Wednesday, December 20, 2006

When Your Retaining Walls Are Shifting

A retaining wall is very important; it is placed to keep the earth from shifting and creeping down a hill, thus causing an upheaval to the land.

A problem occurs, though, when the retaining wall itself is shifting.

Every Christian has retaining walls in his life: prayer, Bible study, fellowship with the saints at worship services/other church functions and, quite importantly, putting into practice what he already knows to be the will of God.

In today's Church world it's easy to know much about Christianity but participate in it little. Disobedience to the will of God (found in the word of God) is disastrous.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, warns us:

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if 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. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing."
(Jam 1.22-25 ESV)

In his Explanatory Notes John Wesley comments on verse 23:

"Beholding his face in a glass - How exactly does the scripture glass show a man the face of his soul!"

And verse 25:

"But he that looketh diligently - Not with a transient glance, but bending down, fixing his eyes, and searching all to the bottom. Into the perfect law - Of love as established by faith. St. James here guards us against misunderstanding what St. Paul says concerning the 'yoke and bondage of the law.' He who keeps the law of love is free, Joh 8:31, &c. He that does not, is not free, but a slave to sin, and a criminal before God, Jam 2:10. And continueth therein - Not like him who forgot it, and went away. This man - There is a peculiar force in the repetition of the word. Shall be happy - Not barely in hearing, but doing the will of God."

Don't let your spiritual hills slip to destruction; keep your retaining walls intact.