Crossroads: Do Something

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James 1:22-27

My Story

Theory and practice are two very different things. I may believe that I can do something, but until I actually do it, who knows whether or not I can? When I was a kid, I had to learn how to ride a bike with handle bar brakes. I knew how to ride a regular bike, and my dad explained how to use the handle bar brakes, but until I tried it for myself, I couldn’t say that I knew how to ride that bike. After running into a flower pot and falling off a few times, I got the hang of it. I didn’t just listen to how to ride that bike; I put it into practice so that I actually learned how.

Your Story

Have you ever watched a YouTube video on how to fix something? Were you able to actually fix it after you watched the video? Talk about a time when someone told you how to do something and you followed through and did it. How did you feel after you accomplished it?

The Bible Story

Read James 1:22-27.

From The Message: “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.”

It’s not enough for us to just listen to God’s Word. We have to actually do something with it. The Bible tells us to love our neighbor. We can’t just read it and ignore. Instead, God wants us to love our neighbor: to help others when they need it, to feed the hungry, to take care of the homeless, and to be friends with people who don’t have a friend. As Christians, we can’t just sit back and not do anything. As James says, if we read/hear the Bible and then don’t do anything, it’s like looking in a mirror, walking away, and having no idea what we look like!

(Do an experiment with your family. Have everyone look at themselves in the mirror. Then have them turn away from their reflections and ask them basic questions: What color hair do you have? What color are your eyes? Do you have freckles? Is your hair curly or straight?)

After this experiment, say: We all remembered what we looked like! As Christians, we’re supposed to look like Jesus. That doesn’t mean that your hair color will change or your eye color will change, or you’ll turn into a boy if you’re a girl. But what it does mean is that God wants us to do what Jesus did. Jesus was friends with people that nobody else liked. Jesus fed people who were really hungry. Jesus cared about other people, people that nobody else thought were very important. We’re supposed to hear God’s Word and then follow it because that’s what Jesus did. The word “Christian” means “like Christ” or “little Christ”. So since we are supposed to be like Christ, we should do the things that Jesus did. Then we will be doers of the Word instead of just hearers.

Discussion and Action

• Ask your children about things they’ve learned how to do after someone told them how to do it (riding a bike, learning how to add, learning how to read, etc.). Did they need some practice actually doing that thing before they’d really learned it?
• Talk about how you and your family can be like Jesus this week.

Prayer

Ask God for help putting what He says into action.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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