Pastor Bill, “Until we apply the Word of God by showing kindness and compassion for the poor and helpless, all the preaching, teaching, and studying we may do cannot make our religion “pure and undefiled”!”
How can I show kindness?
How can I show compassion?
I am struggling in life myself.
I have no money.
I need this too and am finding it nowhere.
Is this moment about YOU?
Be one with God, walk with God, and praise God by letting go of the “I” in life to welcome the “we”. In that you will be able to give your own forms of kindness and compassion, in ways that are comfortable for you but priceless to another.
And in doing so you will suddenly find that you are not facing your own struggles alone because the “we” brings you companionship through God.
Join us in church one Sunday, then two, then three… suddenly your vision of your life in the “I” will much more easily become your vision of life in the “we”.
“Hold the blog post, Lady,” you think defensively, “Isn’t it enough that I read this stuff and try to do my best, now you are telling me that I need to come to your church so my “I” becomes a “we”?”
Yes and no. Consider it a period of training or retraining. Just invest a few Sunday mornings to your retraining process and from there you can decide if you want to continue or if you feel you are able to find the “we” in your world without attending church. It is a thought. A suggestion. And encouraging idea, but ultimately God (and “we”) will accept you.
A further attribute of “Pure And Undefiled Religion” is that it is…
III. A “PERSONAL” RELIGION
IMPLIED BY THE USE OF “SINGULAR PRONOUNS” IN THE TEXT…
“anyone” – James 1:23
“he”, “his” – James 1:23
“himself”, “he” – James 1:24
“he”, “this one” – James 1:25
“anyone”, “he”, “his”, “this one’s” – James 1:26
“oneself” – James 1:27
NOW, THERE IS A PLACE FOR “CORPORATE” GIVING…
That is, where we give in conjunction with others to meet a need
For example, in helping needy Christians – 1Co 16:1-2
BUT IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO REPLACE OUR INDIVIDUAL AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!
Some might think…
That their giving on Sunday fulfills their responsibility to the poor, the widows, and the orphans
That it fulfills their obligation to preach the gospel
But God intended for “corporate” giving to only meet certain needs
He still expects us to fulfill our “personal” service to the poor, widows, and orphans as we have the ability and opportunity
Just as we find in the Old Testament…
Though the third year tithe was for the widows and orphans
They were to always help them whenever they had the opportunity!
To practice “Pure And Undefiled Religion”:
We must make it personal; we can’t pay someone else to do our work for us!
We cannot excuse ourselves by saying “I gave at the church”!
One last point I wish to make concerning “Pure And Undefiled Religion”; it must be…