You need to read this, chew on it, and realize that this is about you and I, and I write this because I can not hold it in anymore, and when I read these words in James, I started to cry and I can not hold it in anymore!
“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 looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
26If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Too often, we the believer, fail to remember this. We have become Christians with HUGE heads…we don’t even all fit in a room …because there’s so many big heads puffed up with knowledge/inflated egos walking around. We are all about the knowledge, all about the intellect, the catchy arguments, and we’ve been blinded by our own pride of accumulated information that we fail to even consider the possibility that perhaps Christ is not asking us to simply gain knowledge but to live it out through our daily lives in love. This is found throughout the Word of God. Jesus tells us to Love GOD, and to Love our Neighbors. There is an incredible disconnect that behooves me because rather than even trying to love, we sit there philosophizing and being theoretical … telling others to do so, and yet WE personally have never experienced even going to love those around us. Who is our neighbor? The lawyer asked… that’s everybody. We are the Pharisees… we preen and make ourselves look pretty sitting in our comfortable ways… we are like that Pharisee who prays while looking at the Tax Collector and says… thank you that I’m NOT like others especially that sinful dude crying in the corner (Luke 18:9-14).
Lately, in talking to multiple friends… all I hear is this… I’m listening to William Lane Craig, I’m reading about Eschatology… I will simply say this. William Lane Craig and eschatology are both laudable and praise worthy things… Mr. Craig is an amazing Brother in Christ/ Professor/Apologist that is doing much for God’s work. But rather than just sitting admiring his wonderful arguments and enjoying his shaming of Atheists, Muslims and other non-believers… perhaps we have to realize that is HIS calling by God to further His Kingdom. This is NOT everyone’s call! We have all been called to different roles, and that is each part of our uniqueness in Christ and how the Lord calls us to further do His Will in this world.
About eschatology… this is important and has an important role in each Christian’s life. But let me ask you a question. When you eat dinner do you sit there fixated upon just the dessert? Yes, eschatology is like dessert… it is part of the whole package and it is the end…the last part… but if we focus on simply that, we forget about all the other courses… the appetizer, the main course (filet mignon), the soup, the salad… are ALL forgotten. Is that right? Too many of my peers, and brothers and sisters are attracted to the knowledge of faith… and have never considered the whole big picture. Our lives do not consist simply about the head, but also the heart and the hands and feet. Our lives need to reflect our understanding of our faith. Our quality of works reflects the quality of our faith. Too many people whom I talk to … talk about loving, talk about theory… talk about eschatology… can give you a whole discourse with all the fancy Christianese… but when I ask them have they attempted to live it out, or to even love those around them… and all I get is blank stares. Talk to me about eschatology, and yet your life reflects nothing about Christ… you obsess over your careers, your pleasures and pursuits, computer games, shopping, the material things, men and women… it is all about you… and you ignore the needs and cries of the body and those around us in the world. How is that possible?! Is that even biblical? James words challenge us to not be like the person that looks in the mirror and forgets… he asks us to reflect in our living our faith out, and how that is not just about us, but also then about those that are suffering (for him that was the orphans and the widows).
Pop that over-inflated head like a pimple, and get on your knees, ask & pray for a heart that is broken… ask God to break your heart with what breaks His. Simply put, focus not on the knowledge, but simply as Paul shares…
“1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 910so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
12Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”