A letter from Jesus' brother

Listening and Doing

This devotional is written by Nat Elliott-Green. Nat enjoys writing bio's for Everyday With Matt, imagining and actually eating Calippos and browsing the internet for high-quality air conditioning units. The heat is getting to him it seems. 

James 1:19-27

If you ask me, James is one of the most challenging books in the New Testament, and this passage kind of sums up why. James wants us to walk the walk and he's not afraid to tell us. So, if you're feeling out of step with God then verses like "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself. Do what it says." can be pretty tough to read.

But remember life lived in the image of Jesus and in relationship with God is life lived to its fullest. I see the bluntness of James' tone here as evidence that he knows that pretty clearly, and wants to make sure we all do too. It's not a rebuke, it's insistent that living closer to Jesus is the way to go.

He's concerned with you and me and wants us to live in closer union with God. Verses 20-21 exemplify this perfectly, do not let human shortcomings get in the way of the perfection of God's salvation. Sure, it's hard, but I know if I lived this out I would certainly be having a better time of it, but the wonder of salvation and mercy is that we get to keep trying at this whilst being held in the perfect love of the Father.

And perhaps when you feel like you're not living in closeness with God then we should heed James' words and be quick to listen to him and be open to what He wants to say to us.

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