Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart

The Aim of this devotional time is to reflect on the condition of your own heart and to ready your heart for God’s Word and respond appropriately towards God’s Word.

For a memorable summary on why you can trust that the Bible is reliable and accurate, see this 2min video clip


James 1:17-25

17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

18  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

20  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

21  Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

24  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

25  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Note: in reflecting on this text you might also compare it with Jesus’ parables of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-23) and the house on sand / rock (Luke 7:24-27).


  1. Write down what you observe about our relationship with “the Word” as James notes it in this section.
  2. James writes to his readers that they should clean their hearts of “filthiness and wickedness” to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save [your] souls.” How do you understand that? (Compare with Matthew 13:22).
  3. In v22 James says one who listens but does not “do” the word is in danger of “deceiving himself”. How do you understand that? (Compare with Matthew 7:24-27)
  4. James promises one who “perseveres” in doing the word is “blessed in all he does”. What do you understand in “perseveres” in this section?  (Read James 1:2-4 to understand the situation of the readers; Compare Matthew 13:20-21).

Application and Prayer

  1. James addressed uncontrolled speech and anger throughout his letter, calling it “filthiness and wickedness”. What “filthiness and wickedness” must you “put away” for the Word of God to produce fruit in your heart?  Write the specifics down and repent of it.
  2. Is there anything righteous that you do / have done but you have felt resistance and have already given up, or want to give up? James says you need perseverance.  Write it down and pray for strength and patience – but don’t give up!
  3. Pray and allow the Holy Spirit time to show you where you have become a hearer and not a doer. Write it down, and commit to God in prayer to become a doer of the word.

(It is strongly recommended that you discuss with your Bible School Buddy / accountability friend these application points, so that you may encourage one another to continue in it).

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