One of the best slogans in advertising is that of the shoe company Nike. Since 1988 their slogan has been “Just do it.” It often appears alongside the Nike “swoosh” logo.
Nike’s slogan actually has an interesting backstory. Advertising executive Dan Wieden credits his inspiration for it to the last words of Gary Wilmore. Gary Wilmore was someone who several decades ago gained international notoriety because he was the first person in 10 years to be executed under the death penalty in the United States. Convicted on 2 counts of murder, Gilmore was executed by firing squad in 1977 in Utah. When asked for any last words, Gilmore replied with three words: “Just do it.”
Interestingly enough, not only does the principle of Gilmore’s last words make for a good slogan for Nike, but they also accurately define what our lives should be all about when it comes to responding to Bible teaching. When it comes to responding to God’s word, God wants us to “just do it!”
This is something that is emphasized by the inspired writer James.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” – James 1:22-25
Do the words of James describe you? Are you a doer of God’s word? Or, are you someone who merely hears and is living a life of deception?
- Do you constantly hear sermons and teaching from the Bible, but never personally apply the things you are learning? Or, are you someone who hears and applies like those Peter preached to in Jerusalem on Pentecost (Acts 2:36-38, 41)?
- Do you read your Bible several times a day, but constantly fail to make application? Or, are you someone who reads, grows in knowledge, and makes an effort to be transformed and changed by the things you are reading (Psalm 119:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17)?
- Do you faithfully go to worship services and Bible classes, but fail to be faithful to the Lord? Or, are you someone who strives to please and glorify God 24 hours a day and 7 days a week (Luke 9:23; Colossians 1:10)?
- Do you constantly do your Bible lesson before going to class, but fail to live the things you have learned? Or, are you someone who does a Bible lesson with the strong intent of making application to the godly principles you are learning?
The Bible is very clear in how we should be able to answer these questions. Instead of being merely hearers and readers of God’s word, God demands that we be doers! God demands that we understand that hearing His word will do us no good if we don’t apply it to our lives.
Will you challenge yourself to be both a hearer and a doer? After learning something from the Bible, you will always make sure you take action and apply it to your life? Being this kind of person will lead to blessings in your life (James 1:25). Being this kind of person will determine what words you will hear from Jesus on the Judgment Day (Matthew 7:21).
– Shawn Jeffries