don’t just listen to God’s word – do what it says (James)

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22

new path to next door

One of the great challenges of moving is all the work that’s required to make the “new” place home. We’ve been in our Wake Forest house eleven months now, and – rather than finishing up – it seems like we’re still just getting started.

Sure, we did some painting right away, and we purchased some key pieces of furniture, and we’ve been incrementally working to re-shape the vision of the garden; but mostly we’ve been in the “listening” mode, letting our new home “speak” to us before we do anything too radical!

But now it’s time to actually do something! In June, the first big change involved painting the living room, a huge job which included painting over all the dark wainscoting, molding, and trim. The work took five days of concentrated effort.

painting the wainscoting

Then Rebekah started the fence project (“Point of View can change everything”). We still have a long way to go, but the effect – along with the reclamation in the wooded area behind the house – is dramatic.

This week – after talking about it for six months – we’re finally taking out several trees in the front and have completed a winding pathway that links to my parents’ home next door.

Then – and hopefully soon – demolition is slated to begin in our kitchen. We’re redesigning the space from the ground up, and I’m anxious to see how the vision eventually translates into reality.

That is the key here, and why I appreciate the tenor of the writing in James; it may be true to say that “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18), but the vision must be followed up by, “Do not merely listen to the word… do what it says” (James 1:22).

kitchen planning
kitchen planning

DO SOMETHING! Fact is, it’s too easy in our spiritual journey to talk, talk, talk – and then do very little in the way of implementation.

This is so true in the message I referenced in yesterday’s post – “from the heart of Jesus: hope and good news.” We can say “God so loved the world” a million times, but unless we’re willing to put love into practice then we – as James puts it – “deceive ourselves.”

I admit that, sometimes, I’d like to see all the work completed and then put my feet up for a while. But in my heart I really appreciate the fact that we’re always a work in progress; at our house, as individual followers of Jesus, and as a – WFPC – faith community.

significantly lighter space

It’s not just that, “God hasn’t finished with us yet,” – it’s also that, “I still have a long way to go when it comes to responding properly to all the love, grace, generosity, and redemption that keeps coming my way.”

A long way! How about you? – DEREK


  1. It will look like a new home with all of the fixing up that you have done. I am sure the kitchen will look great when you finish. I know how much you miss the kitchen that you designed for your Florida home.


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