An icon of James the Just, brother of our Lord, James of Jerusalem, author of the Epistle of James.
Bible Readings and Devotion for October 23 & 24, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for October 23 & 24, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
This passage begins by reminding us of what God has first done for us. James writes to us, “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” The actor in this passage is God himself. God is the one who gives to humanity what is good, generous and necessary.
Our God gives us all we need for this life. Most importantly, he gives us love, forgiveness of our sin, and reconciliation with him. This is granted through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus takes to the cross all which separates us from God: All of our disobedience of God, all of our disregard of the Lord’s will, and all our apathy toward our neighbors. All of our sin dies with Jesus on that cross. In exchange, we are given God’s love and forgiveness. With these, and a call to live according to God’s purposes, we are invited to live a new life.
What does this new life look like? It is filled with actions which honor the Lord. It is expressed with good works for our neighbors here and around the world. We see in our passage today from James a perspective on this new creation life.
There are two sides to this.
One is to stop living wrong and destructive ways and then to begin living for God and in relationship with God. This is Repentance.
The second part is what James refers to as being a “Doer of the Word”.
This being a doer of the word is our calling and our purpose in life. It is God’s answer to that human question, “Why are we here?” When we are doers of the Word of the Lord we live honorably and live to God’s glory. We are people making a positive difference in the lives of those around us. Simple acts of service, ongoing prayer and worship, avoiding evil and doing what is right, are all significant both to God and to those who receive the good which we do.
Doers of the Word incorporate God’s Word into how they live and work. They look into scripture with the anticipation of learning God’s will for how they are to live. It is not some random act of flopping open the Bible. Rather, it is a prayerful reading of things such as the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles and the Prophets. It is considering teachings of scripture such as Colossians 3:17, which reads: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Being a Doer of the Word includes a regular review of the 10 Commandments. One resource for reviewing these commandments is Martin Luther’s teachings on the Ten Commandments. Luther was very much about being a doer of the Word. We see that he shows that the commandments are not just about avoiding the wrong. Luther shows us also how to do the right.
Here is one example of Luther’s work on this:
The Seventh Commandment
You shall not steal.
What is this? We are to fear and love God, so that we neither take our neighbors’ money or property nor acquire them by using shoddy merchandise or crooked deals, but instead help them to improve and protect their property and income.
Video Link for further consideration
Here is video Click Here for Link which plays a song from 1984 by Dan Peek. It is called, “Doer of the Word.” Whenever I read this passage from James I think of this song.
Almighty God, you are worthy of our praise and adoration. Your will and word to us show us how to live. Your holy and powerful presence work to inspire our purpose. You love urges us on to joyful obedience. Help each of us to live as your people and to be doers of your word. We pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen