Ever started a home improvement project, went shopping for the paint and supplies, it got late so you grabbed lunch, then when you got home you decided to start “tomorrow?” Buying the stuff, intending to – planning to – doesn’t do any good. An unopened can of paint won’t make your house look any different! If you don’t “do” anything with it – it won’t do no good!
Ever bought gym memberships, fashionable exercise clothes, equipment – filled your fridges with healthy food and drink – but never lost a pound? The equipment is now a clothes hanger, and we constantly ran to the store to get something “else” to eat! Just “owning” it doesn’t make us healthier – we’ve got to “do” the work!
Ever go to church while your neighbors are chillin’ and think “they should go with us?” We know when to clap, when to say amen, and when to get our “shout” in – but do they REALLY want to follow us? Have we made any REAL progress? Or are we just like them, except we go to church? I’m not saying there’s no VALUE in going and bringing your family and friends. Sitting and listening to messages that prick your heart is NECESSARY! (How can you hear without a preacher?) Plus, the worship service is incredible and we FEEL closer to God. But when we leave, remember that faith WITHOUT works is dead (James 2:26). James 1:22 says “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” How can you be deceived? By coming, listening, being convicted, feeling guilty, leaving saying “oh, yeah, I’m really NOT a good husband – I’m really NOT a good kid – I do need to change” – then doing absolutely nothing about what you’ve heard! James 1:23 says it’s like looking at yourself in a mirror, then going away and forgetting what you just saw! THAT’S deceiving your own self! Even Michael Jackson speaks from the grave. Watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5vz6iwV38U.
Noone looks in the mirror, see how terrible their face looks without makeup, or that their hair isn’t done – then just gets dressed and go to work without doing anything about it! We care about how we look! We’ll look in that mirror as long as it takes – until we’ve fixed every single defect we saw! We’ll put our hair in place, our makeup on, and shave until we bring what we saw – in sync with what we WANT to see! When we finish, we take one final look! Then we get in the car and check THAT mirror! But what about the inside? What were we convicted about? Didn’t the mirror of God’s Word TELL us we needed to do this at home, that at work, get our dating life in order, stop watching that stuff on TV, be more honest, or concentrate on our school work? Did we leave and forget? Don’t be deceived! James 1:24 says “be not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work – this man shall be blessed in his deed!
But people DO forget. Then next Sunday, they come to church, get reminded again, and get in the prayer line. That will help a little. But wouldn’t it be best to stop carrying around the sin we don’t want to deal with, and DO what it takes to be in sync with the Word? I’m gonna close with “the most compelling reasons to become a doer.”
If you could go back – what regret would you change? That first marriage? That night? During that season – you probably looked the best you’ve ever looked! You didn’t NEED much makeup, exercise, and barely had to fix your hair – because everything was “workin’” – yet you still got in trouble! I’m a witness – at almost 50 – it’s fading fast! If I could go back, I’d be more occupied with my inside – my heart – because as a grown up – I now see that the Word had far more to do with DIRECTION, the QUALITY of my lifestyle and my BEHAVIOR! When I was young, I thought being a doer would take my freedom away. It was refining – restricting – especially the “no sex” part and the “saving money” part! The preacher taught “give away 10%, save 10% and live on 80%.” Had I been a doer back then – with mortgage, car, insurance, and kids going to college later on – I’d have done better as a grown up! I wouldn’t have HAD to regret “that night” had I followed the “no sex until marriage” rule at 15 and concentrated on school! Had I watched what I put “into” my body (temple) as a teen or in my 20s and 30s – then my 40s and 50s would be even better! Forgiveness? I’d rather get revenge – but at 50 I found the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7) was NOT restricting – it was liberating!
Become a doer! Make adjustments! I’m not saying you won’t have storms and floods! I’m telling you the end of the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 7:24 – be wise. If you build your house on the Rock, the floods will come, but your house (temple/body) won’t fall! A short version of the Sermon on the Mount is found in Luke 6:20. In vs. 46, the Lord asked “why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Students know there are things they need to do. Single women know what they should do. It’s NOT “because you go to church!” You’ll be blessed when you become a “doer.” I’ll bet even Michael Jackson did not know he was going to meet his Maker so soon! But his music lives on. Tell yourself “I’m gonna make a change!” Can I get an AMEN?