But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
— James 1:22
Let’s talk about what James meant when he said, “But be ye doers of the word….” The word “doers” is taken from the Greek word poietes, the same Greek word used for a poet. This word carries with it the idea of creativity, such as a poet whose personality includes a creative flair. James is telling us that if we can’t easily think of a way to do what has been preached to us, we must get creative! We must find ways to do the Word.
Ephesians 2:10 is another place where a form of this word poietes is used. Paul writes, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.…” The word “workmanship” is the Greek word poiema, which comes from the same root word as poietes.
This tells us that when we were saved, God put forth all His best efforts and creative powers to marvelously fashion and create us in Jesus Christ. Because the word poiema is used in Ephesians 2:10, it unmistakably means that God wielded His fullest, greatest, and most creative powers when we were born again. We weren’t just mildly saved; rather, God took us into His hands and marvelously made us new in Jesus Christ as He released His most powerful creative forces and made us a workmanship that would be worthy to bear His name.
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Whether the word poietes is used to depict a poet, as mentioned above, or (in another form) to describe God’s creative power, as in Ephesians 2:10, it always depicts someone putting forth his fullest creative abilities to achieve something. Now James uses this word poietes in James 1:22 to tell us that we must put forth our fullest efforts and most creative abilities in doing what we have heard preached! We cannot passively hope that the Word becomes a part of our lives; we have to get creative and find ways to make the Word a practical part of our lives.
Thus, you could translate these words in James 1:22 to mean:
“If you can’t easily think of ways to do what you’ve heard preached, it’s time for you to get creative! Put all your heart and soul into finding a way to act on what you’ve heard….”
You could also translate it to read:
“It’s time for you to get creative in the ways you do the Word of God….”
It could be that you’re thinking, But I don’t know how to do what has been preached to me!
Don’t worry — the Lord isn’t short on creativity! If you will listen, the Holy Spirit will say, “Here’s an opportunity to apply what you’ve been hearing. Do it!” If you have a heart to truly act on the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will show you ways to do it.
Seek the Lord and allow Him to show you how:
- To pray for the sick.
- To share Jesus with your lost friends.
- To bake a cake and take it to the lady next door.
- To help your neighbor repair his car.
Spiritual maturity isn’t measured by the number of meetings you’ve attended, how many speakers you’ve heard, how many books you’ve read, or how many tapes you’ve listened to in the past year. You have to take that Word you’ve heard and find a way to make it work in your life. God is looking for people who actually do what they’ve heard preached!
So if you can’t seem to think of practical ways to apply the Word to your life, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Here’s one thing you can be sure of: The Holy Spirit is never short on ideas about how you can become a “doer” of the Word!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I ask You to help me think of new ways to do the Word of God. You have all the fresh ideas I’ll ever need, so I am looking to You to show me how to put the Word into practice in my life. You are full of creative power and fresh ideas, so please open my eyes and show me how I can serve, how I can bless someone else, or any other way I can become obedient to do the Word that has been revealed so powerfully to my life.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I declare that I never run short of ideas on how to walk out the Word that has been preached to me. I do what I’ve heard; I obey what I’ve read; and I get better and better every day at finding ways to put into operation the Word that God has so graciously brought into my life.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Have you asked the Holy Spirit to show you creative ideas for applying the Word to your life?
2. Can you think of specific people you could be serving and sharing the love of Jesus with? For instance, could you share Jesus with your lost friends, bake a cake for the lady next door, or help your neighbor repair his car?
3. What other ways can you become a “doer” of the Word that has been preached to you?