Devotional: ‘A Heart That is Rewarded’       

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James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. NKJV

Over the last couple of days, we have been focusing on James’ encouragement for us to be “doers of the Word and not hearers only.” (James 1:22) James tells us that God’s Word is like a mirror meant to help us make necessary spiritual adjustments. Just like each of us looks into a physical mirror each day in order to make necessary physical improvements, so we should also look into God’s spiritual mirror each day in order to make necessary spiritual improvements. We should do this not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is the best thing to do. James says- “…this person will be blessed in what he does.” Why will we be blessed?

First of all, we see that God’s Word is His ‘PERFECT LAW.’ We live in a world today that seeks to be free from any form of moral restraint. Recently I read a couple of books about what is often referred to as ‘Moral Relativism.’ Moral Relativism is the belief that each of us should have the freedom to decide for ourselves what we think is right and wrong based upon what is most relevant for us at the moment. For example, if it seems relevant for a woman to abort an unwanted child, she should have the right to do so, regardless of whether anyone else says or thinks. Those who hold to this philosophy tell us that it is her right to decide what is more relevant for her and her circumstances. In contrast to this, James speaks of God’s ‘perfect law.’ The Bible says – “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89 NKJV) What many in our society do not realize is that God declared what is right and what is wrong long before mankind ever existed. In addition to this, the Bible also tells us that mankind will one day stand before God and be judged according to God’s perfect law. Moral relativism will carry no weight in heaven. The standard for right and wrong will be God’s eternal Word.

Secondly, note that God’s law brings freedom. James calls it “THE PERFECT LAW OF FREEDOM.” Few people see the Bible as a book of freedom. Even many Christians avoid it because they think that it is too restrictive. Yet, we see in today’s passage that the Bible is actually a book of freedom. Why is this true?

A) GOD’S WORD FREES US FROM THE THINGS THAT WILL DESTROY US

The freedom that so many seek today is not really freedom at all. It is a form of bondage that enslaves us and causes us to do things that will eventually destroy us. People in the bondage of sin suffer spiritually, emotionally, and even physically. Jesus said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 NKJV)

B) GOD’S WORD FREES US FROM THE BONDAGE OF GUILT AND SHAME

I remember a time when I thought that I should have the right to do as I pleased. I wanted to be free. Yet I also remember that I had a difficult time looking other people in the eye, especially those whom I respected. I was not free. I was in the bondage of guilt and shame. It was not until I turned my life over to Christ and received His cleansing and forgiveness that I found true freedom.

C) GOD’S WORD FREES US TO LIVE IN A WAY THAT GOD WILL BLESS

Why should we allow God’s Spirit to take God’s Word and change us? It is because this is where we will find God’s blessings and reward. Not only will God reward us by protecting us from things that can destroy us, but He will also reward us by making us more like Himself and His Son.

God bless you brethren. I pray you will have a God-filled day!

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