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The Equation For Unprecedented Blessing; Look, Listen, Do

Greetings to you this pleasant day!

Haha! You must be wondering what’s going on. Well, I have been studying the book of James this past week, so forgive me if I am sounding a bit old school. Can you believe I have been stuck on Chapter 1 for four days. Woah. And to think my plan was to study the whole book for a week. That’s the word of God for you, it’s loaded. If you don’t do personal bible studies, this is an encouragement to you. Study, study, study. It’s so rewarding.

Today I want to share with you one of the things that the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to in Chapter 1 that He also led me to share. Let’s dig right in;

But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

James 1:25 GNT

I’ve read this verse over and over and over in every translation of the bible I could find. And I believe this is the simplest and clearest translation so I’m going to use it to explain. We are going to do this the tradition bible study style. Are you ready?

Notice that the verse start with ‘but‘, that shows that James was making a comparison, so let’s go and see what he was talking about before he came to this point.

Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like.

James 1:22‭-‬24 GNT

Great, so James was talking about people that only listen to God’s word but don’t do it because they forget. They never paid much attention to begin with and they usually have no fruits to bear, meaning they aren’t usually blessed. Blessing here being money, good health, good family life, good success, all round goodness. James is employing us not to be like that. He is telling us how to get to the sweet spot of God’s blessing. He is teaching us how to be blessed.

James 1:25 begins like this;

But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free…

Look Closely

That’s the first thing. You have look closely. Pay attention. To what? To the perfect law that sets people free. But what does that mean? It simply refers to Jesus Christ. Wait, I’ll prove it to you.

John 1:17 says

God gave the Law through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Jesus said again in John 8:32

“you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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Are you seeing what I am seeing, freedom comes from truth, truth comes from Jesus. And we know that Jesus came to perfectly fulfill the Law of the old testament, thereby ushering us into a new covenant, one of freedom. So when we are told to look carefully and intently, as some versions put it, at the law of liberty in James 1:25. We are simply told to look intensely at Jesus.

As it says in Hebrew 12:2

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Brings to mind another part of scripture that says

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP

Doesn’t the phase as in a mirror sound familiar? It should. Back to James 1

If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like.

James 1:23‭-‬24 GNT

See? The mirror analogy is used again. So we know that these two writers are talking about the same thing, Jesus who is also the word of God. (John 1:14)

So we are employed to look continuously at Jesus. That’s the first thing, but you must be wondering, how can I look at Jesus, it’s not like He is in my sitting room waiting for me. Haha, well I have good news for you. James already answered that question before you asked, before you were even born.

Don’t stop listening to the word

But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

James 1:25 GNT
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So in other words, James is equating looking closely, paying attention to listening and not forgetting. This reminds me of the verse that says faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God (Roman 10:17) and nothing is impossible to the one who believes (Mark 9:23) and without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). I can go on and on but I’m sure by now you get it.

But then again, you might be wondering, why didn’t he say read the word. After all it’s the bible right? It’s a book, it’s meant to be read. But he said listen. God expects you to listen.

There is power in the spoken word. It was by spoken words that God created the heavens and earth. The world, your environment, your situation, they are sensitive to words that are spoken out loud or low. As long as you say it, there’s power there, because you and the entire universe are listening. Proverbs 18:21 says death and life are in the power of the tongue. So how does this relate to listening and not forgetting the word? I’m getting there.

The secret is when we read the bible God expects us to say it back to ourselves. God expects us to meditate by muttering. Confess the word. Ah confessions are more powerful that you think o, as I’ve already explained in the previous paragraph. You want to get the word of God in your hearts as much as possible. Speaking and listening is how you get it in you heart and getting it in your heart is the key to the next and final part of the equation.

Before I leave this point I’ll leave you with a tweet from Rev Toks Adejumon, a man of God I love and deeply respect.

Do the word!

But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

James 1:25 GNT
Image from Pinterest

Now listen, there is no way you can store up God’s word in your heart and not do it. It is just the natural progression. When you say it all the time, you listen to anionted sermons all the time, the next thing that will happen is that you will begin to do. It will just happen. It is not necessarily by self effort. It is that the seed you have planted by looking intently with your mind’s eye and listening to the word are now producing fruits in your actions.

And notice that the next phase says that you will be blessed by God in what you do.

This is very important, I don’t want you and I to ever forget it. It is not as though when you do this things, God will now decide, yes! Let me bless him or her. Oh no. It is not like that at all. It is that when you follow this steps, blessings will follow you. It is a matter of principle. Just like if you flip a switch, the light bulb will come on. In that same exact way when you look, listen and do you will be blessed in everything you do because you are doing it God’s way. And God’s way only leads to true blessing.

The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22 ESV

Amazing! Praise the Lord.

This is a lot to take in, I know. If you need to go over it again, please do. I know the Holy Spirit will do His work to make it clearer to you in your everyday life.

Don’t forget the equation to unprecedented blessing;

Look + Listen + Do = BLESSED

Let’s take some time to say a word of prayer;

Lord I thank You for Your children whom You love and are so ready to bless. I thank You for Your word that You have made avaliable to bless us. I thank You because today You have blessed this person with new insight to reign in life. I pray that if there is any challenge or difficulty that they are facing in this moment, let there be a divine intervention. I pray that this word will yield results and testimonies in their lives in Jesus name. Amen. Help us to put into practice the things we’ve learnt by your spirit in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you Lord. In Jesus name we have prayed. Amen!

Hallelujah!

Till next time, remain blessed.

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