by Marilynn Chadwick But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22 ESV). Keeping our faith—and our cool—can be challenging when the stresses of life hit. Maybe you need a little “faith-fix" as you approach this busy holiday season. I know I do. The book of James is filled with lots of practical wisdom. That’s why some call it “The Proverbs of the New Testament.” This is just the book to help us focus on what really matters this time of year! Let’s face it. The turbulence in the world today threatens to wreck our calm. Plus, the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season can cause us to lose our focus. Let’s look to God’s Word and discover what the book of James has to teach us as we anticipate the birthday of Jesus. Each day, we will focus on one simple word from this practical epistle written by the half-brother of Jesus. James encourages us to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” so today’s word is doer. These reflections are designed to help you meditate on a single truth from Scripture. Why just one Word? For starters, your minutes matter—especially when life gets busy. What’s more, meditation on a small portion of Scripture helps you laser-focus on one facet of the message. It’s a simple but effective way to fill your mind with God's Word. Plus, it helps you frontload your prayers with a burst of power for the rest of your day. I confess I’m a bit of a “word nerd.” And reflecting on one word is a good way to unpack every morsel of truth in the Scripture. A single word may be just the inspiration that moves me to action, to be a “doer” of the Word, and not only a “hearer,” as James challenges us (James 1:22). I've had a number of "aha" moments over the years when reading this short epistle. James prods me to a dangerous trust. To stick my neck out. Take a risk. Leap into the unknown. Obey and grow. But don't rush off too soon, James cautions, and forget what you've heard (James 1:24). Allow the words to sink in deep and change your heart. Reflect on what you've learned through your reading. What is God prompting you to do? James packs a wallop. The powerful truths in his little book have ignited life-change for countless readers for centuries. God's Word never returns void. Never leaves us empty. So...are you ready? Let’s learn from James. Expect to be changed. Stay alert. Watch for signs of God at work all around you. And remember, Jesus loves to surprise us with Christmas miracles and sometimes it’s with something as simple as one word from his Word!
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