Amnesia in the Church: The Short Circuit between Word and Deed
James 1:22-25 (NIV)
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
A short circuit between word and deed is caused by amnesia in the church. We become forgetful hearers and the word we receive does not find its rightful expression in the world. Word and Deed become disconnected. We must find a cure for amnesia if we are ever going to be the people God calls us to be. Obedience is the translation of God’s will in His Word to his will in the World. We are told to let our lights shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in Heaven. In order to do that there are several things that have to be done.
II. Insist on The Call for Application
A. The Obligation of Application: A Duty
B. The Omission of Application: A Danger
1. Mistaking hearing as Adequate: Missing the Point
2. Mistaking hearing for obedience: Missing the Truth
III. Identify The Case of Amnesia
A. Examine Yourself
B. Exit the Scene
C. Erase the Memory
IV. Illustrate A Commitment to Action
A. A Commitment to Study God’s Word
1. The Object of Study
a) Which is Perfect: sufficient in its completeness
b) Which Gives Freedom: Sufficient to Deliver
2. The Attitude of Study
a) With Intensity
b) With Continuity
B. A Commitment to Apply God’s Word
1. Remembering with Accuracy
2. Responding in Obedience
3. Resulting in Blessing
In order for our light to shine we must have a complete circuit. Hearing the Word is not letting our lights shine, we must also do what it says. Application is the call to every Christian, but too many have developed a case of amnesia, and have become forgetful hearers, always hearing but never coming to a realization of the truth. The call of God’s Word to Evangelize is not realized because the Word and the deed are short circuited by amnesia. The call of God’s Word to purity is short circuited by amnesia. The call of God’s word to forgive our neighbors is short circuited by amnesia. We are called to love God, and when His Word shows us that we are cold and have no fire we turn our head, walk out the door. We turn away from the reflection of ourselves God shows us through his word. We leave the church, and before our car doors are closed and the transmission is dropped into gear we have forgotten God’s Word to us. Application fades away as God’s Word is short circuited by amnesia. We remain the same. Nothing has changed. We do not become more holy. We do not become more loving. We leave the harvest un-harvested.
Let’s cure the amnesia that makes excuses and forgets our reflection. Let us commit ourselves to not only hearing the Word of God when it speaks to us, but applying it to our lives with a submissive yielded spirit, doing what it says out of obedience and devotion. Only then can we expect God to bless us in what we do.