Doing It by the Book – James 1:22-24

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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When NASA launched the space shuttles, our family drove over to the Cape to observe several times. Thousands lined the coast to watch and feel the shock waves from the engines that were miles away. Before the lift off, the flight controller went through a launch check, polling many officials who were monitoring thousands of gauges and screens. Each department had to give a verbal “Go to launch” or the mission would be scrubbed. They were careful to “do it by the book” because doing otherwise could bring disaster.

It is extremely important for believers to live according to the dictates of God’s Word and to do so “strictly by the Book.” This principle was true for saints in the Old Testament, those awaiting Christ’s return to establish the Millennial Kingdom, and for us today who live in the Dispensation of Grace. We are reminded in James 1:22-24: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” It would be foolish for us to see ourselves in a mirror with unkept hair, a dirty face, and soiled clothing, and then do nothing to correct these problems. Likewise it is foolish when, through His Word, the Lord shows us a problem in our lives, and we choose to do nothing about it. We are actually worse off than before, because doing nothing is an act of defiance, or indifference, that spiritually hardens our hearts. Every day we should be looking for something in God’s Word to put into practice immediately. When our heart is convicted about a needed area of change, we must become a “doer of the word.” Just as parents expect compliance when they give their children important instructions, and it greatly displeases them if these instructions are disobeyed, so it is with the Lord. He expects our compliance to His Word; it displeases Him when we ignore His instructions, but He is greatly pleased and honored IF we respond in obedience.

How do you respond when you read something in God’s Word that points to a needed change in your life? Establish a pattern of acknowledging it to the Lord, asking for His help, and consciously taking steps to comply that very day.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."