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"Put it into practice"

June 16, 2023

Daily Scripture

James 1:22-25

22 You must be doers of the word and not only hearers who mislead themselves. 23 Those who hear but don’t do the word are like those who look at their faces in a mirror. 24 They look at themselves, walk away, and immediately forget what they were like. 25 But there are those who study the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continue to do it. They don’t listen and then forget, but they put it into practice in their lives. They will be blessed in whatever they do.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Growing in faith involves study, but it is not simply an intellectual exercise. James the apostle said God seeks “doers of the word,” not just “hearers.” That idea shaped the life of John Wesley, Methodism’s founder. Based on what they studied in Scripture, he and his friends got actively involved in helping prisoners and widows in Oxford. Holding together personal and social holiness has remained important to Wesley’s spiritual descendants ever since.

  • Have you ever known a person who “talked a good game” about religious devotion, but whose actions and attitudes did not match their words? If so, how did that person affect the other people over whom they had influence? When have you discovered a mismatch between your words about faith and your actions? In what ways has your allegiance to Christ altered your activities, priorities, and lifestyle?
  • James used a phrase that may sound odd to you at first, writing of “the perfect law, the law of freedom.” When have you found in your own life that ignoring God’s principles so you can do whatever you feel like produces, not freedom, but a hurtful kind of slavery? In what ways have you found that living out God’s calling increases your freedom rather than limiting or frustrating it?

Lord Jesus, I want the true freedom you offer me. Help me use my freedom to serve and bless others, as you did. Amen.

GPS Insights

Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is the Entry Points Program Director at Resurrection, a self-proclaimed foodie, a bookworm, and is always planning her next trip. She has the sweetest (and sassiest) daughter, Carolina Rae, a rockstar husband, Austin, and a cutie pup named Thunder. She loves connecting with others so let her know the best place you've ever eaten, best book you've ever read, or best place you've ever been!

My daughter is such an interesting creature. There are days where she has the memory of an elephant and can remind me of something I said thirty-seven days ago about how we could make chocolate chip, M&M, and rainbow sprinkle cookies on a Tuesday, or she can remember the stuffy that she had played with exactly once three years ago that I just happened to donate. And then there are the days where I ask her if she remembered something from the day and her response is, “Mom, you cannot expect me to remember what happened this morning. That was so long ago.” (Insert the hugest eye roll I can possibly do here). Asking her to actually do something that would take effort? I can’t even talk about the number of times I’ve heard “Sorry, Mom, can’t hear you!” without losing it a little bit.

And yet… isn’t this us, too? I can remember what someone said to me when I was ten and the new kid at a school in Atlanta but ask me to remember what my husband said to me this morning and we’re at a 50/50 chance. Some of it is just the utter chaos of life; each and every one of us is carrying a lot and our lists of to-dos are never-ending. The amount of input we receive and process on any given day is actually ridiculous. In fact, according to a report by the University of California–San Diego, the average American consumes about 34 gigabytes of data & information every day. That is estimated to be the equivalent of 100,000 words heard or read every day. A lot of that input also requires action on our part (hence those suuuuper long to-do lists). We ask a lot of our little human brains.

In this world of high input, achieving and doing, a lot of us would likely describe ourselves as “doers.” But what are we doers of? As followers of Jesus, we are called to be doers of the Word. We are called to take in God’s word, imprint it on our hearts, and then act on it. I love verse 23 in today’s passage: “They look at themselves, walk away, and immediately forget what they were like.” I may read Scripture each morning, but so often, I walk away from that time and immediately forget it as I get pulled into life. When I do this, I lose sight of who I am and who I am called to be.

My prayer for you today is that you might take this time to read and re-read God’s word, breathe it in. Allow it to rest in your mind and mold itself into your heart. And then, take it with you throughout your day today and act upon it. This is the most important to-do we have, and it is so worth the investment.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.