans, it is week two of the NFL season, so hopefully we can see the Dolphins come up with a win against the Ravens. We’ll see what happens. But I’m so grateful to be here in front of you guys this morning. For everyone tuning in online, thank you guys for watching. For those who don’t know who I am, my name is Keith. I serve as one of the ministers here. I know that we mentioned earlier that Marcus, Eddie and Tyler are all out, but I’m here. You guys have me. All right? So as you guys know, we’ve been going through a series, or even if you don’t know, we’ve been going through a series in the book of James. And honestly, it’s been great. A couple of weeks ago, Marcus did a phenomenal job of preaching the word of God, admonishing us on being people of God who are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. And James being the brother of Jesus, throughout his letter, he’s speaking to followers of Jesus and challenging the way that they live their lives.

And today will be one of those moments in James where he switches gears a bit and he goes back in parts on the subject of not just being hearers of the word, but being doers. And for some of us, this may not be a new teaching, for some it might. But this is meant to challenge us. Amen. This is meant to challenge us, to call us higher, to be people who don’t just hear the word of God, but that we do what it says. So the title for today’s sermon is just do it. Just do it. Think about Nike when we see that. Just do it. And guys, this is going to be phenomenal. So our focus will be in James 1:22 to 25. But I want to start off in James one verse 19.

So in verse 19, it says, my dear brothers and sisters, take note of this. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 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. Then we’re going to go to verse 22 again. This is our focus. 22 to 25. 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 the mirror and after looking at himself, he goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever intently looks into the whoever looks intently excuse me, 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. So before James calls the people of God to not listen to the Word, but just do it, before he does that, he says to get rid of all moral filth and all the evil and to accept the Word that is planted in you.

And for James to mention this, it shows not only the people of God, but also us, that there is more to following Jesus than just hearing the Word, than just receiving the Word. Is more to following Jesus than that. He goes to say, accept the Word to don’t just listen, but do. Live out the Word of God. And I want to mention this too, because James being Jesus’s brothers, Jesus brother, they taught parallel lessons, right? So even in John chapter eight and verse 31 to 32, Jesus says, if you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and you will be set free. So for the Christian, the call to live out the Word of God can be something we nod to, right? We could accept. Yes, I’m a christian. I’m a disciple. I have to live by the Word of God. This is something that I have to do. And throughout the Scriptures, we see men and women of God who are obedient to God and his commands. We may think about Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son. We might think about Moses, him standing up for God people, the people of Israel in the face of the Egyptians and the Pharaoh. And this is just to name a couple. But as people of God, we also have a history of disobeying God and not living out His Word.

We think about the beginning with Adam and with Eve and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said, Guys, you can have everything in the garden, but this one thing, don’t touch it. And what did they do? They did not listen. They probably heard, but they didn’t listen. They didn’t live out what God was calling them to do. And we could also mention the people of Israel who would constantly disobey God. And I want us to park here in Psalm 78 because I think it really explains to us the history of Israel’s relationship with God.

There are definitely highlights in Israel’s relationship with God, for sure. There are also what we’re going to read here in Psalm 78. So in verse eight it says, they would not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. In verse ten, verse ten says, they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. They refused to live by his law. Verse 32, in spite of all this, they kept on sinning. In verse 37, their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. So this call for us as Christians, as disciples, this call to be doers of God’s word, is not new. This goes all the way back to the beginning. And time after time again we’re challenged and called to be faithful to God, to just do it, to live out the commands and the word of God. And James is calling out the character in the hearts of the Christians, of followers of Jesus, and he says to be doers of God’s Word, to become one who does not just listen, but we also live it out.

And it can be easy to read verse 19 where it says to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. We can read that and say, oh yeah, when it comes to God’s Word, I have to just listen. I can’t really respond right now, let me just listen to it. It can be easy to read that and have that perspective. But what we talked about two weeks ago in verse 19 and 21, James is not commending listening without action, but he is condemning action without listening. So what do we see? In verses 22 to 25, James says, do not just be hearers of the Word, but what? Do it. We have to live it out. We have to be people of God that doesn’t just see what God calls us to do, but we should seek to obey, to live out the word of God, to put it in action. And there are so many things in today’s world that we have a lot of voices, there’s a lot of voices that are out there. We have the radio, we have podcasts, and that’s a pretty great podcast that are out there.

