We live in a world where lip service to God and the Word of God is very common, yet people’s actions tell the story of what they believe and what they stand for.
The Word of God is truth. And as we read and study the Word, we are hearing truth. Yet it is critical we understand that truth is not meant to simply be read and acknowledged. Truth is always meant to be applied. And when truth is applied, it sets us free.
God’s Word tells us:
"But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1:22).
There are many people who say they love the Lord and say that the Word of God is their guide. Yet clearly too many of them are not genuinely guided by the wisdom and counsel of the Word of God. So people who do this may believe it’s acceptable in their minds to read the Word of God even as they make excuses that as to why they can ignore what that Word is saying. When they do this, they are deceiving themselves. When they do this, they are deceiving themselves.
If a married man attends church regularly, reads the Bible regularly, and says he loves the Lord, yet he consistently commits adultery, he is deceiving himself. Though he may be reading the Word of God, he is not a doer of the Word in his life.
Well, what if that man says “It’s no big deal, as long as I don’t get caught.” If that’s what he believes, does that mean that what he is doing is not a sin? Does that mean his actions are now no longer wrong? No, it means that he is committing adultery, and he is deceiving himself.
If a woman or man, is a faithful student of the Word of God, reading every day, yet he or she is a habitual shoplifter – what does this say about this man or woman? He or she is consistently stealing, yet goes to church. That person is a thief. He or she is clearly disobeying the command “You shall not steal” Exodus 20:15.
Well, if that person says “This company is big and they will never miss the few things I take. Besides, I’m not stealing – I ‘m just permanently borrowing.” Because this person has reasoned in his or her heart that what they are doing is not wrong and is not a sin, does that mean their thinking is true? No, this person is also breaking the commandment “You shall not steal” from Exodus 20:15
If a pregnant woman says “I am not killing anybody, I’m just exercising my reproductive rights by getting rid of this baby,” does that mean that her having an abortion is not a sin? Is her aborting her child wrong?
Well, the Word of God clearly says “You shall not murder” in Exodus 20:13. If she does have her child aborted, it is an act of murder. It is clearly disobeying the Word of God.
The Word of God mercifully lets us know:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
God is very willing to forgive someone of any of these wrongs if he or she confesses them and repents of them.
So, when people say they respect the Word of God, reverence the Word and read it, yet do not attempt to obey it, they have deceived themselves. The Word of God is truth. Yet Truth is always meant to be applied. The Bible was never meant to be a souvenir. It’s a guide book for all of life. Let us strive to always be hearers and doers of the Word of God.