An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
(James 1:22-25)

After working in the aerospace industry for 20 years I have discovered a profound truth about airplanes: planes need both their wings to fly! Of course I’m being silly here; this truth isn’t very profound or cryptic; the fact that both wings are required for flight is as obvious as the nose on our face! Even so, this feature of the design and function of airplanes is a good analogy to an important spiritual reality. Just as the airplane cannot fly without both wings, a Christian cannot hope to “soar” in his Christian walk without both knowing and doing. The scriptures are replete with instructions to both learn sound doctrine and to order our conduct accordingly. This was encapsulated in Christ’s marching orders to the church prior to His ascension. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,” commanded our Lord, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” The task is daunting and, from a human perspective, utterly impossible. How grateful we are to hear the Lord’s follow-up statement, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20). Praise God we are not left to our own devices in striving to accomplish this great work on the earth! Nevertheless, the fact remains that God demands that we be both diligent students of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) as well as obedient servants of the Most High God (Luke 17:7-10). It is essential that we have at least some theological knowledge (Hosea 4:6; Romans 10:2) as well as a walk that at least approaches worthiness of the high call placed on our lives (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12). Our Christian lives will never really “get off the ground” with only one or the other of these “wings.” A head full of Bible verses without any good works does nothing practically to glorify God or advance the Kingdom. On the other hand, doing “good works” without any reference to God and His word whatsoever is equally dishonoring to the Lord Who has magnified His word above His name (Psalm 138:2). In the light of eternity, these are actually dead works, having very little practical value. Today’s verse passage reminds us that we are called to study the word to know what God expects from us and then, by God’s enablement to be sure (Philippians 2:12-13), to do what is required. Let us exercise both of our “wings” today, for God’s glory and the good of others.

God bless you,

Pastor John