The title for our sermon this past Sunday was, "Listen, Then Do." Too often our faith is merely an intellectual or emotional assent and never reaches our hands and what we do on a daily basis.
James urges us to first listen to the "word of God." He wants us to make sure that we understand what God is communicating to us through the Bible, through prayer and through other Christians. Once we have heard what it is that God desires of us, though, we must act accordingly. Nothing is accomplished if we simply keep our faith constrained within our hearts. Our experience of God must be shared in what we say and do.
God wants to work through each of us, but we must be willing to get out of God’s way. Our sinfulness often filters out God’s attempted work in us. Instead of accepting and acting upon what we believe God wants us to do, we question its validity, its safety, its rationality, and its level of social acceptance, among other things. We then fail to act.
God wants us to listen, but he also wants us to move beyond listening to action. Don’t just sit there. Do something with your faith. May our lives demonstrate not just that we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but that we are willing to live it out.