Sermon Notes: Listening and Doing

It is a mirror that helps us examine ourselves (vv. 23–25) and cleanse our lives. We must do the Word of God, not just read it or study it; the blessing is in the doing.

“He is already half false who speculates on truth and does not do it. Truth is given, not to be contemplated, but to be done.” F. W. Robertson

Psalms 119 The theme of this unique psalm is the Word of God. Every verse except five (84, 90, 121, 122, 132) refers to God’s Word, what it is and what it can do in your life if you let it

The call to “do what it says” lies at the center of all that James teaches and sums up the whole book: Put into practice what you profess to believe.

James 1:22‭-‬25 NIV

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

  • Matthew 7:24‭-‬25 NIV  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
  • Matthew 7:26‭-‬27 NIV But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
  • Those who listen to the Word do so attentively and at length, so that they understand what they hear. They know what God expects them to do.

25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

  • Joshua 1:8 NIV Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
  • Psalms 119:105 NIV  Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

The reason for this blessing is fourfold

(1) He “looks intently” (GK 4160) into God’s truth, a verb that described John’s act of stooping and peering into the tomb of Jesus (Jn 20:5). Here it is as though a person stoops over the Scripture, zealously searching for its message.

(2) “He continues to do this.” He is the blessed man of Ps 1 who meditates on God’s law day and night.

(3) He does not forget “what he has heard.”

(4) Most important, he puts the truth into practice.