We got podcasts, we have social media, and we have friends and family with all of these things, these things aren’t necessarily bad. These things aren’t bad things. When we think about radio and podcasts, there’s so many different thoughts and opinions that we could listen to. There’s so many thoughts and opinions, but not everyone’s standard is the word of God. Not everyone is seeking to live according to the Word of God. When we think about social media and the impact that that has, all we see are highlights. All we’re seeing, all people are displaying, are the great things that are going on in their lives. And it can be easy to compare. When we desire something and we see someone else having that, it’s like, Man, I got to live this way. I have to pursue this. It could be easy to compare. And the desire to live the life we see on social media can be super prevalent with friends and family. And honestly, guys, even with friends and family, we could share a lot of great things with one another, because really, we love each other. And with all of these things, when we allow what is being taught to supersede the commands of God, that’s where things begin to take a turn.

Are we taking heed to the words of God? Or are we allowing the world radio, podcast, friends, family, social media are we allowing all of that and more to influence the way that we live? And we could be so quick to follow the world and what it teaches, but we end up compromising in our relationship with God. Think about this. We’re called to be people who give. We’re called to be people who serve, to consider other needs, but for our own, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. But the world teaches that I’m not going to do this if it doesn’t benefit me. What’s the point of me seeking to serve someone? What am I going to get out of this? We’re called to confess sin. We have wonderful examples, even in the scriptures, of the devotion to fellowship, the desire to be a part of a beautiful community, a beautiful family. But the world teaches us that all you need is you. You don’t need anybody else. The thought of individualism is so prevalent in our world today, but that’s not what God calls us to. Even in the beginning, God said that it was not good for man to be alone.

He meant that in a marriage sense, sure, but also in a community. We need people in our lives. Church, we need to be people with hearts to live out the word of God. Amen. In James, chapter one, verse 22 to 23. He says, anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in the mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. So I want to pose a question, and I honestly think about, hopefully 100% everyone raised their hand. How many of us looked in the mirror this morning before we came? All right, so we all know what mirrors are. We all use mirrors. And with the thought of mirrors, they’re typically used for toiletry or used for different it’s kind of different from the mirrors of old to what mirrors look like now. And I can have a photo. I want to show you guys. So this was an ancient mirror, right? And looking at it, I’m just like, man, I don’t think I would see myself. I don’t think I’m actually going to get a reflection.

But ancient mirrors, they were made of polished bronze or copper, and the reflections were either warped or dim. And with thinking about mirrors in general, when we look into a mirror, we see ourselves, right? I hope that’s what we see. We see ourselves, and we see ourselves for who we really are in that moment. We see what we look like in the moment. So whether you just woke up, whether you’re getting ready to go to bed or you’re getting ready to go out, you see where you’re at in that moment. And what is seen in the mirror is meant to lead to you taking action, right? You’re going to make sure that there aren’t any flaws or any faults with what you see in your reflection. So I think about myself, right? Like, I wake up and I’m just like, man, okay, I’m rubbing my eyes and I think it might be something else while I look in the mirror, get the eye boogers, brush your teeth, got the toothpaste residue on the side of your lip or some food in your teeth. And I actually want to show this image because I thought I looked pretty good.

But this is me in 2014, all right? I was 15 years old, and I was like, man, I think I look great. Let me see what I look like in the mirror. So I had to take a picture, make a little collage so I can show everybody else how I looked on social media. But guys, we use mirrors to see our reflection, to see what we look like, to check for the flaws, to check for maybe the pimple or the buggers in your nose or whatever it is. And when we think about it with the mirrors of old and even with the mirrors we have now, it takes deep and careful consideration of what the reflection shows. We have to really think about, okay, we check all the details when we look at ourselves in the mirror. And I love how James, he uses this analogy with talking about looking at ourselves in the mirror and completely forgetting what we look like in comparison to the Word of God. The mirror for us is the Word. It’s the scriptures, the Bible. And when we examine the scriptures, it exposes us. It shows us who we truly are in the moment.

