Thursday, October 4, 2018

James 1:19-21 Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.


James is writing to his "beloved brethren," his fellow believers. He says that with the Holy Spirit's guidance they will strive to "lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness..." By daily contrition and repentance they put off the old nature with its evil deeds and put on the new nature which desires to live according to God's holy will and ways.

Yes, they want to be "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath..." Simply put, guided by the Holy Spirit God's children rule their emotions, tame their tongues, and keep their tempers under control. The Spirit does this as they "receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls...."

With those words James agrees with the Lord Jesus. One time when a woman was listening to the Savior talk about His power over demons, she told Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You! But He said, More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:27).

The key is regularly hearing, listening to, and paying attention to the "implanted" Word of God. Let false friends or co-workers mock the Bible as an old-fashioned, out-of-date book. On our part, let us receive it in honest and good hearts, knowing that Word alone leads us safely through this earthly life to our heavenly home.

Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide,
For round us falls the eventide.
O let Your Word, that saving light,
Shine forth undimmed into the night.

Stay with us, Lord, and keep us true;
Preserve our faith our whole life through--
Your Word alone our heart's defense,
The Church's glorious confidence.
(Lutheran Service Book, 585:1, 6)