When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” Genesis 29:25
Jacob had been working for his uncle Laban. At one point Laban said he needed to offer something to Jacob for his work. Jacob loved Rachel, Laban’s daughter, so he agreed to work for seven years to get Rachel as his wife. When the seven years were up, they had the marriage. The bride was covered up at the time she went in with Jacob. In the morning he realized that Laban had given him his daughter Leah, instead of Rachel as agreed. He ends up working another seven years to get Rachel.
Years before his living with Laban, Jacob had deceived his brother, Esau, into selling his birthright. Later he deceived his father into getting his brother’s blessings as the firstborn. Deception had been a way of life for Jacob.
Often people think that it is acceptable to deceive someone into getting something or getting them to do something. It seems to work at the moment in their favor. Many will just say that it is something little, and no real big deal.
The challenge comes when they get deceived. Very few people like to be deceived. When they are deceived, they will get very angry.
When you deceive someone, chances are that someone else will come along and deceive you. Along with that deceiving someone is lying to them and to God. If you are willing to deceive a person, you most likely will choose to deceive God.
People like to act as though they are in the right standing before God, while they are living in a sinful act. They try to tell people and God that they are doing everything correctly.
People may be deceived, but God is not. He sees the heart and your mind.
Live your life open before God. Do not try to deceive any person or God. In the end it will come back on you and hurt you. It is not worth it.
I pray today that God will guide you in how to treat other people; that you will love others as God loves them; that you will live in truth; that you will always speak truth to everyone; and that God will strengthen you to never deceive anyone.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
After talking about temptations and trials, pride and anger, James tells the people not to just listen to what God’s Word is saying, but to also do what it says to do. God wants His Word to be read and spoken about by everyone, but even more than reading it, God wants people to do what He said.
Most believers can quote some scriptures about what it says on various topics. They may know that there is a verse about forgiving others, another verse about not sinning, another about controlling their anger, and another about obedience. This list could go on for a long ways for some people.
Knowing the verses and what the Bible says is great, but it is not supposed to stop there. Knowing the Bible does not mean a thing if it is not followed. If a person does not do what the Bible says, then it is no different from a novel bought in a store.
Reading something will give a person good knowledge, but if it is never used, then it was a waste of time and energy. There are believers that have read the Bible at least once every year for many years, yet are still purposely living in a sinful lifestyle. They choose not to do what the Bible says.
James says this type of person is being deceived. He may think he is a good believer in Jesus, but is not even close, since he is not doing what God says to do. God desires obedience over sacrifice.
Sacrificing all of your time to read and study God’s Word is great, but now do what it says. Obey God’s Word.
God’s Word, when really looked at, is very simple. God’s ways of living life on this earth is simple. It all comes down to three simple things: love God, obey God, and love others. When you do these three things you are living like Jesus did.
In this new year as you read or hear God’s Word, don’t just listen, but do it.
Just do it.
I pray today that you will learn to obey all of God’s rules for your life; that God will reveal what His Word says to you; that you apply what God’s Word says to your own life; and that God will strengthen you to do His will.