We see the great Godly qualities that we possess when we look at the scriptures. But we also can see the faults and the flaws in our character and within our hearts. And when it comes to God’s Word, how quick are you to deal with the faults and the flaws? And this isn’t just from an external extent, from what you see on the outside, but even within your heart. Because when we read the Scripture, the scriptures challenges our hearts. And this can range from so many different things. I think about things like pride, right? Desiring to be right, not being open to help, to be served or whatever it may be for us. That can be something that we see in the scriptures. But we don’t change. We aren’t seeking to be humble. Being deceitful, desiring to look one way in front of other people, but we know that a lot of things are going on behind closed doors. How open are we? How honest are we about where we’re at? Or purity. We live in such a world that is so hyper sexualized, where lust is glorified. But the scriptures call us to be pure in heart, to be pure, not just do pure things, but to be pure.

It’s easy to see the faults and the flaws, but not make any changes. But God calls us. James encourages us to not just be hearers of the Word, but to do it. Are we willing to live our lives based upon the scriptures? Are we willing to submit the way that we live, the way that we think? Are we willing to submit that to the teachings of Jesus? To the Bible? I want to read James one verse 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’ll be blessed in what they do. So James, he continues on and says that whoever looks intently into the perfect law. And this is someone who is seeking to not only know the Word, but to actually live it up, even with this term intently. What James is really saying, he paints his image of to intently inspect something. It’s like to stoop down and maybe look at like a tiny creature, right? Some of us are like, I know Jeremy, he’s like six, eight. So we have to really like down to observe, to really examine something.

But just generally speaking, when we read the scriptures, we have to intently read the scriptures. We have to have this inspector’s eye to want to know what is being taught. And I love how James even says it too again. In verse 22 do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says. Now of course, if I were to ask any of us how many of us love being deceived? Nobody. None of us desire to be deceived by someone else. But we can deceive ourselves when all we do is just hear the Word, but don’t live it out. And we have the Word of God to make us free. God’s Word is meant to free us. Again in verse 25. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom. God’s word sets us free. When we intently seek to understand the Word, we will recognize the freedom that it brings. And what James says again, when he said to intently seek it’s, literally, us stooping down, really seeking to understand what God Word truly says. When we do this again, we will come to the knowledge of the truth and how God Word brings us freedom.

And James says that when we choose to live out the Word, we’ll be blessed. We will be blessed in contrast to deceiving ourselves when we don’t listen to the Word. When we live it out, we will be blessed. And living out the Word of God again, it brings freedom and it brings true happiness. That’s what blessed means. It means to be happy, to have joy. When we seek to put God’s Word into practice, we could see that in the end. So I have some living water challenges for us to really pursue living out this week. The first thought is to examine, examine the scriptures, be a student of the Word of God and consider how you can live it out. And with this, with examining the scriptures again, guys, it takes us being real with ourselves. Like where do we really stand when we look in the mirror? That is the word of God. What is it calling me to live out that my heart is kind of pulling me away from? Or what is it that I see in the scriptures that when I come across it, I just jump right past it and don’t want to live it out?

We have to be honest with ourselves. So examine that’s the first living water challenge. The second one is be eager. Be eager to live out God’s word. Because God’s word brings freedom. And honestly, sometimes it’s easy to put off the things of God and feel like we can live it out later versus doing it now. I felt that at times. Whereas, man, I don’t have to do this right now. I could do this down the line. But we have to think about this. Are we quick to forgive now or later? Are we eager to forgive? Are we eager to live out this command? Do we seek to love our neighbor now or later? Are we seeking to be pure now or later? Are we putting off God’s word? Or are we eager to live it out? And these are just some examples of the many things that we could say or examples that we can give. But I really want to encourage us, guys, let’s examine and be eager to live out God’s Word. And the last one, the three es the last one is encourage. We should encourage one another to live out the Word of God.

