Look and Obey
I love it when I’m reading a familiar Bible verse and the Holy Spirit grabs my attention. You may have experienced this before: you’ve read this text a hundred times, so you kind of skim over it, but then you catch something new. It’s like when my son grabs my chin and turns my head to make me look at whatever he wants me to notice. I think the Lord delights in helping us mine new treasures from the depths of His Word. Here’s the one that got me the other day: James 1:25.
You may be familiar with the simile James employs in vv. 22–24. He describes the foolish man who looks in a mirror, walks away, and then immediately forgets what he looks like. He compares that man to the one who only listens to the Word and never applies it. But have you ever noticed verse 25?
But 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.
I read that and thought, “That is EXACTLY what we’re trying to accomplish in Community Groups!”
It has been my contention for some time now that the American evangelical church has an imbalance between biblical knowledge and obedience. We hear the Bible taught and many of us can recite lots of stories, but we store God’s Word away in our minds as information, rather than seek to apply it for transformation. But Psalm 119:11 urges us to store God’s Word in our hearts so that we might not sin against God (i.e. so that we can live righteously).
Beloved, we are commanded by God to take in His Word not merely for understanding, but for obedience in righteousness. That’s the goal of our Community Groups. Together we re-examine the text preached the previous Sunday with the purpose of not just understanding, but obedience. We then pray for help obeying the Word. And the next week, we hold each other accountable for the obedience we asked God to enable in us. It’s awfully difficult to apply and obey God’s Word in isolation. But together, we can look into God’s Word together and persevere in our obedience.
I need help obeying God's Word. You need help obeying God’s Word. We all need help obeying God's Word. Consider joining a Community Group today. Check our website for more information.