Devotional: ‘A Heart That is Receptive’

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James 1:19 My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil excess, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.

22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror; 24 for he looks at himself, goes away, and right away forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts-this person will be blessed in what he does. CSB

Someone has said that the reason God gave us two ears and one mouth is because He wants us to listen twice as much as we speak. Listening is very important and a vital part of good communication. This is especially true when it comes to listening to God.

James was writing to Christians who were facing great persecution for their faith. Whenever we suffer we are often tempted to ask – ‘Why God? Why are You allowing this to happen to me?’ Though it may seem natural for us to ask such questions, we must be very careful that we never become accusative and slanderous. It is never right to insinuate that perhaps God is doing something wrong.

Rather than accusing God of doing evil, we should seek Him for His guidance. James writes – “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5 CSB) Personally I believe that one of the reasons God sometimes allows difficulty into our lives is so that we will ask ‘why’ and even more importantly – ‘what.’ “What do You want me to learn from this Lord?”

Over the next few days we will examine three aspects of finding God’s wisdom. Today we will look at the importance of having a receptive heart.

James 1:19 My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil excess, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.

Here’s my translation of this passage: “Resist the temptation to speak rashly and instead be eager to hear what God has to say.” The New Living Translation says -“humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”

Each and every day you and I should read our Bible with a receptive heart. We should anticipate that God has something important to say to us and we should be ready to receive whatever He has to say in such a way that will cause us to grow spiritually and to become more like Him.

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