Day FOUR: Dec 13-19

Devotion by Donia Hovet

Faithfulness in ACTION

You’ve probably heard of “Elf on the Shelf.” In the 24 nights leading up to Christmas, a mischievous elf magically “comes alive” and performs various misdeeds the kids discover in the morning. Last year, Elfina showed up under our tree on Christmas morning. Her first and only act of mischief that year was to rakishly tear apart one of my daughter’s stocking stuffers. The nerve. 

This year has proven to be a particularly difficult year with Elfina. Not because of any particular havoc she has wreaked, but because Elfina tends to sleep through the night, almost every night. And almost every morning, my daughter’s frustrated, “MOM!!!” alerts me to my forgetfulness. Elfina didn’t do anything new-AGAIN and I know I’ve let her down. I have been unfaithful. I have not taken necessary action. #MOMFAIL

In his message this past Sunday, Chris made a statement. “Action is the language of the Jesus-follower.” Profound. You’ve probably heard the axiom: “Actions speak louder than words.” James puts it this way: 

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

James 1:22-24

I don’t know about you, but I want God’s blessing in my life. James tells us that the key to God’s blessing is:

1) To know the word -and- 

2) To do what it says. 

It’s that simple. And yet…not so simple. 

The fact is, we’re forgetful. We’re busy. We’re distracted-or worse-disinterested. The Bible is BORING. I’m reading 2 Chronicles right now in my personal devotions and let me tell you, there is some truth to that statement! Yet, if God’s blessing starts with knowing God’s word, we need to DIG INTO IT!

But reading the Bible is not enough. We must put it into practice-FAITHFULLY, over the long haul if we want to see transformation in our lives. 

If the key to God’s blessing lies in the word and in doing what it says, it’s time to get on the horse of Bible reading and Bible doing. If you’ve been on the horse-keep going. If you’ve fallen off the horse, it’s time to get back on.

The same goes for me and Elfina. Elfina WILL RIDE again!


    • How has reading God’s word brought new life to you? 
    • What obstacles need to be removed so that you can faithfully pursue God?
  • READ: James 2:14-26
    • Why do you think James was so intent on hammering in the importance of action as a companion to faith?
    • Why is faith not enough? Pay careful attention to verse 19.
  • PLAN: The new year is just a few short weeks away! Don’t wait until January 1st. Make a plan for your devotions now! 
    • What Bible plan and version will you use?
    • When will you do your daily devotions?
    • How will you create accountability toward knowing the word and doing what it says? 

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