By David J. Stewart | May 2011
Are You a Forgetful Hearer of the Word?
James 1:23-25, “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. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
The Bible teaches that the Scriptures are as a mirror that reveal the true sinful nature of the human heart. Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The Bible is the greatest psychologist in the world. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Bible divides even between soul and spirit, revealing the intents of the human heart.
James 1:23-25 tell us that the person who hears the Word of God, but fails to obey those Words is like a man who looks in a mirror to see his true self, but later forgets when he walks away. This is what most people do today concerning the Scriptures. Nearly everyone has heard the Bible preached, but that Word goes in one ear and out the other. Most people practice what's commonly known as “Selective Hearing,” that is, they only hear what they want to hear. The smallest Bible in the world is the one that people live. Oh that men would fear and serve the Lord always.
I don't know about you, but I want to be a DOER of the Word and not just a hearer. God is looking for DOERS of His Word. Jesus said that those who love Him keep His Commandments (John 14:15). I remember that those who are friends of the Lord obey Him too, because the numbers turned around are John 15:14. Pretty neat, huh? That's an easy way to remember these two truths. The genuine test of our love and friendship toward the Lord is whether or not we obey Him. May we all purpose in our heart not to be forgetful hearers of the Word. The important thing is that we DO what we HEAR.
In Luke 8:15-18 Jesus warned all believers to be careful HOW YE HEAR. The Greek word for “how” in this Scripture is poce meaning (when used as an interrogitive particle of manner) “in what way.” The word also means “how much!” when used as an exclamation. Jesus is saying that we ought to be careful in what way we listen to the Scriptures, that is, do we just casually listen to the Scriptures; or do we intently take the Scriptures to heart and do our best with the Holy Spirit's help to apply them to our daily life? How much do we take to heart and genuinely obey?
This is critically important...
Luke 8:15-18, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore HOW YE HEAR: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”
Again, Jesus is saying that we ought to be careful “in what way” we listen to the Scriptures, that is, do we just casually listen to the Scriptures; or do we intently take the Scriptures to heart and do our best with the Holy Spirit's help to apply them to our daily life? How much do we take to heart and genuinely obey? I repeated this for emphasis. May we not be forgetful hearers. This is an amazing passage of Scripture.
I want to hear the Scriptures with a hungry heart to obey. END
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"In flaming fire
taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8
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