“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 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.
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.” James 1:22-27 NIV
Our faith is so much more than just going through the motions. Otherwise, we are no different than the Pharisees. It is reading God’s word and then applying it to our lives. Is it enough to know God’s word, but have no real desire to follow it? I know we aren’t perfect and we won’t ever get it right on this side of heaven, but we have to try. We have to turn away from our sin and DO what God asks us to do even when it is hard and we would rather do what we want instead. We must die to ourselves and live for Christ
Living for Jesus isn’t about getting into heaven. Our future in heaven is sealed because of our salvation when we acknowledged Jesus’ death and resurrection and that He is our Lord and Savior. Why then do we have to do all that God asks us to if we are already promised heaven? Living for Jesus here on earth is about eternity and how many hearts are won for Him in the process. He is preparing our hearts for heaven and perfection.
Gracious God, help us to live an obedient life for You and not ourselves. Help us not to simply hear Your word, but to live it as well. Give us courage to do all that You have asked us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.