James 1:19-21 ESV
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
So, if we relate this to hearing the word of the Lord, which fits with the context, being quick to hear does not mean that we give a cursory glance at the Scriptures and then we walk away, satisfied that we read the Scriptures for the day. And if someone else is apparently teaching the Scriptures, quick to hear does not mean we readily accept whatever he says as truth without first testing it against the Scriptures to make certain it is indeed truth.
And just because the person teaching the Scriptures, or writing books, or blogging, or posting tweets or memes on social media is someone reputable in the world or in your nation or in your community, it doesn’t mean that person is speaking the truth. I know of many reputable public speakers and preachers and book authors who are teaching the Scriptures out of context, and who are twisting them to say something else and/or who are cleverly blending truth in with lies to make the lies appear to be truth. Test them!
We live in a fast-paced fast-food society where we have images and lights and words flashing before our eyes in quick motion on the news, and on many internet sites. And if you watch TV and movies, and you do gaming, then on them, too, especially on advertisements. On social media we have tweets and memes, both of which are usually short. Don’t be too quick to read those and to form an opinion. If they are related to our faith, test them against the Scriptures and in prayer before you put a cursory “like” on them.
I see many tweets where Scriptures are being shared and accepted out of context. And I see many memes that do the same, or which are a human’s opinion of what the Scriptures teach. And many times, especially if they have a message that makes people feel good inside, they are quickly received and adopted as truth when they may not, and many times are not truth. Now the Scriptures are truth, but out of context they can be used to teach what is not truth. So we need to be cautious about these things.
So, “quick” does not mean we don’t take time to give thought to what we read or hear, or that we are just giving the Scriptures a cursory nod, or that we just accept what we read or hear at first glance without examining it to see if it is the truth, in the way in which it is being used. We need to be students of the Scriptures who examine the Scriptures in their context to make certain we are getting the correct understanding, and who then apply what we are learning to our everyday lives.
So, “quick” in this context is really more about being ready and being prompt to hear the Scriptures and to not be lazy or casual or unconcerned about the Scriptures and what they teach. It means to listen up without delay and to not put this off for another time and then never get to it because we keep stalling and finding other things to do. It means to have a sense of immediacy and of the criticalness and importance of us getting into the Scriptures and to know what they teach so we can live what they teach.
And if we are prompt to hear what the Lord has to teach us, we won’t be those who quickly interrupt the Lord’s speaking with our own opinions in the matter. And we won’t be quick to get angry at what the Scriptures teach or at those who are teaching them in truth and in context, although many people are doing that. So many “Christians” today are buying into lies and so they are being convinced to immediately reject and to get angry over the truth when someone shows them the truth. So test everything you hear.
And so much of what is being taught today in the name of Jesus and in the name of his gospel is twisted and adulterated truth which teaches Scriptures outside their context and which teaches what is contrary to the will of God and the whole counsel of God. And they are not being taught to put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness nor to receive the whole counsel of God into their hearts and lives which is able to save their souls. And so many are quick to deny the truth and to embrace the lies, and that is so sad.
James 1:22-25 ESV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
Many people who are twisting the Scriptures and who are teaching lies as though they are truth are also teaching that we are NOT to be doers of the Word, that we aren’t to do anything in relation to our salvation from sin or to our faith in Jesus Christ or with regard to the teachings of Scripture. For if we “do” anything toward walks of obedience to our Lord and away from living in sin, they call that “works-based salvation” or “legalism.”
So, please, please, read the Scriptures, especially the New Testament, and especially the teachings of Jesus and of the New Testament apostles, and please read them in context, and do so prayerfully, earnestly seeking the Lord and his truth and righteousness, with a heart desire to do what God requires and to live holy lives, pleasing to God. Don’t just accept what a meme says or what some preacher or book author says as truth. Go to the Word and study it and let God’s Spirit speak truth to your hearts.
Then, don’t just walk away and forget what the Lord taught you. Do what the Word of God teaches we must do under the New Covenant. For we still have to submit to Jesus as Lord (owner-master), and we still have to forsake our sinful lifestyles, and we still have to walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands as part of our believing faith in Jesus Christ. For this is the purpose for which Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, in his power, strength, and wisdom.
And just know here that the Scriptures also teach that if we do not walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, and if we do not forsake our sinful practices, and if we do not honor him as Lord of our lives, but we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, in direct disobedience to our Lord, then we do not have the hope of eternal life with God. So, know the truth, listen to the truth, and obey the truth. Be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
I Pray for Them
An Original Work / June 4, 2013
Based off John 17
“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son
May glorify our God in heav’n.
Father, You granted Him all power
And all authority over men,
That He might give eternal life
To all those whom now
You have given Him.”
“This now then is eternal life:
That they may know You,
Father, and Your Son;
That they may know the only true God,
And Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.
I have brought You the glory by
Finishing the work that You’ve given Me.”
“I have shown You to those whom
You gave to Me out of the world;
They were Yours. You gave them to Me
And they have obeyed Your words
And they accepted them. They knew
That I came from You, and they believed
With certainty, I was sent.”
“Holy Father, I pray for them by the
Power of Your name: Protect them,
So that they may be one as we are,
For they are still living in this world.
I have given them Your word;
Because of Your word, the world
Has hated them.”
“I pray they may have the full measure of
My joy now living within them.
Father, I pray You sanctify them
By Your word; truly Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world,
I send them to tell the world to repent.”