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Nathalie
Nathalie is French, currently in the Philippines. She studies ARCing and Didactics at Biblearc.
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In Light of Paris, Do the Word
James 1:22-25
Putting the word of God in practice is not always easy, yet God promises that those who do are blessed. When the circumstances are hardest look to Him and still, do the word.
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#dotheword
Published November 22nd, 2015; Updated November 22nd, 2015
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“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” (James 1:22-24). The message is clear to me. Put the word of God in action, do not be content with just hearing it and end up fooling yourself that you are with God when you are not. However, I must admit that when I first studied this passage, I did not feel the weight of it. In many ways I thought it was an easy text to follow. That must point to the easy circumstances of my life, so I found myself glancing over it and moving on. Then, Friday November 13 happened and terrorists decided to slaughter as many people as they could in Paris, the capital of my country. Currently across the world, I woke up, confused, to several messages asking if I was in Paris and an email from my mum to tell me that though she was in the city she was safe. I spent the next few hours waiting to hear from one of my brothers and several friends I knew were there while catching up on the horrifying news. Thankfully, I am not among those who lost loved one and yet, I was devastated. It made me angry that people could believe murder was good and that there were people actually rejoicing over the success of these terrorist acts. It broke my heart to be reminded again that humans are capable of the most atrocious acts and that considering the spiritual state of France, the chance of the victims being with Christ are slim. It made me scared because there is no way I can prevent it from happening again and that means my family and so many others are at risk. So, in the middle of the chaos and confusion I am not sure what to do. Yet, God is clear, “be doers of the word and not hearers only.” Though I am angry and all I want is revenge and to inflict the same pain that was inflicted, the word of God says, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Though I am afraid that other attacks will happen and that they will steal time my family and others might need to get to know Christ, the word of God says “Let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1a) and “do not be anxious about anything” (Phil 4:6a). And though I am sad and do not understand, the word of God says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Prov 3:5). Being a doer of the word is not easy, especially when my flesh screams out, “I don’t want to!” But the Bible is clear, not putting the word of God in practice leads to self-deception. On the other hand, James 1:25 says “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” So, when the time comes to do the word when the circumstances make it so hard, I bow my head and pray to ask the Almighty for help. I ask Him to give me the grace to love the people I want to hate. Even though my heart might beat frantically in fear I ask Him to give me the peace that comes only from knowing Him. When all I see is evil I ask Him to help me trust and cling to Him. And every time I fail I look again to Christ and thank God for Him and the evil He endured for my sake. Faithful as He is, He gives me the strength to fight my sin and be a doer of the word a little better, promising I will be blessed in obeying.
notes 1447951106922 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” (James 1:22-24). The message is clear to me. Put the word of God in action, do not be content with just hearing it and end up fooling yourself that you are with God when you are not. However, I must admit that when I first studied this passage, I did not feel the weight of it. In many ways I thought it was an easy text to follow. That must point to the easy circumstances of my life, so I found myself glancing over it and moving on. Then, Friday November 13 happened and terrorists decided to slaughter as many people as they could in Paris, the capital of my country. Currently across the world, I woke up, confused, to several messages asking if I was in Paris and an email from my mum to tell me that though she was in the city she was safe. I spent the next few hours waiting to hear from one of my brothers and several friends I knew were there while catching up on the horrifying news. Thankfully, I am not among those who lost loved one and yet, I was devastated. It made me angry that people could believe murder was good and that there were people actually rejoicing over the success of these terrorist acts. It broke my heart to be reminded again that humans are capable of the most atrocious acts and that considering the spiritual state of France, the chance of the victims being with Christ are slim. It made me scared because there is no way I can prevent it from happening again and that means my family and so many others are at risk. So, in the middle of the chaos and confusion I am not sure what to do. Yet, God is clear, “be doers of the word and not hearers only.” Though I am angry and all I want is revenge and to inflict the same pain that was inflicted, the word of God says, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Though I am afraid that other attacks will happen and that they will steal time my family and others might need to get to know Christ, the word of God says “Let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1a) and “do not be anxious about anything” (Phil 4:6a). And though I am sad and do not understand, the word of God says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Prov 3:5). Being a doer of the word is not easy, especially when my flesh screams out, “I don’t want to!” But the Bible is clear, not putting the word of God in practice leads to self-deception. On the other hand, James 1:25 says “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” So, when the time comes to do the word when the circumstances make it so hard, I bow my head and pray to ask the Almighty for help. I ask Him to give me the grace to love the people I want to hate. Even though my heart might beat frantically in fear I ask Him to give me the peace that comes only from knowing Him. When all I see is evil I ask Him to help me trust and cling to Him. And every time I fail I look again to Christ and thank God for Him and the evil He endured for my sake. Faithful as He is, He gives me the strength to fight my sin and be a doer of the word a little better, promising I will be blessed in obeying.
