Last Saturday, I performed my first wedding service. It was my little sister’s wedding. She really wanted me to perform it, so I agreed to it. It actually ended up to be a lot of fun to perform. Something that I found interesting was at the rehearsal on Friday night. We went through most all of the service. The vows were said, rings were exchanged, and I pronounced them man and wife. But when they left, they were still not married even though all of the right words were said.
Sometimes as church attendees, one could go through the motions, say the right things, but nothing changes relationally with God. Years ago I headed up an evangelism group that went around door to door inviting people to our church. My first thoughts were that saved people went to church and the unsaved sat at home on Sunday morning. It took one outing to see that nearly everyone went to church, but most of them had no assurance that they would go to heaven. Looking back, my favorite story to tell is the second house that we went to. It was an old lady who answered her door with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face. I invited her to our church and she said that she has attended so and so Baptist church for sixty three years. So I said, “Great! So do you have 100% assurance that when you die you will go to heaven.” She scowled and said, “Don’t know, don’t care.” This lady was unwilling to talk or to take a tract, so we left. Sadly, this poor pitiful lady had spent her entire life in a church, but nothing changed. She did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Christians could be guilty of going through the motions. James talks about how we should be a hearer of the word and also a doer of it. It seems that most every “Christian” likes to be a hearer of the word. It seems that they pick and choose what they want to hear. They like to hear about the riches of Christ, that they are blessed, and that they can ask for anything they want.
What about being a doer of the word: pray without ceasing, give cheerfully, preach the word, be holy, rejoice always, give thanks, don’t quench the Spirit, abstain from sexual immorality, be imitators of the Lord, make the most of every opportunity, forgive each other, be anxious for nothing, press on toward the goal, do all things without grumbling and disputing, put on the full armor of God, examine yourselves, stand firm in the faith, flee from idolatry, let love be without hypocrisy, do not be conformed to this world but be transformed, be filled with the Spirit, encourage and build up one another, go into all of the world, and to consider it pure joy when you have trials of every kind.
James 1:22-25 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.