And again, god’s word, it brings freedom. And we should desire for people to be free as well. We should not desire for people to. Constantly deceive themselves. We should want people to experience the joy and the blessedness that living out God’s Word truly brings.

And I want to end with the words of James, brother Jesus, brother Jesus. And again, with James teachings and Jesus’teachings, they are parallel. So I wanted to read Matthew chapter seven, verse 24 to 27, Matthew 7:24. And in verse 24 it says, therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house, yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears the words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. So before making this statement in Matthew chapter seven, Jesus is preaching one of his most notorious sermons ever, from Matthew chapter five, all the way to Matthew chapter seven, called the Sermon on the Mount.

And this teaching was all about the kingdom of God and the life to live as people of a world unlike heaven. And Jesus desires for the people in this time and honestly us again, to be people, to not just hear His Word, to be people that just don’t put his words into practice and crash when life gets harder, when the storms come. But with Jesus, he desires for us to put his words into practice. And with this analogy used by Jesus, whether we put His Word into practice or we don’t, the similarity between the two is that there is still a storm. There’s still a storm whether we put the words of God into practice or not. So when we choose to not put God’s Word into practice, we see the results. The house falls with a great crash. But when we seek to put God’s Word into practice, we’re firm, we’re not shaken. We lean and trust on God. And it’s so beautiful, because again, this is what Jesus desires for us. He desires for us to stand strong on His Word and just do it. It’s a firm foundation that can’t be shaken.

And even for us, again, I want to ask a question, and this is for us to think about. If you were to put the Word of God in action, how do you think your life would change? If you were to put the Word of God in action, if you were to just live it out, how do you think your life would change? Based upon what we’ve seen in James chapter one, we see when we choose to live our guy’s Word, we choose freedom. We’re choosing freedom. We can be more confident. We can lean on God, rely on God. When we try to do things ourselves, it fails. But when we choose to do things God’s way, we can see the end result. When we stand, we can stand on something that’s firm that does not change. What the world teaches us is always changing. Things are always changing. But the Word of God has been the same today, yesterday and forever. So don’t just listen to the Word, just do it. Amen. So as we prepare our hearts to take communion, I want us to consider Jesus life. Jesus was a man who was sold out for the King.

All throughout the Scriptures, we see Jesus doing amazing things from healing people, from turning water into wine. But I want for us to listen to Jesus words in John chapter six, John 6:38 to 40. For I have come down from heaven not to do My will, but to do the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent me that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life. And I will raise them up at that last day. All Jesus desired to do with the will of God. Jesus was a man sold out for the King, and all he wanted to do was follow God, to obey God. And he completed this task by taking on the cross, by dying for our sin in order for us to live and to have eternal life. So as we take this bread and as we drink the cup, let’s remember the way that Jesus was obedient to God. And let us allow that to motivate us to have the same heart.

Let us allow Christ’s love to compel us to live out the Word of God. Say a quick prayer. God, we thank you for this morning. Thank you for allowing us to be together as a body, as a family of believers. Father. Thank you for your word. God is such a firm excuse me, foundation. And Father, I pray that we don’t deceive ourselves, but that we desire to choose to live out Your Word. God, that we choose the firm foundation which is Your Scriptures. God, I’m grateful that I got to see that when I live out the Word, it brought me freedom. God, and I’m excited to see other people choose this freedom as well. God, continue to soften our hearts. Help us to be humble, to choose Your way over our way, god, to choose Your way over the world’s way. God, help us to just do it. God, to just live it out, to see Your Word as a mirror, as a reflection of our lives, God, and desiring to look more like Jesus. Father, I pray for our communion. I pray for our hearts. Again. God, move us, help us to be inspired and encourage god and also just to remember all that Jesus has done for us in order for us to live the kingdom way. We love you so much, Father. We thank you for who you are. Pray all these things in Jesus name. Amen.

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