James 1:22-25 (NLT)
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
The apostle James points out we are not only to listen to God’s word, but also apply it to our lives. God’s word should be taken to heart so we might see our shortcomings and sin. But we also see the mercy and grace provided to us. With God there is always a blessing that comes with obedience to His word.
From Kenton C. Anderson, Choosing to Preach (Zondervan, 2006), p. 58:
“I recently toured the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England, famous as the location of the prime meridian. It is a remarkable location. I was able to take a picture of my children straddling the meridian, each standing with one foot in the Eastern Hemisphere and the other foot in the Western Hemisphere.
As delightful as that might be, I would have to add that the prime meridian itself is not physically impressive. In fact, you would not realize it was there at all if it were not for a bold line cut across the pavement. The demarcation is, in fact, of human invention. Prior to the International Meridian Conference of 1884, each local region kept its own time, a system that, if continued, would have rendered impossible our current arrangements for trade and commerce. While the meridian is humanly derived, its relation to the stars is not, and that heavenly correspondence allows us to find our place on the map and in the world.
The prime meridian came about through the work of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, who made it his life mission to produce a proper navigational chart of the heavens, mapping the location of thousands of stars. Eventually, based on Flamsteed's work, scientists were able to help people find their position on the planet, allowing them to answer that fundamental question of philosophy and physics: Where am I?
The power of the prime meridian is that it is a fixed position through which our knowledge of time and place can be understood. This is a metaphor for the effect of the Bible in human life. The Scripture is our meridian. It is the fixed position, given by God himself, through which we can understand who we are, where we are, and where we must go from here.”