Hi friend! Welcome to Episode 16 of Tending Your Soul Podcast, I’m Mariel and I’m so happy to have you joining me in the garden today as we tend our soul by the Word of God in the book of James.
We have been tending through James chapter 1 and today we come to verses 22-24. Join me as we unfold the word of God using my slowed down, TEND method.
My TEND method is based on the acronym TEND which reminds us that the Gardener of our soul is tending the seed of His Word into the soil of our hearts. And the 1st letter, T stands for take time to pray. So join me now as we turn our attention to the Lord.
Father, would you speak through Your word to our hearts today as we lean in and listen? Amen.
The next letter in the TEND method guides us to Examine the Scripture. This is when I write down the verse or verses I’m tending through. It helps me to slow down, pay attention to the Word, and notice the subjects and verbs and even the tenses of the verbs.
The goal of time in the Bible is NOT to “get through” a book of the bible or even to “get through the bible” but rather to know God better. And if that really is our goal, then slowing down, leaning in and listening to the Lord through His Word is the way to get there.
So let’s looks at these 4 verses: James 1:22-24
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For is anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
Oh there is so much good treasure here!
In context, James is urging his readers to actively welcome the Word of God into the rhythms of their day and here he is pressing it further with them, commissioning them to not just hear it but do it!
This is such a good visual here for us, as he reminds us that a man who is just hearing the Word of God but not doing it, is deceiving himself and is like someone who really stares at himself in the mirror. I mean it says “intently” this person is looking in the mirror. And the original word that this is coming from is the Greek word: katanoeo which means to consider carefully, to discern, to attentively concentrate one’s thinking, and to fix one’s eyes or mind on something and behold it.
Yall, that is intense!
So James is saying that this person is concentrating on his face in the mirror but then he turns and walks away and no sooner forgets what he saw!
After all that concentrating and intense looking how does he forget so quickly? Oh what a lesson for us!
So as we move from E to N in TEND we see that N is for Notice the lesson, so what is being taught here?
The lessons in the Bible are always going to be truth that is true for all time, for all people, in all places. It will be lessons consistent with the full cannon of Scripture since God’s Word never contradicts itself. SO let’s lean in and see what this lesson is for us today.
As we see this warning of deceiving ourselves when we hear the Word but fail to do the Word and the comparison of that to someone intensely looking at themselves but quickly forgetting what they saw, the lesson might be:
We are spiritually forgetful, regardless how intensely we study the Bible and all the commentaries and color coding and sermons we hear, unless we do what the Word of God says, we will forget and THUS deceive ourselves!
No one is fooled by our false godliness or our head knowledge of the Bible!
If we aren’t doing what it says and living before the face of God ourselves, then the only one who is being deceived by this for long is US!
As we then move through the TEND method from Notice the lesson to Do what It says we want to turn the lesson into a question we can respond to.
So if we are spiritually forgetful then how can I today, be sure to do what the Word says rather than just hear it, read it or even intensely study it?
How can I be a doer of the Word that puts feet to what God is teaching me in His Word?
For me the obvious answer is to TEND the word of God. I spent years working though studies that magnified the voice of other teachers and pastors rather than the voice of God through His Word. I realized it had gotten too easy for me to just hear the Word through these teachers and not DO what God said through His Word TO ME.
So when I came to develop the tend method from inductive method, I began to hear God’s voice through His Word and the Spirit in me was quickened to enable me to do what He said.
Doing what God invites us towards only serves to draw us closer to the Lord.
What about you, friend? Do you find yourself drawn into workbook studies or group bible studies that amplify the voice of a teacher or pastor? Are you spending time in the Word of God to get through or to know more?
Or are you a doer of the Word, slowed down and leaned into God through His Word seeking to hear the whisper of the Spirit through the page? Are you quick to respond with action, praise or repentance when God quickens your heart?
Let’s draw near to the One who enables us to do what He calls us to do.
Lord, would you forgive us when we have been hearers only? Enable us by your spirit to be doers of the Word. Tend our souls by your word and bring forth fruit as only you can do. Amen.
What a gracious God He is to invite us to continually draw near and enables us to do what He calls us to do.
Do you know someone who might be encouraged by Tending their Soul?
Share this podcast with her!
Also I invite you to join me in my private online community where we gather around the Word of God and keep tending our soul by the Word so that we might not be hearers of the Word but doers of it as we grow in our walk with Jesus.
The community is called, TENDING TOGETHER and we are on the mighty Networks platform. We are finishing a series in Arming ourselves this summer and it’s not too late to join in and watch the teachings and join our zoom meetings!
Your free guide to Tools for Tending your Soul is also available in the show notes! So be sure to download that!
And until next time, friend, keep tending your soul by the Word.