Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27 NLT
Man tends to think of religion as something that is done inside a church building. However, James tells us that true religion deals with our conduct and character. It is interesting to note the word translated “religion” is only found four times in the New Testament. The context of this word reminds us that God is not interested in ceremonies or buildings, but in our conduct and character—both of which come from relationship not religion. The first sign of true religion is caring for those who are often victims and forgotten in society—the orphans and widows. In the ancient world, much like today, the overlooked of society are the orphans and widows. The church should step up and see to it that the helpless and abandoned are cared for in our society. We should volunteer to serve in foster care and adoption. We should support ministries in the church that provide care and love to the widows and senior adults. I believe we should do more than just write a check. We should personally give of our time and talent to show love to the needy. This reflects our conduct. So, what about our character? James connects the two—our conduct is caring for the orphans and widows, our character is “refusing to let the world corrupt you.” As followers of Jesus there should be something different about the way we live. People should see a difference in us. While we are in the world we are not of the world. We are citizens of heaven living in a foreign land. Our value system is different. Our desire is always to please God with our time, talent, and treasure.
Holy Spirit show me what I can do to help the needy in my world. Show me any areas of my life where I have compromised. Forgive me and empower me to live a different life.
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