Thursday, October 11, 2018


If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:26-27
This week we have been examining the attributes of the kind of religion that pleases God based on James’ teaching. What kind of religion do you have?  Maybe a personal quiz will help:
·       Is it a PRACTICINGreligion?
Does it go beyond the walls of a building? Does it go beyond the printed pages of the Bible? Does it go beyond a superficial hearing of the Word?
·       Is it a PERSONALreligion?
Does it go beyond what we may do in conjunction with others?  Does it include our personal involvement apart from what others may do? Do you take personal responsibility for your own growth?
  • And is it a PUREreligion?
The words “pure”and“undefiledmean to be without blemish or to be untainted.  In thought or reason, we would consider such a person to be “sincere.” The word sincere comes from the Latin words “sin-cere” or “without wax.”  It referred to the large marble columns that supported the porches of the great structures of Rome.  If the marble in the column had deteriorated, a wax was used to fill in the damaged areas. A column that was “sin-cere” was one “without wax.”
Paul warned the early church not to have the gospel tainted with the philosophies and practices of other religions.  Various groups attempted to compromise the gospel so it was more acceptable to religions already socially accepted.  But to do so, the power of the gospel was to be lost.
Some people try to make our living faith into a works-based religion to make it more socially acceptable, more in touch with the times or politically correct.  James speaks even more directly concerning the purity of our faith in James 3:17. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.   James reminds us that only the true religion of Jesus Christ can present one"pure" in the sight of God!  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6
Sometimes when we hear the word pure we think of morality.  This is not what the writer means here.  Pure in relation to our religion means we are not to be double minded in our faith and seek worldly acceptance of our actions.  True religion teaches us todo everything as in the presence of God; and to seek his favor, and study to please him in all our actions.  Our religion should be sincere, real, and without pretense.  No gimmicks, no pomp and flair, no show.  Just a real, authentic, and genuine love for God, resulting in a love for others (widows and orphans).  
Think about your love for God and how that spills into the rest of your life.  A life of genuine religionwill automatically reap care of others, love, gentleness, etc…The world will see the practicing, practical, personal, and pure religion in your life.

Scripture to Claim:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2

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