~James 1:25-26 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
Nuggets of Truth
Continuing on the same thought from yesterday’s devotional, we see that James exhorted the Christians to continue in the Word. It seems to me that there were “religious” people in the midst of the Christians and James was pointing out the differences. What were these differences between the “religious” and the born-again believer? James states that the believer will:
- Look to the Word of God which gives salvation and frees us from the bonds of sin – the perfect law can only be made perfect by Jesus Christ and His work on the cross!
- Continue in the faith
- Not be one who will forget what he hears the preacher say but will take it with him
- Apply what he has learned and will use it – he will “do the work” … not work to get saved but work after salvation for the cause of Christ. Christ, Himself, said: ~John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
- Be blessed in his work – When a believer has joy and peace, everything he does for the cause of Christ is blessed by God.
- Hold his tongue – will not be a backbiter, talebearer, one who speaks evil of others. The fruit of the Spirit cannot produce this type of heart. The heart that is submitted to the Spirit’s guidance will be the total opposite.
Refining the Gold
Continuing in the faith is not easy. No one said it would be. Christ warned us that the world would hate what the Christian has to say.
~Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Don’t be discouraged – continue in the faith – do the work that the Lord would have you to do with the gifts that His Spirit has given to you. The Holy Spirit has given to you specific gifts that, when used with the right motives (to glorify Jesus Christ), will produce much for the Kingdom! The “religious” only serve in vain according to today’s verses. They are doing all the things they have been taught to do but their heart is not in their religion.
~Matthew 15:8-9 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
It would be awful to “think” you’re doing all the right things in your religion only to find out at the time of judgment that your beliefs have been in vain! The Christian does not need to worry himself because his faith has been based on the work of Jesus Christ and that work is perfect and eternal. However, the Christian should busy himself with working for the Kingdom by telling others how to be born again – encouraging those in need of a kind word – giving to and helping those in need – exhorting the brethren to live righteously. Our work is far from over and won’t be until the Master calls us home! What a day that will be!!!