James 1:23-25 Love is Like a River

Love is like a river

James 1:23-25 Love is Like a River

James 1:23-25 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, upon going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

When Jesus began his ministry, the law was something outside – an external behavioral framework to which people were required to conform. Ezekiel and Jeremiah wrote of the heart – and both of them foretold the coming of a time when God would give a new heart, tender, not like the externally focused hearts of stone. David, revered mostly as a king, was also a prophet and he wrote very extensively of the heart in the psalms. He was also the one person ever described in the scriptures as “a man after God’s own heart”. There is a clear migration of biblical theology’s center moving through time from law to heart.

The bible is all about the love of God, the affection of God for all that flows from that love. Now back to James and today’s scripture quotation. He speaks of “the perfect law, the law of liberty”. This is the law of love, Jesus’ new covenant commandment – just as God’s energy flowed and continues to flow outward to create and bless, we who are created in that image and likeness are being transformed into carriers/sharers/ transmitters of that God-love. BUT, when we are so focused inwardly on our own needs, wants, desires, emotions, hopes, fears etc, the energy God has poured into us gets mostly recycled inside ourselves rather than carried/shared/ transmitted outward. James counsels us not to just know these things then develop temporary amnesia and walk away without acting. Instead, take this great truth, and its power, and let it both inform and direct you to persevere in that outward visionary life of love which is, in fact, what life is all about, right here in our/your little corner of creation.

Pastor Bill

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