Arc
NT
James 1:22-25
esv
mine
But be n doers of the word,
However (based on v.21), act on the Word of God
and not hearers only,
not just hearing it,
deceiving yourselves.
which leads you to falsely believe ( cf Matt 7:21) you are safe.
actionresult
negativepositive
For if anyone is a hearer of the word
That is, if someone hears the Word of God (even regularly)
and not a doer,
but does not put it into practice
he is like a man
then he is like a person
who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
that is like a person who looks at himself carefully in a mirror
ideaexplanation
conditional
For he looks at himself
That is this person who looks at himself carefully in a mirrors, looks at his reflection
and goes away
and walks away
and at once forgets what he was like.
and instantly forgets what he looked like in the mirror.
progression
But the one who looks into the perfect law, o the law of liberty,
On the other hand , the person who looks into God's law, (the gospel of Christ and what He asks of us) which sets us free from slavery to sin and from the eternal death that sin leads to
and perseveres,
and follows through on it, acts on it, lives his life according to it
series
being no hearer who forgets
that is not just someone who hears God's word and then lives his life as if he'd never heard it
but a doer who acts,
but someone who acts on the word of God
p he will be blessed in his doing.
will result in him being favoured by God.
alternative
ground
Put the Word of God in action, do not be content with just hearing it - the one who acts it out is happy and favoured by God.
discourse
1446326761301 Arc 1447855041 1447950611 NT 59 1 22 1 25 James 1:22-25 esv mine But be n doers of the word, However (based on v.21), act on the Word of God i1 and not hearers only, not just hearing it, i5 deceiving yourselves. which leads you to falsely believe ( cf Matt 7:21) you are safe. i31 i32 actionresult 2 i19 negativepositive 1 1 For if anyone is a hearer of the word That is, if someone hears the Word of God (even regularly) i2 and not a doer, but does not put it into practice i8 i16 negativepositive 1 1 he is like a man then he is like a person i7 who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. that is like a person who looks at himself carefully in a mirror i9 i17 ideaexplanation 1 i18 conditional 2 For he looks at himself That is this person who looks at himself carefully in a mirrors, looks at his reflection i3 and goes away and walks away i10 and at once forgets what he was like. and instantly forgets what he looked like in the mirror. i11 i20 progression i21 ideaexplanation 1 But the one who looks into the perfect law, o the law of liberty, On the other hand , the person who looks into God's law, (the gospel of Christ and what He asks of us) which sets us free from slavery to sin and from the eternal death that sin leads to i4 and perseveres, and follows through on it, acts on it, lives his life according to it i12 i22 series being no hearer who forgets that is not just someone who hears God's word and then lives his life as if he'd never heard it i13 but a doer who acts, but someone who acts on the word of God i14 i23 negativepositive 2 i25 ideaexplanation 1 p he will be blessed in his doing. will result in him being favoured by God. i15 i26 actionresult 2 i27 alternative i28 ground 1 Put the Word of God in action, do not be content with just hearing it - the one who acts it out is happy and favoured by God. 1 1 1 1 100 100 90 esv 1 mine 1 a 2 discourse 11447855041228
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