James 1:19–27 (ESV)
Hearing and Doing the Word
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
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.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle
his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained
from the world.
James encourages Christians to return to the Word, take comfort in the Gospel, and live righteous lives focused on service toward others. We also know the kind
of lives God calls us to lead. Yet too easily we turn away from that calling. God, who implanted His Word in us and justified us in Christ, now calls us to bless others. He honors us by using us to bring His love to all people, especially those whom the world
I pray: Thank You, Lord, for Your Word. Hold it continually before me, and bring me to hear it preached and taught. May it be rooted deep inside me, that it
may transform me into Your righteous servant. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2136.