The word of God tells us in James 1:22: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” NIV
Many Church attendees live as though Christianity is not serious. One of the biggest things that hinders the growth of Christianity is not that people don’t believe God is real or that people are not going to Church and hearing the word of God preached. The problem is many Church goers are not doing what the Word of God says.
Although the readers to whom James wrote are different from the modern church today, his message is just as relevant now as it was when he wrote it. The Scripture is the inspired word of God and His word will never fail. Matthew 24:35 tell us, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” If the message was good for the Church of that day, it’s also good for the Church today because Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday. (Hebrews 13:8)
To attend worship and hear God’s word just to say that we have attended Church, or to study God’s Word just to fill our head with knowledge, without applying the Word to our lives, makes it meaningless. It’s like looking in a mirror and seeing that we need to wash our face but refusing to do so and going out in public with a dirty face. Why even look in the mirror?
God’s Word is like a mirror. It shows us what we need to do in order to meet the standards by which God wants us to live, but if we hear the Word and don’t do anything to fix what the word shows us is wrong, it’s not doing us any good. The author of Psalm 119:105 says God’s Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. If we’re obedient, God’s Word will show us where to walk and guide us in the way we should walk without stumbling.
Those who only hear God’s Word but choose not to obey are those who don’t consider God’s Word a priority.
Religion and Christianity are two different practices. Religious people may attend church, Bible study, pay tithes, serve in the church, etc., however, if we’re religious and have no committed relationship with God, which requires a change in our lifestyle, such as refraining from those things the Scripture speak against, then we’re deceiving ourselves into thinking we’re Christians.
Christians view God and His Word as top priority and strive to obey. The Hearer AND the Doer applies the Word of God to his/her life so that it changes his/her conduct in the sight of God.
When God’s Word takes root in our hearts it makes a difference in our whole life. It changes the way we think, talk; it even turns our focus from ourselves to others. Philippians 2:3 tell us to consider other above ourselves. Now that takes a lot of relationship with God for us to do that, and that takes us loving God’s Word so much until we love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. It makes us want to please Him in all things, even to the point of denying ourselves in order to help someone else.
We live in a selfish society, however we as Christians are to keep ourselves unstained before the world, meaning our lifestyle: the way we live and carry ourselves, is different from what the world sees as the norm. We’re a peculiar people. (1Peter 2:9) We’re to show the world that there’s a better way to live, and that it happens by obeying God’s Word.
Some of the reasons obeying God’s Word is THE better way to live is because:
It helps us live a life of joy and integrity. When we have integrity we are reliable, truthful, etc. People can trust us.
It helps me to stay away from sin. When we strive to obey God’s Word and it’s rooted in our heart, when we do wrong the Holy Spirit will bring God’s Word to our mind and we’ll become convicted and repent quickly.
It frees me from guilt and shame. Guilt and shame is attached to sin, therefore if we’re doers of God’s Word, as well as hearers, we’ll ask for forgiveness when we fall short, then we’ll not live in guilt and shame. (Psalm 119:4-6)
"Why is obeying God’s Word so important?” Well, if we think our children should obey us, shouldn’t we obey God, our Father, whom we say we love? Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." (John 14:15) “Let’s not just hear, let’s do also.”