James 1:19–22 (NET) 19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.21So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves.

How can we be sure we are living out the message?  Living out the message is a difficult task even in the best circumstances.  When life gets tough, the marriage is in trouble, the boss is unhappy with us, or finical issues strike, living out the message can seem impossible.  In my years in ministry I have noticed some common traits in those that are truly  able to live out the message in both the good times and bad.  I decided for this weeks post to mention those things here.  I pray you will consider them as you attempt to live out the message yourself.

  1. Know the message- it is hard to live out the message when you don’t know what the message is.  Those who read the word, memorize scripture, and pray continually tend to live out the message more consistently then those who don’t.  If you want to live out the message you need to know what that message is.
  2. Know others living out the message- Living out the message is a team sport, God never designed it to be lived out alone.  When you live life with others who are living out the message you are more likely to stay on track yourself.  Certainly it is most helpful to have a spouse and children who are living out the message in your home with you.  But close friends, coworkers, and other church members play an important role as well.
  3. Know your weaknesses- Those who most effectively and consistently live out the message know their temptations and weaknesses.  They understand that their enemy wants to kill, steal, and destroy them, and this enemy certainly knows their weaknesses so they must be equally aware.  These people make huge efforts to avoid the things they know will trap them, and prevent them from living out the message.  They are proactive in avoiding sin rather than simply being reactive.
  4. Know your strengths- God has given you amazing gifts, talents and strengths which are intended to be used as you live out the message. Knowing your spiritual gifts and strengths allows you to run your race well and live out the message.
  5. Know the Master- it is impossible to live out the message if you don’t know the Master on the most intimate level.  You should make it your goal to know the master more and more each day, if you truly desire to live out the message.

Live out the message in the days to come, and feel free to post your comments about living out the message in the comment section below. Any other helpful hints or tips you might provide others on this subject are welcome.