Scripture Reading: James 1:22-27
Key Verse: James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
The Apostle James writes in our passage for today’s study about “pure and faultless” religion. Today, I don’t care for the word “religion.” It carries a connotation of dried up rituals with little passion for Jesus Christ. However, this was not the case when the apostle was writing this letter.
James tells us that our walk with God (religion) must be about serving people and keeping our own lives clean from worldly behaviors. James used the illustration of looking after orphans when he spoke of serving others. This was a big need in James’ day. If we are true to the lesson being taught in verse 27, we will put in it whatever need is surrounding us today. In other words, “pure and faultless” religion for us is tending to the needs of people that we encounter. James uses the Greek word “thlipsis” for our words “in their distress.” This Greek word literally means those living under pressure or oppression. Will you meet people today that are living in a stressful situation? Do you know someone who has a lot of pressure on them right now? “Pure and faultless” religion will nudge us to care about that person and do our part to help relieve their distress. Ask God to open your eyes to a practical way you could help.
Father, you have given me a mission. Help me be a faithful missionary by putting my love into action today. In Jesus’ name, amen.