This is my favorite scripture in the book of James! I love that it’s not about just reading the Word but living it out too. What does it mean though to “look intently”? In the dictionary it says, firmly or steadfastly fixed or directed, as the eyes or mind. We need to direct our eyes and mind to His truth of His living Word.
James 1:22-24 gives a good summary of the point he is trying to make. “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.” Have you ever read a section of scripture and an hour later you can’t even remember what you read? Or have you listened to a sermon and thought as you listened to it, that it’s so good. But a day later you can’t remember one point in the sermon. That is merely listening or reading the word. This has no real value in our lives because it doesn’t stick to us and impact us on the heart level.
How can you and I look or listen intently so that we retain the truths? For me I need to write notes. I do best in remembering something important if I write down how it is impacting me personally. I also do well if I can take time to explain to someone else what I’m learning.
James wants us though to take it a step further than just remembering. He wants us to do what the word of God says. This is actually applying what we are learning to our daily life. It’s saying not only will I not forget it, but I’m going to seek to live it out.
How are you and I doing on living out the word? Are we consistent at it or are we lacking. Are are striving in that area or have we grown lax. I would like to challenge you today in your personal study of the word to take shorter segments of scripture to read and ask God these questions, How can I live this out today? How can I let your word bring true freedom to my life?
This is definitely a godly discipline that will help us on our journey with the Lord. The promise at the end of the scripture is that we will be blessed in what we do. Blessed! How wonderful in that?! Let’s choose today to read or listen to the word and do the beautiful exchange of living it out. I know you can do it! Take time to share what you learned today and what you are being obedient to apply in your own life. Let’s do it!