“22But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror: 24for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.” ~ James 1:22-25 (Dad’s NT Bible)
What does a “doer of the Word” look like? A good picture could be found in Matthew chapter 11. John the Baptist was imprisoned by King Herod and sent two of his disciples to Jesus:
3to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” ~ Matthew 11:3-6 (NIV)
So, do what Jesus did. He lived the Father’s plan for His life on earth. He didn’t just read the redemption plan up in heaven and never came to earth to fulfill it. Believers are to live out God’s plan for them in the same way; not just read about it in His Word.
A hearer of the Word remembers to look at himself in the mirror every morning but forgets the Word as soon as he leaves the house. A “doer of the Word” forgets to look in the mirror in the morning but remembers the Word as soon as he leaves the house – and does it.
What does it take to be a “doer that acts”? Faith that is genuine. Even though Dad may have become discouraged in his walk with Christ, his faith was genuine. He has been gone for almost 40 years but neighbors still mention him not as just a “good guy”, but as a man who lived for God. Some still don’t believe in Jesus, but they respect Dad for showing that he did.
The great news is that a doer of the Word shall be blessed in his doing!
6 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy ,9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” ~ 1 Peter 1:6-10 (NIV)
Encouragement – “see pg 381” is the last notations from Dad in his NT Bible and contains the most important message that he personally left in my keepsake from him on encouragement.