Morning Musing: James 1:22

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Do you read the Bible?  You obviously do at least a little bit since you’re reading this.  Reading the Bible is pretty enormously important, but not by itself, as James makes clear here and throughout his letter.  If we do not also “do” the Bible, it has profited us exactly nothing.

Now, hear me well again: Reading the Bible is important.  It is worth reading every single day.  It should be studied and skimmed.  It should be memorized and meditated on.  But, if we don’t ultimately do something about what we have read, all our efforts will benefit us nothing.  Without an intention to actively put into practice what we have read, it is little more than words on paper…or pixels on a screen as the case may be.

The Bible is God’s Word.  It is His self-revelation so that we can know Him and receive the gift of eternal life through His Son.  It is our guide into the kind of life that leaves us really living, not merely playing at it.  But, if we won’t put into practice what we see and pursue the implications of what we have heard, our net gain will be nil.

Therefore, make it your goal to not just read the Bible each day, but to find a way to put it into practice.  Every time you open the book or your app, make a conscious decision to apply at least one thing you read in some kind of a way.  By this, you will allow the Spirit access to your heart and mind such that He can do the real work of transforming you into a vessel of God’s glory.  Don’t be just a hearer.  Be a doer.

3 thoughts on “Morning Musing: James 1:22

  1. Ronald E. Keener

    Just a week or two ago I made another attempt to get through the bible–this time with a ministry of reading the bible within 60 days. The approach following their schedule is to read some portions fast, and others slow. Well, I did not get past the first day. The reading assignments each day were just too long; I didn’t want to spend an hour or more. No wonder they were trying to guide us through in 60 days. I’m just such a busy guy for the Lord that I can’t spend time in his Word. (Just a little joke.) I know it is important, and I know the way to do it is to read first thing in the morning, for me. And just take the pace that works for me. Is there any other way to win at this?

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    • pastorjwaits

      While there is perhaps some merit to be found in reading through the Bible multiple times in a year, that’s not an approach I would advise most to take. I have for the last three years read through the whole thing over the course of a year. That tended to be a good pace for me, but at times, in trying to keep on track I didn’t allow myself time to reflect very deeply on what I was reading. This year I have changed things up by reading smaller increments with more attention. Ultimately, I don’t think there is a “best” approach. As you say, find the pace that works for you, but do so with an eye toward intentionally changing things up a bit from time to time so you don’t get in a rut. Read for breadth and depth. Read long stretches quickly and small stretches methodically. Mostly, though, read it and put it into practice like James says here.

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