Time to be a "doer"

I live in a bubble. I go to church where most of the people are Christians. I go to Southeastern Seminary where EVERYONE is a Christian. I hang out with my small group one or more nights a week, they’re all Christians. My girlfriend and her friends, Christians. I like it in my bubble because it’s comfortable. I am surrounded by Christians on all sides. They are my buffer. I don’t have to worry about those difficult conversations where people might not believe what I believe or might challenge me. I’m preaching this Sunday at a church that is not often frequented by large numbers of non-believers. That’s easy. I don’t have to worry about someone leaving with a bad taste in their mouth towards Christianity because what I say challenges them to their core. Most of the population will be elderly people who have been a Christian longer than I have been alive. I’ll most likely even get the occasional “Amen!” That’s how I like it. Comfortable.

Am I living the way God intends? When was the last time that I had a conversation that pointed someone to Christ who didn’t already have His address? These are the questions that I’ve found myself pondering as I’ve been preparing for my sermon for the weekend. I’ve been wrecked. I’m speaking on James 1:18-27 this weekend with a special emphasis on James 1:22-25

[22] But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. [23] For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. [24] For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. [25] But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:22-25 ESV)

So, why does this scripture wreck me to my core? It’s challenged me all week to look at whether I am simply a “hearer” or whether I am a “doer” of Gods word. Through that reflection I’ve learned that I’m an audience member way more than an active participant when it comes to God’s word. A lot of times I absorb the word by studying, reading through it, praying it back to God, and even committing it to memory but that’s where it stops. I commonly let the opportunities to share my faith in Christ slip through my fingers. Even more often than letting them simply slip away I often turn and walk the opposite direction. I am often afraid to allow myself to step outside of that Christian bubble to allow my faith to impact those people around me who might not know who Christ is and what He has done for all of humanity. I am selfish putting my comfort above their need to hear of Christ love.

So, what does Christ say that about that reluctance to step out of the comfort zone? I find my answer in the Great Commission. In Matthew 28: 18-20 it says:

[18] And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

Here Jesus tells us that He has all authority in Heaven and on Earth. No one has more authority than Christ. He is the Son of God. One third of the trinity. He is claiming Godship here and is giving us the appropriate action to do if we are believers in Him. We are to go to all nations to proclaim His name. That means a lot of things for a lot of different people. It could be proclaiming Him to the orphans in Africa or it could me telling the guy in the cubicle next to you at work. Whichever of those best fits you and me the comfort we have as He tells us in verse 20 is that He is with us ALWAYS. So, even when I’m being asked to step out of my comfort zone and have that difficult conversation with someone who might reject what I have to say; the God of the universe who will never reject me is right there with me.

If I believe that Christ truly came and died to save me from my sins and did so for the whole world then I have to pray for opportunities to share what Christ did for me and step up when it comes time to share. If I am truly a Christian who knows the truth of Christ sacrifice then I have to be willing to step out in the faith that I claim to have and share His Word. It won’t be easy because uncomfortable things never are easy but I if I believe what I say I believe about Christ ability to save me then I have to be willing to share that message with a people who haven’t heard. So, the question on my mind this week has been when will I stop being simply a “hearer” of the Word and become a “doer”.

Are you being a hearer or a doer of the Word?

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