and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
James 1:22, NIV
True or false?
- You can have in your possession the finest map in the world and still go nowhere.
- You can own the purest soap on earth and still live and die dirty.
- You can know the Bible from cover to cover and still not experience the blessings of knowing God.
True. True. And true. What is it that makes the critical difference in each case? Application! Maps prove their worth as they are followed. The value of soap is in its use. And, the Bible is meant not merely to be listened to, but to be applied! As a matter of fact, James says essentially that it is possible for a Christian to listen and be in total deception, blind in the light! James is not disparaging Bible study, tape ministries, teaching or daily devotionals and the like. He is only saying that if you never move from information into application you will never experience the transformation that dynamic faith in Christ brings. Instead, you will find yourself stuck in a whirlpool of religious self-deceit.
What is the key that unlocks the door to authentic spiritual transformation? James says it is application. The difference is experienced in the doing.
Think for a moment about your life this week. Where are you taking in God’s truth? What sermons, Bible studies or classes, and personal reading of God’s Word is a regular part of your life? Is it daily? Weekly? Monthly?
QUESTION: How can you apply what you have learned? Can you find three ways you have consciously sought to do what you are learning and let the Word become flesh through your life?