A pastor of a small church made a practice of going to the home of new visitors shortly after they had attended his church. During one of these visits, the woman in an effort to impress the pastor pointed to a large Bible on their bookshelf and speaking in a very reverential tone, referred to it as “the word of God.” Her young son quickly interrupted and said, “Well, if that’s God’s word, then we better send it back because we never read it.”
Part of God’s word is this letter from James, which is written to believers… those who have become indwelled by the Holy Spirit. He tells them that the word (logos) has been planted in them. When they heard the word of the Gospel and accepted it, that word became a part of them through the indwelling Holy Spirit. James could well have been thinking of the parable of the sower.
The Christian faith is not just a set of beliefs that we accept and order our life by. When we become a follower of Jesus, the word becomes a part of us.
James also writes that we are to receive that word with meekness. We receive the word with meekness when we allow it to have authority in our lives. This means allowing the word to guide our decisions, to evaluate our activities, habits, thoughts and our spoken words. The word has authority in our lives when we allow it to change us.
We don’t change the word…it should change us.
James tells us that we are to put away things that go against the implanted word. He specifically names filthiness and rampant wickedness. It is impossible to grow as a believer if we maintain any ongoing sinful habit in our lives. Our actions impact who we are. If we maintain habits of filthiness and wickedness, we will ourselves move in that direction.
Just because we are healthcare professionals doesn’t mean that we are free from sinful habits. Meekly receive the implanted word and actively work to put off sinful habits.
Prayer: Lord, show me any sinful actions or thoughts that are not pleasing to You and help me instead receive Your implanted word.