“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” –James 1:22
First, we become a doer of the Word when we study the Bible. Many people simply hear the Word. Others chew on the Word, and then spit it out. Paul told Timothy to give attention to reading. We are to read the Scriptures. “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (1 Tim. 4:13) Paul also told Timothy to study the Scriptures. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
The Bible needs to be studied daily, systematically, consistently, by books and chapters and verses. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jer. 15:16) Do you study the Scriptures, and rightly divide them? Learn the Scriptures. Saturate your mind with the Bible. We become a doer of the Word by studying the Word.
Second, we become a doer of the Word by being an example of the Word. The Bible says that Christians are to be living epistles known and read by all men. “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:” (2 Cor. 3:2) “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12) Paul was pleased with the believers at Thessalonica. “So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.” (1 Thess. 1:7) Jesus said, ““Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3) The Psalms asked, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” (Psalm 119:9)
People want power over temptation. They want their hearts cleansed from sin. Read the Scriptures. Study them. Let them cleanse you. Those who study the Scriptures do not get far in their life in sin. But, it is possible to study the Scriptures and be a heretic in one’s life. It is possible to have religious rituals and forms, and never be transformed to the point of living a victorious life in the market place, in the home, on the campus, in the neighborhood, in the business, and at work. We are to do the Word by being examples of the Word.
Third, we become doers of the Word by sowing the Word. Jesus liked to use farm parables. On some farms in the early spring there is the sowing of wheat and rye. And the crop would come up in due time. Jesus told the parable of the man who sowed seed. “A sower went out to sow his seed” (Luke 8:5) Are you sowing? Some of the ground is stone. People are asked if they enjoy the gospel and some are honest and say, “No. The message of the gospel leaves me cold.” Of course! Stoney ground. Unprepared ground! Except the Holy Spirit prepares the heart, the heart will remain adamantly against God and not seek Him. There will be no spiritual fruit.
Then Jesus said that some people will have the gospel seed sown in their heart. It will grow up a little while. A person might go on in the faith for six months or a year and then troubles come. A crisis comes. Temptation comes. The fruit withers and dies. Individuals falter and fail. They turn away from the faith.
There are others in whom the seed falls, takes root, and grows. It looks like there will be a wonderful life for God. But then the cares and riches of the world, society and sophistication, and television come in and move the heart away from God. All these things take the place of God to choke off the Word.
But then Jesus said that some of the seek will fall on good ground and will bear much fruit. Herein is the encouragement that is needed to be a faithful sower of the Word. God has a people He will bring to Himself.
Billy Graham tells of a young boy who was passing out tracts on a bus. One of the passengers took offense and said, “Tracts! Tracts! Tracts! They are everywhere!” The boy paused and said, “Sir, there will be no tracts in hell.” The man thought about that and was converted. A surgeon general of Portugal became a Christian because a piece of paper stuck on his shoe in Lisbon. It was a gospel tract. He read it. He was converted to Christ by a tract that someone had faithfully sown. We never know how God will use our humble efforts. The Bible says the Word shall not return void. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
Fourth, we become a doer of the Word by becoming a sustainer of the Word. The gospel ministry needs financial support. While the gospel is free, the pail that we carry it in costs. Invest your time. Invest your money. Your money represents your interest. The Bible says that where your treasure is there will your heart be also. (Matt. 6:21) Jesus will use our resources and multiply them as He multiplied the five loaves and two fishes to feed the multitude.
Fifth, we become a doer of the Word by being surrendered to the Word. It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. (Chinese proverb) The darkness of the world is all around us. Politically, socially, morally, there is darkness. But there is a light, the light of the gospel. Christians are to give themselves so that their lives are a burning and shining light of the Jesus.
The story is told of a Russian peasant went to an altar in a great cathedral and took a candle and lit it. Then he carefully carried the candle back to his home. He put the candle in a lantern and put the lantern on the front of his plow. He plowed at night because the season was so short. But he wanted to let his light shine for the Lord as well. He wanted people to know where he got that light.
We have to go and live our lives. But let us go and live as a doer of the Word and not a hearer only as we shine for Christ as a Christian witness. Let the light from God’s altar burn in our hearts as we live for the Lord so that when people see us they will sense we have been with Jesus.