Greetings and happy Tuesday! Today’s reading comes from the book of James which is sometimes referred to as the Proverbs of the New Testament.
James 1:17–27 (NRSV)
17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24 for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.
26 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
The word of truth is the gift that brings new birth. Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life. All that adds up to Jesus being the generous and perfect gift from above. So, how do we not listen but act upon Jesus as the truth? Well, if Jesus says to forgive 70×7 times…then we forgive. If Jesus heals people…then we heal. If Jesus feeds people..then we feed. You get the idea by now. The last of Jesus’ words recorded in the book of Acts are what I’ll conclude with today. Be by witnesses. We can do that today as we go and be Jesus’ hands and feet to help; be his heart of compassion to comfort; and speak his word of truth which, when implanted, has the power to save souls. It’s a great day to save a soul today!
Lord Jesus, as poor and wretched as I may be, your grace is sufficient. Shine your light upon my life so I may reflect your glory. Speak your words of truth to me so that what I hear in the quietness of my heart I may proclaim loudly from the rooftop.