But be doers of the word, and not just hearers, deceiving your own selves.
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote these words to the early church: be doers of the word, and not just hearers, deceiving your own selves. What did he mean to be a "doer" and not just a "hearer?"
Jesus told a story to help us understand the difference between doing and hearing. A farmer went out to his field to sow seeds to grow crops. Some seed falls on a path and are immediately eaten by the birds. Some seed falls on a rocky place. Plants spring up, but they wither in the sun because they don't have strong roots. Some seeds fall among thorns. These seeds also produce plants, these young plants get choked by the weeds around them. Some seeds fall on good soil and produce a very good crop.
When the disciples first heard this story, they didn't understand it. Jesus explained the meaning behind the story of the seeds. The seeds that fell on a path are like people who hear the gospel but do not understand or accept it at all. The seeds that fall in the rocky places are like people who hear the gospel, but they do not try to deepen their faith so at the first sign of trouble, they reject Jesus. The seeds that fall by the thorny area also hear the gospel but forget about it in the busy-ness of their lives. The seeds that produce the crop are like people who hear the gospel and live according to God's gift of grace.
At the very end of Jesus' story, he doesn't say that the seeds just produced plants, he says that the seeds produced a crop that was sixty times what was sown. When we are Christ-followers, we don't sit around-we produce fruit. We don't just listen to the Bible, we go out and live it.
Today, be part of Jesus' bountiful crop-read the Bible and then act! Be a doer of God's word as well as a hearer!