But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves - James 1.22
Deceiving is one of the most distasteful characteristics. Today, more than ever before deceit is rampant. Credit card and identity theft, emails and texts are coming through daily trying to dupe us out of anything the deceiver can get his or her hands on. Deceivers are conning others out of their money, homes and savings all over the world. They are saying one thing but meaning another entirely. What is deceiving? Strong's concordance G3884 states that the term 'deceiving' is' to deceive by false reasoning", "delude", "circumvent" (find a way around an obstacle). This undesirable trait has dire straits for the person being defrauded or deceived. As we see, deceivers are false reckoning for a particular outcome, trying to cunningly circumvent the control measures others have put in place not to get deceived. It is not often a Christian would admit to being a deceiver, but if we are hearers only and not doers of the word, we are indeed in that category. If we are not putting into practice the changes we need, we are hearers. We might excuse ourselves and say it doesn't matter because it is only we who are getting deceived. But what are we getting swindled out of when we deceive ourselves? Why would we deceive ourselves? Do we realise we are deceiving ourselves? The preceding verse illuminates the reason for our key verse.
James 1:21 states, "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." The engrafted word comes with the newly grafted rootstock. Engrafted means it is either inborn at birth or planted by nature. The engrafted word is a part of us and comes with our graft onto the new rootstock of Christ. If we are not on that rootstock neither is the engrafted word. Being engrafted is like surgery of living tissue, it becomes that much a part of us. I have just had my new kidney engrafted onto my current living tissues, and it is growing stronger daily. until it takes over from the old ones. The engrafted word is to be like that within us; becoming such a part of us that the old parts die off and God’s word then becomes our life force. If I don't take my medication when required, for life, my body will reject the new kidney. It has happened many times to other people. Similarly, a Christian’s medication is God’s word. Holding onto sin means we are still attached to the wrong rootstock instead of the new graft of Christ. Romans 11:16 says, " if the root be holy, so are the branches". We were wild olives (v17), changed in nature by that new graft. However, if we try and remain on the old rootstock and keep the sin while attempting to look like a believer, as did Ham, the son of Noah, we are pretenders. It is deceit, and we are the losers. God will only recognise those on the new rootstock of His Son. By not ridding ourselves of the old nature, we will deceive ourselves out of the Kingdom of God, and be bound for the Pit. Today’s Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for showing me that I can deceive myself if I don't put your word into practice. Thank you for the sober-mindedness of this scripture. Please help me to fear when I get lazy or complacent, so I don't fall short of the promise being left to me.