Today’s reading is Hebrews 13:1-25; James 1:1-27.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:19-21).
I have a tendency to equate “save” with “forgive.” While being forgiven is part of being saved, the two are not completely synonymous. Being saved means being made whole, being healed, being fixed. That is what I want. I don’t simply want to be forgiven. I want to be made well. I want the sickness of my sins removed. I want the control of sin removed. I want my defects discarded. I want to be fixed. I want to be saved.
Sadly, I have learned I do not have that power. I cannot save myself. No amount of my good works will do it. No amount of my decision making will do it. I’ve tried that path but I have already let myself become sin’s slave. What am I to do? James says the word of God is able to save me.
Today, if I want to be saved, I need to be in God’s word. I need to be quick to hear it. That is, not only letting its words enter my ears but also allowing them to impact my life. I need to be slow to speak, that is, slow to say the way I think things should be and slow to speak against what I hear. I need to be slow to anger. I may not like everything God’s word says. If I give myself to anger against it, I will not attain the righteousness of God.
I don’t read the word today because God has given me homework. I read it because the word is able to save me and I want saving.
Keep the faith and keep reading,
PS. What struck you in today’s reading?