One of the things I want to do this year as far as resolutions go, I guess, (last year was my first time ever making a ‘resolution’. check it out here) is take time on Mondays to recap and reflect on Sunday.
Let me explain. Having a husband whom I have watched prepare to preach, even if only a few times, gave me a new appreciation for what goes in to sermon prep for a pastor. I would watch my husband pour over scripture, flip some pages to a new chapter and then flip back. Read books and more books. Pray. Plead. And then start all over.
After watching all of that and knowing how much time and energy a pastor puts into their sermons I can’t handle the thought of hearing something on Sunday morning and then going about the rest of my week and forgetting about it. So, I’ve decided that on Mondays I want to read through the scripture that was preached on, go through my notes on it and really reflect and try to apply what the message was about.
So here is week one of 2010:
Text: James 1: 19-24
The main thing that stuck out to me from what Pastor Tony said was this,
The gospel produces righteousness in those with receptive and responsive hearts
Without hearts that are open and willing to learn and lives that are willing to change we can’t expect righteousness. We can learn all we want in our heads but without hearts that are receptive we won’t grow.
In verse 19 James says, “…be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…” but this isn’t just a list of advice. It is a call to a certain kind of hearing that results in a kind of living.
I’m the kind of person who would really really just like a list of to do’s and big fat don’ts. That way I could check off my list and know that I was doing the right thing therefore righteousness must be a’coming!
But I’ve learned enough to know that it doesn’t work like that. In v. 21 we aren’t given this list I would so desperately like but we are given a mandate to “…receive the implanted word…”
I know from my hubby preaching on this very text exactly 2 years ago that the receive that James is talking about here is not like receiving a gift. It isn’t a one time thing and then it’s done and over with. The word receive that is used here is an ongoing and active kind of receiving. So over and over we need to receive the implanted word and guess what? That is able to save our souls (v.21b)
I long for a receptive and responsive heart. I long to live a life that is characterized not just by head knowledge but by heart transformation. Lord help me to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only.