Day 4: James 1:19-27
This part of James Chapter 1 is titled in my bible “Listening and Doing”
 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
James firstly points out that we can be slow to anger which does not produce in us the righteousness of God by being quick to listen and slow to speak.
These are things that teenage wasn’t particularly gifted in, and if we are all being honest we could do with some fine tuning. This opening statement for me is so clearly saying others first.
When we don’t listen and when we talk all the time it shows a self-centred side to us, when Jesus has called us to love others regardless of who they are, where they are from etc.
So James encourages us:
 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Work on getting rid of the negative aspects that hinder our good interactions with others and be teachable. Humbly accept what God is saying, his word. Sometimes it’s hard to accept God’s word because it cuts through us, it convicts us, but if we refuse to be challenged we never change. So do what the Word says.
It will change your life.
 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  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.
We need to be people who act on what God has said, not just listen to it. We always say this at Church; apply this to your life.
Sometimes we are guilty of sitting through incredible teaching of the word of God, hearing it in the moment, and changing nothing.
James says that’s like looking in a mirror one minute and then forgetting what you look like. Muppet. (I added that for emphasis).
But when we look to God and continue to walk in it, we will be blessed in all that we do. So do it.
Now to my favourite part….
 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Worthless religion is one that is all talk and no action. Worthless religion is one that claims one thing and does the opposite. Worthless religion is one that speaks of an open heart but still discriminates. Worthless religion has a beautiful shop window but absolutely nothing on the shelves.
But religion that pleases God is one that puts others first and one that abstains from the status quo of the world. They are in the world, but not of it. We must seek to live by the cultures of heaven.
Ps Ed Winbow
Penrith Campus Pastor