Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord I Want To Be A Christian"1 (Lyrics)
While working in a large technical library, I so often felt great satisfaction when admiring full library shelves after checking in books and filling the shelves with the returned books. The appearance was so satisfying! Looking so neat and well organized by the Dewey Decimal System, these books seemed to speak to me of all the possibilities of additional information and wisdom. It is the same feeling that I had the very first time when I walked into a large university library and was so amazed to see many floors with many rooms of books. I was filled with awe as I perused the titles on book spines in these large libraries and admired the vast collections. Then, I sadly realized that these books would have no value while they remained on the shelf. The books actually needed to be used by readers to fulfill their purpose. There is no way anyone could begin to absorb any of the wisdom or put the information to use unless they committed to actually take a book, read it intently, and most importantly, apply the facts and information learned from it. Otherwise, all the knowledge contained in them would be unused and thus useless. The books seemed to cry out, "There is much work to do!"
The apostle James reminds us of a similar spiritual principle.
James 1:22-25 – 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 a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does. (NIV)
James reminds us further that our faith must have deeds. Head knowledge is not the same as faith. The accumulation of biblical knowledge is not faith.
James 2:17 – In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to take seriously our reading of Your holy Word. Help us to look intently and appreciate the wisdom, instruction, comfort, and direction available to us through it, by Your Holy Spirit teaching us. Show us where and how to apply this wisdom in our inner thoughts and outward deeds. Please use it to change us to bring You glory. Amen.