I once heard a Pastor share the following analogy as he taught on James 1:22. It’s a well-known passage of Scripture on the necessity of being a “doer of the word,” instead of merely being a “hearer of the word.” Here’s what the Pastor shared:
Imagine that before leaving your house for work, you gather your kids together and tell them exactly what chores need to be completed by the time you get home at 5:00 PM. As you arrive home you gather up your kids to see how the day’s chores went. One child says “what you shared this morning made a real impact on me.” Another child says “I agreed with what you said this morning.” Another child went even further by saying “I memorized what you said this morning.” Then the Dad says “ok great. So each of you did what I said correct?” After an awkward silence one of the kids pipes up and says “nope, we didn’t realize we were actually supposed to do anything.”
As a father you would go through the roof if your kids responded in the same way. Yet how often do we as men run to our record of “being impacted by, agreeing with, and even memorizing” Scripture but failing to do what God clearly says?
For example, what good would it do to be “impacted by” 1st John 2:4 which says “the one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” and then fail to “keep His commandments?” What good would it do to “agree with” John 15:8 which says “’My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” and then fail to “bear much fruit?” Or what good would it do to “memorize” 1st Thessalonians 4:1 which states “finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more” and then fail to “excel still more?”
The point is this: if we are truly “doers” of the word we will be diligent to “keep His commandments, bear much fruit, and excel still more.” As men of the word we must emulate many figures in Scripture who were committed not only to hearing the word but actually doing what it says. Consider an Old Testament Priest by the name of Ezra. We learn in Ezra 7:10 that “Ezra set his heart to study God’s word, to practice it, and to teach it’s precepts to others.” What an amazing summary statement for a man of God! What an amazing summary statement for any man of God who’s willing to commit his life to those same 3 disciplines! Ezra not only studied the Bible, but he took it a step further by practicing what the Bible says, and even went a few steps further by teaching the Bible to others.
My question for you as you read this is could those same 3 disciplines on the word best describe you right now? Could you be found at any time studying the word, or could you be seen practicing the word, or could you be heard sharing the word with others? If the answer is “no chance” allow me to challenge you to step up your spiritual game even today. Be encouraged by David’s last words from his deathbed to his son Solomon as recorded in 1st Kings 2:1-3. There we read “As David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His statutes…”
The times we live in are strange indeed, and what is desperately needed is not for men to merely listen more to the word, there’s been enough of that going on. But rather for men to be studying the word, practicing the word, and sharing the word with others. Ezra was on to something. David was on to something. As you read this and as a Christian man, it’s your turn to be on to something as well. Simply put, be challenged to “show yourself a man.”