But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Dear God, this last phrase could easily be taken out of context: “then God will bless you for doing it.” Other translations say something like, “They will be blessed in what they do.” (NIV) Either way, this could be interpreted as doing this for selfish reasons. As of to say, if I do what you say then it will improve my situation. But that’s not what James is saying because the people he’s talking to are living under persecution for their faith and he doesn’t expect that to get better. no, I think the blessed to which he’s referring here isn’t as much of the #blessed philosophy as it is being filled with the fruits of the Spirit.
The more I know you. The more I walk away from temptation and towards your presence the more my life will reflect you and the more your fruit will grow in and out of me. I’ve talked about the fruit of the Spirit many times with you before, but I do it because I think it’s the key. That’s the blessing you have for me. You want to give me love like you have. You want to give me a deep joy in all circumstances. You want to give me a peace that passes all understanding. Patience. Goodness. Faithfulness. Kindness. Self control. These are the blessings you have for me. They are what will see me through regardless the path you need for me to walk to accomplish your will.
Father, give me ears to listen to your word and the different ways you speak to me, and give me the courage and impetus to actually follow your words—whether it’s the things you want my heart to know and change, or the actions you need me to take. More than anything, I want the peace that comes from knowing I’ve given you all of me. I’ve given my utmost for your highest.
In Jesus’s name I pray,