James & the Path to all Joy and Flourishing when we Hear and Do

James 1:19-27

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 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.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

What isn’t covered?  Choices about self-control, behaviour, influence and action.  Meditation and study, practice what we preach.  James is laying the foundation brick by brick.

Therefor, 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.

Like when I hear good teaching and think “So-and-so needs to hear this.”  My heart is not humble but I am tangled up with sin and evil and missing that conviction is for me, in  my heart.

Matthew 7:3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

The word is planted in ME and so I must overflow with listening, decrement, self control and long-suffering.  Dedicated to understanding so I can control my tongue and fulfill my calling.  This is how we can withstand the temptations of the world.

This is when we hear and we do, and the gospel is fulfilled, when we walk our talk.  We flourish when we find ourselves prepared for obedience to the love of Christ growing in our hearts.  Joy overflows as we consider others worth serving with the word of God.

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