THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2020
ACTING ON GOD’S WORDS
February 19, 2020
Many people in the world, including so-called Christians,
do not really see what is right and just and true. They are
like the blind man of Bethsaida, seeing nothing and walking
in darkness. But then some encounter Jesus, who starts to
work in their lives. The blind man’s gradual cure reflects
the gradual enlightenment that happens. People begin to see,
but not yet so clearly. “I see people looking like trees
and walking.” (Mk 8:24). Then Jesus touches them further
and they can see clearly. “Then he laid hands on his
eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored
and he could see everything distinctly.” (Mk 8:25).
is what happens when we listen to and act on the words of
God. In the world, there are those who do not listen to or
act on God’s words. They remain blind and in darkness.
There are those who hear but do not really listen, or who
do not act on what they hear. They are no better off. “Be
doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”
(Jas 1:22). Then there are those who act on God’s words.
“But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom
and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer
who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.”
(Jas 1:25). He would have built on Rock.
In what ways do we act on God’s words?
First, we must strive for holiness. “Therefore, put
away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word
that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.”
(Jas 1:21). This is what true religion is all about. “Religion
that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
…. to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (Jas
1:27a,c). The one who can dwell on God’s holy mountain
is “whoever walks without blame, doing what is right”
true religion is also about purity in speech. “If anyone
thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but
deceives his heart, his religion is vain.” (Jas 1:26).
This means not easily falling into anger. We are to be “slow
to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish
the righteousness of God.” (Jas 1:19b-20). We are to
always speak the truth, “speaking truth from the heart”
(Ps 15:2b). We are not to slander or malign others. One “does
not slander with his tongue, does no harm to a friend, never
defames a neighbor” (Ps 15:3).
we are to act in integrity. We are to keep our promises. One
“keeps an oath despite the cost” (Ps 15:4b). We
are not to renege on commitments.
we are to stay away from evildoers, and mingle with those
who are God’s people. One “disdains the wicked,
but honors those who fear the Lord” (Ps 15:4a). The
company we choose will have a great bearing on whether we
enter more deeply into faith or not.
we are to be mindful of and care for the poor. We are “to
care for orphans and widows in their affliction” (Jas
1:27b). In assisting the poor, one “lends no money at
interest, accepts no bribe against the innocent.” (Ps
15:5a). We are to have a preferential option for the poor.
Acting on God’s words per above, and in many other ways
as well, will keep our house standing even in the face of
heavy winds and floods buffeting us. “Whoever acts like
this shall never be shaken.” (Ps 15:5b).