Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. ~James 1:27
Religion, as used in the Bible, speaks of a man’s reverence and worship of God. In our general terminology, it refers to a man’s faith belief. Being religious implies that a man has a relationship with God, worships Him, and lives out his religion in accordance with the doctrines of his belief. The believers James wrote to needed a strong reminder that their religion had to be a good example of their faith belief in God. Let us see the importance of practicing pure religion and having a stellar testimony of our faith in God.
Our religion should be clean.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father....” First, our lives must be clean before God. We should be conscious of sin in our life and daily confess our sins to God (1 John 1:9). We are to be holy, even as He is holy. The will of God is our sanctification. We are not to yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness. We should practice separation from the world and from compromise. We are told to "love not the world, neither the things that are in the world." We are commanded to "abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." Let us strive to be clean and separated in our lives.
Our religion should be controlled.
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue.…” The believers James wrote to were uncontrolled with their words. They viciously attacked one another with critical speech, gossip, slander, accusations, and envious assaults. A bit is something placed in a horse’s mouth to control it. To bridle one’s mouth had the idea of a bit being placed in it. Pure religion is controlled in its speech. We sorely hurt our reputation when we say things that are unkind and critical. Are you uncontrolled and unkind with the use of your words?
Our religion should be constructive.
“To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction....” Pure religion reaches out to assist others who are in need. In James' day, widows and orphans were the most needy. There were no government programs to help this class of people. It is expected that we who are capable are to be visiting the widows and fatherless. We are to visit them with kindness, food, clothing, and, perhaps, handyman opportunities. We should pray with them and encourage them in their walk with God. We live in a day of much selfishness, and we tend to only help when we feel like it. Like Jesus, we must go about doing good to people.
Our religion should be consistent.
When we are inconsistent, our religion is vain. Vain religion is empty and useless. It turns people off. It causes people to be discouraged and lose faith in the church. Pure religion must be consistent. We cannot be double-mouthed, be double-minded, or have double lives. To be consistent, we must make sure that our hearts are right before God. Then, we must make sure that we have the right set of friends. We must be fair and impartial. We must love people in such a way that we do not focus on the sin and wrong, but we focus on restoration and building lives. “Charity never faileth.”
Make sure your religion is pure religion. Guard your testimony and be a blessing to others.
Have an undefiled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 2-3