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The Difference between Being a Believer and a Follower

posted Jul 13, 2014, 7:49 AM by Website Administrator   [ updated Jul 13, 2014, 7:49 AM ]
July 13, 2014
Key Passage: James 1: 19-27

“The Difference between Being a Believer and a Follower”

“We know we are listening to God when what we read in the Bible is what others see in our lives"
Max Lucado

The tendency in our attention- deprived generation is to become church salad bar hoppers, going from one scripture to another - picking and choosing a little here and tasting some new ingredient there simply for our own emotional and sin needs.  Let’s not kid ourselves – too many Christians “mark their bibles but their bibles never mark them.” There’s an eternal difference between being a Believer in Christ and a Follower of Christ.   If we’re not willing to do the Word, don’t expect to be blessed by the Word …
1.  We need a right attitude towards God’s Word (1:19-20)
Who wants to be around someone who never listens, won’t shut up, and gets angry easily?
That’s right – no one.  God doesn’t either.  We need to be:
a. “quick to listen How would your family describe your listening skills?
                         Evaluate Acknowledge  Respond (EAR)

b. “slow to speak Who gets the last word in at your house?  Your work?  At school?  When all the excuses have been made, the real truth is that we talk too much.

c. “slow to anger Human anger is actually the product of a complete lack of willingness to listen, and it will block you from hearing what God wants in your life.

2.  We need humble hearts to receive the Word of God (1:21)
Do I have a teachable spirit?  Do I always take personal responsibility for my sin?  Am I humble 
enough to admit daily, and explicitly, that I am a sinner and need forgiveness?  Have you 
considered that we pray for safety instead of purity because we don’t see impurity as dangerous?

3.  We need to Apply God’s Word (1:22-25)

a.  Act on God’s Word (1:22)
What we do here every Sunday, and what you do daily in terms of reading
God’s Word, is completely useless if we don’t act on it – immediately.

b.  Research and Reflect on God’s Word (1:25)  
The connotation of the word translated as “look” is “to stoop down and gaze into.” 
Someone once said, “God doesn’t reveal deep things to the casual Christian who drops 
in for a chat.”

c.  Religion that God accepts (1:26-27)
Bridling your tongue, putting your faith in action by, among other things, helping the helpless, and remaining unpolluted from the world … now, how hard is that?

Q: How can a Follower who has gotten bored with God’s word recover it?  What steps should be taken?
Q: Some would argue with the statement, “If there is no changed life, there is no salvation.”  How would    you defend it biblically?

BOTTOM LINE: Let me ask you a final question – what from today can you put into practice now?  Maybe you need to slow down and meditate on God’s Word.  Is there too much anger in your life?  Will you make a commitment today to get a handle on that? Maybe you need to stop talking (gossiping) and quit making excuses and blaming others.  As you think about what God is saying to you right now, through His Holy Spirit, ask yourself this question:  What can, and should, I do?  How can I apply what I have been convicted of? “Don’t just listen to the Word – DO WHAT IT SAYS!”