Week 43 Saturday

More Than Talk

Today’s scripture selection: James 1-3

Key verse: James 1:22

My memory isn’t what it used to be.

But, at least it is not this bad:

Imagine looking at yourself in a mirror, then turning away, and immediately forgetting what you look like.

That’s a serious memory problem.

But that is how the apostle James explains an important spiritual principle.

He says that if you hear God’s word, but fail to do what it says, you are “like a man looking at his own face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”

On the other hand, “one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works – this person will be blessed in what he does.”

It’s all about living a life of faith that is more than just talk.  And it can be difficult to do.

How much easier it is to just compartmentalize our faith – listening to some scripture here; singing a few praise songs there; maybe even serving on a church committee – taking “our turn to serve” when called upon.

But to openly live out our faith commitment, day in and day out, whether it is in some “official” capacity or not – that can be tough.

Still, Scripture consistently promises that being “doers of the word and not hearers only” is a life that is ultimately rich and full and well worth the living.

Prayer: Lord, help me to remember that to which I am called in your name, and to your glory.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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