Today’s Reading: James 1:22-27
Daily Lectionary: Numbers 9:1-23; Luke 16:1-18
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. How do you “do” the Word of God? Martin Luther tells us that we “hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it” (Explanation to the Third Commandment). That’s the hearing which James speaks of, but what about the doing of the Word? What does that mean? What does it look like?
To be a doer of the Word means to do what the Word says. And what does that Word say? “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). To be perfect means to do all that God has commanded of you. It means to do all that His Law says and to do it exactly as He has said to do it, to the letter. But you and I are not capable of keeping the Law perfectly. The only thing we are good at is failing to do what God has commanded of us.
If we expect to be perfect, to do all that God commands of us, someone else will have to bring that about. A thought like that goes against everything the world would have us believe. The world wants you to think that you are certainly capable of doing what God tells you to do, that you are capable of saving yourself. The harsh truth is that the world lies to you. The world builds you up, sets you up for something that you are not capable of doing.
Fortunately for us, we have One who does set us up, but not for failure. God our heavenly Father sets us up for salvation by making a promise and keeping that promise. There was nothing that Adam and Eve could do to save themselves, just like there is nothing that you can do to save yourself. Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, was sent into this world. He who is the Word is also the doer of the Word. His Word created and His Word saves. He does exactly what God sets out for Him to do: to redeem creation from the devastating and destructive forces of sin, death, and the devil. Jesus does all that the Father commands: He keeps the Word of God perfectly. so He keeps that Law of God perfectly. He keeps all things perfectly, including His sacrificial death and resurrection from the dead. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord, Your mercy will not leave me; Ever will Your truth abide. Then in You I will confide. Since Your Word cannot deceive me, My salvation is to me Safe and sure eternally. (“Oh, How Great Is Your Compassion” LSB 559, st.4)
-Rev. Jared Tucher is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Farmers Retreat, IN, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dewberry, IN.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.