November 18: “When Reading Your Bible is Useless”

5 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Ezekiel 37:1–38:23
James 1:19–2:17
Psalm 117:1-2
Proverbs 28:1

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

James 1:22-25 (NLT): “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”

Reflections from Scripture:

James 1:22-25 tells us that it isn’t enough to simply read and agree with God’s Word. If we don’t put it into practice, our knowledge is utterly useless.

The writer uses an illustration to clarify his point. Essentially, he says that hearing God’s Word without doing anything about it is like someone who looks in a mirror and sees the hair that needs to be combed, the shirt that needs to be tucked in, and the pants that need to be ironed. Yet, he walks away and does nothing about what he sees in the mirror. Therefore, the question could be posed: “Why did you even look in the mirror if you weren’t going to fix the problems that it exposed?”

That is precisely the question that could be asked of us if we read God’s Word and do nothing to adjust our thinking and behavior to conform to it.

So, friend, as you read God’s Word today, look for those areas in your life that need correcting. Let God’s Holy Spirit expose an area in which you need to repent and change.

And when He points it out, do something about it. Because if you don’t, your time in His Word was useless.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me to be a doer of the Word and not only a hearer. I commit to doing that at this very moment. But I desperately need Your grace to enable me to make good on my commitment. Thank You in advance for helping me on this road to greater degrees of holiness. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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