Pastor Rick Lipira: Morning Devotion 09/07/22
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Lord, make me a doer and not just a hearer.
Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:21-24)
What I love about James is he gets right to the point. He speaks in phrases and illustrations I can understand and there is no question what he is saying. He starts today’s passage with a comparison of the human life to a garden that if left to itself is going to automatically produce weeds. Left unchecked the garden (your life) will overflow with weeds (wickedness) and it is then foolish to do a flyover of seeds from the Lord tossing them out and expecting them to grow and prosper in that setting. We must first take care of the weeds first, and then prepare the soil.
There are certain things in life you must deal with as they cannot exist and have a life that is pleasing to the Lord. These weeds must be removed, I don’t care if you spray them, pull them, whatever you must do, but get them out of your life. After the weeds are dealt with, we must prepare the soil. How do we do that? I believe it starts by confessing our sins and asking Him to cleanse us from all wickedness. (I John 1:9) Secondly, we ask the Lord to break up the fallow ground in our lives. I want all of it to be for your use, not just a section or a small portion. There are so many individuals that do what is right in their own eyes and think that is pleasing and satisfactory to the Lord. They believe everyone can do their own thing if it feels right. No guidebook, no direction. I say to you, “You are deceived”.
So many times, we walk away from a good sermon (or a few good devotions) and think, “man, that was good”. Some will even mark or highlight their Bibles, when in reality their Bibles need to mark them. Spirituality does not come by “sliding over” the right thing, but by doing the right thing. James starts out by talking about weeds in a garden and then changes to the illustration of the mirror. Why look into a mirror if you are not going to be serious enough to adjust something or at least accept what we see? The mirror is the start of getting yourself clean.
I love the story of David and Nathan in 2 Sam.12. David sinned with Bathsheba and even went so far to have her husband killed. The prophet Nathan came along with the story of the little ewe lamb and the truth of the Lord as a mirror to David with the saying, “thou art the man”. With that, David confessed his sin and changed his direction. The mirror of the Word can cause us to go from Examination to Restoration, and then Transformation as we move forward with a life that resembles less of the world and more of one pleasing to the Lord.
Pastor Rick Lipira