Our son and his wife had a sick cat. Leah called a nationally known prayer leader to ask him to pray for their cat.
I’m not sure if the prayer leader ever prayed for the cat, but he spent over 90 minutes encouraging John and Leah on how to pray for the animal they loved.
The cat was healed, but more importantly, John and Leah learned valuable lessons about prayer.
When they told me the story, I was very impressed with the prayer leader and his willingness to talk for such a long time to a couple about how to pray for their cat.
The care shown by this man of God is amazing, but there is something far more amazing than that.
God is Speaking
Have you ever considered that the Greatest Being in the world, the Creator of the universe, is willing to take the time to speak to you?
James wasn’t surprised. In fact, James believed it was a big deal that God speaks to humans.
James was aware that God’s creative power derives from his word.
He wrote, “In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave birth to us by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures” (James 1.18).
The creation account is filled with mention of God’s powerful word. In one of many examples we learn that God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light” (Genesis 1.3).
When God’s word comes to us and we rely on its description of reality, something powerful takes place. We come to life spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Take to Heart
I’m sure you are like me and have received guidance that you took to heart. I remember a few things my father said to me that were taken to heart and provided positive direction for my life.
When God speaks to us, we will do well to take his words to heart.
James said, “Welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls” (James 1.21).
We should be “slow to speak” (verse 19), especially when God is addressing us. Meekness implies humility before God that silently awaits God’s word.
When we hear his word, we take it to heart, knowing that it will save our souls.
The salvation of our soul can be about going to heaven when we die, but there is more to the soul than that.
The soul is the seat of our will, desires, and affections. When we take God’s word to heart, our inside condition is saved from the negative influences of our culture.
The soul is another way of talking about our person or self. I recently sat with some men and heard how their lives are being saved, because they have taken God’s truthful word to heart.
Doers of the Word
God was able to create a universe through his spoken word. Humans are the only part of his creation that can resist his word.
For God’s creative and saving word to be effective, it must be acted upon.
James makes this fact abundantly clear in his letter.
But be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves (James 1.22).
Henry Blackaby says that God doesn’t speak to us just to “give us a warm fuzzy.” He speaks to us to align our lives with his plans and purposes for us.
What happens if we encounter God’s word and disregard it?
For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror;
For they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like (James 1.23-24).
It is interesting and tragic that humans know so little about their inner selves, what motivates and drives our behavior.
If we humbly receive God’s word, it will help us discover who we are and what is our purpose in life.
This is only possible if we are willing to humbly accept God’s word and act on it.
This is the promise of God’s word.
“But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing” (James 1.25).
Rudy Ross and I talk about the Book of James on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.