You must be doers of the word and not only hearers who mislead themselves. – James 1:22 (CEB)
I used to watch the G.I. Joe cartoons when I was a kid. They would end every show with some knowledge/advice section, and close with the phrase, “And now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”
Knowing about Jesus and following Jesus are two different things. Knowing about God’s saving grace and experiencing it are two different things. If I know God’s love, but I am not transformed by it, then what good is that? That’s James point.
He’s encouraging those who know about Jesus, to live the life that God calls us to live. It’s and invitation and a challenge. Knowing is only half the battle, and frankly, I believe the easy half. Living it out, living the life that God calls us to, to try to live worthy, as it says in Ephesians 4:1, that is the challenge – simple and straight forward, but difficult.
I want to encourage you today, not to live up to some moral code to try to earn God’s love and salvation (not that you could if you tried), but to live, truly live a different way of life, guided by God, simply knowing and believing that God loves you. May the love and grace and forgiveness that God shows you, deepen your commitment to the Lord, God’s Kingdom, and a different, more excellent life.
Prayer: “Lord, after all you’ve done for me there isn’t anything I won’t do for you.” Amen.
p.s. The quote in the prayer is from Tony Campolo’s speech to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in 1994. I frequently use his refrain from that speech in my prayers. God still uses it with grace to convict my heart and soul.