Doers of the Word

MEMORY SELECTION: “Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” —James 1:22

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: James 2:1-7, 14-20

DILIGENCE is required in character building, as well as in the study of the truth. If we are striving to know and do the will of God, we will want to overcome the spirit of the world. We will want to bear in mind, as the Apostle Paul warns us, that “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (II Cor. 4:4) The god of this world is, of course, Satan, the great deceiver of mankind.

As we come closer to that glorious millennial kingdom, Satan realizes that his time is getting short; and he will, as the Scriptures assure us, deceive the “very elect” if this were possible. And we know it is possible, because the psalmist tells us (Ps. 91:7) that “a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” Many have become intoxicated with the spirit of this evil world, which is still under the influence of Satan the Devil.

Many well-intentioned persons are losing faith in God and his Word during the present time. And, it is sad to say, some who once walked with the children of light have been deceived by the great opposer to light. In this connection the Apostle Peter admonishes us to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist stedfast in the faith.” (I Pet. 5:8,9) It will, therefore, be necessary for the Lord’s people to draw close to the Great Shepherd for strength and sustenance, that they may overcome the various deceptions of “our adversary the Devil.”

The child of God will be aware of the possibility of deception and will hence strive to know the will of the Heavenly Father in every affair of life. He will appreciate that to dwell in the secret place of the Most High and to abide under the shadow of the Almighty God is the greatest of blessings. And he will say, as the psalmist did, (Ps. 91:2) “He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” He will realize the providential overruling in his life and know that all things are working out for his highest spiritual welfare. He will feel the protecting grace of God as expressed by the psalmist, who assures us (91:4) that “he shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and. buckler.”

There is a lesson in this psalm for the Lord’s people, in that it offers a sense of security and confidence that is unknown to the world. As worldly institutions fall apart there is less confidence in man’s ability to reckon with the situation, and men’s hearts are failing them for fear. Yet the child of God has confidence that all will be made right in due time, and that he will receive a continuance of divine favor—if he be a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only. This is brought to our attention in verses 9-11, where it is written, “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Indeed, what confidence we should have!

James says in his epistle that “if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” (1:23,24) One who merely hears a word of truth without acting upon it is not guided by the Word of God. Such a person is unstable in his ways and is unlikely to be found among the overcomers.

Perseverance is necessary in working out our salvation, and it will require continuance in that direction to make satisfactory progress. As James says, “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.” (vs. 25) Let us, then, be “doers of the Word,” and not hearers only!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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