One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of James…..I know you are surprised that is was not Leviticus or Judges. Ever since I became a Christian this book has just really stuck with me and has really challenged me in my faith. While some books are more poetic and contain a lot of symbolism, James cuts right to the point. One of the parts of the book of James that challenges me is in James 1:22-25, “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works- this person will be blessed in what he does.”
So who do we look like? About three-quarters of Americans identify themselves as Christians but do we look like Christ? If this is the case then why is our world not radically transformed? I believe it comes partially down to this scripture that I have shared with you today. In our country we have many people when asked, “Are you a Christian?” will respond, “Oh yeah, I believe in Jesus. I am a Christian.” However, many times their lives look no different from anyone else. I know soon as I say that people will come out of the wood work and say, “Who are you to judge?” I have noticed this tends to be many people’s response when you ask them to step up and live what they are claiming to believe. Please hear me , I am not claiming to be perfect or without sin. I need the saving grace of Jesus Christ just as much or more than anyone else, but I am seeking each day to become more like Christ.
As Christians I challenge us to ask ourselves the question who do you resemble? When people look at you do they see Christ or do they see the world? It is one thing to claim to be a Christian but it is quite another to live the life as one who follows Christ. May we not just be hearers of God’s word and then walk away unchanged! May this perfect law of freedom shape and transform your life. My prayer is that if someone looks at my life they will see someone who loves God’s church, worships weekly with other believers, gives faithfully, loves God’s word, lives out God’s love by serving others, challenges and is challenged by other faithful Christians in accountable relationships, and lives out my faith as I share it with others. So as you go through this day ask yourself, “Who do you resemble?”