Put Away and Receive
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21).
Do you know what a contrast is? A contrast is putting two different things side by side and by seeing them together it becomes clear how different they are.
James is making a contrast between two things in this verse. Can you see what it is? He wants us to put something away so that we can receive something else. It’s like he is saying, “I want you to clean out your cabinets. They are filled with junk food, moldy bread, and rotten fruit. Clean out that mess so I can fill them with something healthy and so much better!”
The contrast is between filthiness and wickedness and God’s saving word to his people, the Gospel. James is saying that if your life is filled with ungodliness it will be hard to embrace God’s best for you, his word of truth that is able to save us.
The problem with filthiness and wickedness is that it might feel good in the moment but in the end will lead only to destruction. It can’t save our souls. Only God can do that through the Gospel.
Read Proverbs 30:5
• What does a shield do? How does that relate to God’s word?
• In what ways do you need to seek God’s word for protection?
• In what ways have you seen sin not protect you, but rather, truly let you down?
Our Father, help us to see that filthiness and wickedness will only leave us empty inside. May we receive with joy your word of truth that reminds us that you are the only hope of salvation. Our sin can never save us. Our impulses can never save us. Only you can save. You are mighty to save. Enlighten our eyes to love your truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.