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Blessed by the Book

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By George Smith

Bibles are everywhere --- Book stores, grocery stores, motel rooms, everywhere. They are all sizes, shapes, translations, leather bound, paper back, and all colors. Every year the Bible is the #1 best seller. Yet, millions miss the blessing that can come from the Bible. Why?

How can one be blessed by the Bible? The Book of James says we should receive it, practice it, and share it to really be blessed. One of the key verses is James 1:25, “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it --- he will be blessed in what he does.” We continue to look, not forgetting what we have seen, but doing what it says -- this one is blessed.

We have three responsibilities to God’s Word (1:19-27). First, we are to receive it -- “be quick to listen” (1:19). Jesus told the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9) and the four soils. To be good soil James says get rid of anger, moral filth and evil (1:19-21) so that we can received the word planted.

James pictures the heart of man as a garden -- “humbly accept the word planted in you” (1:21). The heart is a garden that if left alone will produce only weeds. The soil must be prepared for the word to be sown. We do this by getting “rid of the moral filth and the evil.” 1 John 1:9 says we are to confess and receive forgiveness, then as James 1:19-20 says, we are able to receive the word planted in us.

So we prepare our heart for the word to be planted, and then James says we practice the word (1:22-25). James is interested in our listening and doing. Hearing alone is not enough. Some think they are spiritual just from hearing, but James says we also need to do.

James not only uses the image of the garden, but also of a mirror (1:23-25). With a mirror we should not be content just to see what we look like and then walk away and forget what we have seen. We are to do something about what we have seen. The blessing comes when we do something about what we have seen (1:25). The Bible can give us a picture of what we are, but we are blessed when we let this lead us to cleansing and being used as the vessel of God.

James would tell us that words are no substitute for deeds of love, but that we show our faith by our deeds (2:14). He says that “Real religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (1:27).

James 1:25 says that the person who looks intently into the word -- continues to do so, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it -- he will be blessed in what he does.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).