Falling to an even worse fate, are those who look into God's word, but forget what it says about Him or themselves. James in the New Testament describes the Scriptures as a mirror.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23 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.
24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
25 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."
-James 1:22-25, English Standard Version
It says that you are deceiving yourself, if you think that Christianity is all about hearing. You are saved only by believing and confessing Jesus (simple faith). This confessed faith in Jesus is the only way to be a child of God. But fathers expect their children to be obedient. They love their children. The Heavenly Father loves His children so much, that He develops and grows us using discipline, reassurance, and devotion. All these things are part of Father's love for us. So we as God's children in Christ need to listen to Him, and do what He asks of us.
You can hear the preacher and read the word and talk all you want - but until you act, your words and hearing are fruitless. Jesus desires a people that are just like Him. Did you notice what it says in verse 24 above? It says that the man forgets "what he was like". Well, I don't ever want to forget about being like Jesus! The word helps us learn what Jesus is like and the Spirit helps us become more like Him!
"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers" Romans 8:29 ESV
This verse tells us that God knows the ones who will respond to His grace and call. Those who do respond are the ones he plans to be made into the image of Jesus His Son! God wants His son Jesus to have lots of siblings! Us!
So if we read the word - and say "yes that's who Jesus is, and I'm to be like Him"- great. But, will you remember it- and do it? He wants you to trust His Holy Spirit to make the changes in you, as you cooperate with Him, so that when we look into the mirror of God's word, we no longer see ourselves, sinful and wicked. No, we will look at ourselves and only see the indwelling Spiritual presence of the pure and spotless lamb, Jesus Christ! For example Jesus tells us to bless those that curse us, so we should remember to do it the next time some guy cuts us off on the road. I am speaking to myself too. It's little things like this that the Spirit will remind us to do.
I may have survived as Beaker, but unless I remember to do what God says, things will truly get hairy.
Let's hope for this:
"...When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
1 John 3:2b,3 KJV
This "hope" John refers to is that "we shall be like him", like Jesus. I hope to be like Jesus, in character and quality. Do you? Then let's follow Him, and respond with cooperation to His directions!
~Curtis J. Alexander