“So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” – James 1:21. 

The Book of James is filled with practical wisdom for Christians. In his letter to Jewish believers living outside Jerusalem, James reminds us that faith doesn’t only change what we believe. It changes what we do.  

While reading the first chapter of James, the phrase “humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls” kinda jumps out at you.  It makes things a little simpler. When faced with trials or negative circumstances, you don’t need to read another book, attend another seminar, or ask another friend about this. You need to humbly accept the Word God has planted in your hearts and do what the Bible tells you to do.  

Stop for a moment and consider how often you are exposed to God’s Word. Every time you open up the Bible, God speaks. Every time you go to a small group and discuss a passage of Scripture He is speaking. When you quote verses in your head that you have memorized, He is talking. The Bible tells you who God is, how we are to live, what people are like, and what to expect in the future.   

Bible study was never meant to simply increase our knowledge. God’s Word is meant to be more than informational, it is meant to be transformational. Studying, reading, researching, remembering the Bible is useless if we fail to put what we learned into use. The apostle James says “ .. don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” (James 1:22). Jesus says both knowing and applying the Word creates the foundation for our lives: “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24)  

When God speaks, your life will be transformed. But that can only happen by making the Bible the authoritative standard for your life: the compass you rely on for direction, the counsel you listen to for making wise decisions, and the benchmark you use for evaluating everything. The Bible must always have the first and last word in your life.  

The Word planted in us that can save us is the good news that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave and that through faith in Him we can be forgiven and have a relationship with God. Should our lives look the same if this Word is planted and growing in us? We must come to the word ready to listen and ready to be changed because nothing can change us but the word of God. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does “humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts” mean to you? 
  2. What can we do this week to not only accept the word but act on it as well?