Pure and Undefiled Religion

Too often we “play” church and treat it like a cruise ship rather than a battleship. We like to socialize with our friends and make new friends who will treat us nicely and care about us.

 

Yet, we waste our time on the flesh and the world, which makes us too busy to serve in church ministries, to care for the sick and infirmed in our church family, or to reach out into our community to make a friend and lead them to Christ.

 

When the offering plate comes around, we give God a tip from the change in our pocket rather than to give a tithe of our income, and we feel no remorse when we fail to give in the benevolence offering to help the needy in our church family and community.

 

We will not even bring canned goods to donate to the food bank in our area, or to join service organizations in our community who help to serve those less fortunate than we are.

 

We ignore those who are aliens in our community, who move here to find work to support their family; not knowing that if we did care for the needy, God could bless us in all the works which we find for our hands to do (Deuteronomy 14:29).

 

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is to take care of orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep our self from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).

 

We can help the poor by meeting their need for food, shelter and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8); aid the widows by meeting their medical bills and doing chores that overwhelm them; and we can visit the imprisoned (Job 31:16; Matthew 25:36).

 

We can give Christmas presents to children at local group homes, take some of them to our home for monthly visits or out on a picnic, or we can take them to the pizza parlor for supper once a month (Job 31:17).

 

The possibilities for ministry in our church family and out in our community are endless, and ignoring these needs is unconscionable and despicable in the sight of the Lord (Matthew 7:24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to learn to do good, to seek justice, to defend the orphan and to plead the case for our widows (Isaiah 1:17). Teach us to reprove the ruthless who take bribes or look for a reward for their service (Isaiah 1:23). Remind us that when we clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the imprisoned, we do it as our ministry to You (Matthew 25:36).

 

We do not want to live as hearers of Your Word only, but we want to put feet to our faith and to earn our righteous rewards by keeping Your law and serving our church family and community (James 1:22; Romans 2:13). Let us prove our faith in You by our works for You (James 2:14).

 

Thought for the Day:

The Lord protects strangers, supports single mom’s and their children, and cares for the needs of widows; but He resists the wicked and thwarts those who “play” church rather than minister to the needy in their community. Let us join Him in His Kingdom work. – Psalm 146:9

 

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Practical Faith

How can faith be practical as well as spiritual? When we get into our car and turn on the ignition, we have faith that the motor will start and take us to our desired location.

If we previously had trouble with our car starting, we still attempt to start the car, hoping beyond hope that the engine will turn over and the car will transport us to our destination.

This is how faith works in the spiritual realm as well. We hear the gospel story, and we realize the potential we could have in life if our spirit was actually Born Again rather than dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 8:10).

We put our faith in God to fill us by His Spirit, to regenerate our spirit and to save us from the penalty of our sins. It is more than blind faith, because we see the results of our belief in changes in our desires, thoughts, words and deeds.

This change is not affected by sheer will power or human determination. It is a spiritual change that has nothing to do with our body or soul (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

It is something, which God does for us. It is a walk of faith, which does not depend on our human understanding or effort (Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 2:8-9).

We cannot be good enough, wise enough, rich enough or powerful enough to earn our way to heaven. It is a gift from God just for us (Romans 6:23).

God’s Spirit empowers us in the same way that the engine empowers the car. The power in the car energizes a dead hunk of steel into immediate life; and the Holy Spirit revives our dead spirit to live, move and have our being in Christ both now and for eternity (Acts 17:28).

Our life bears fruit for the Kingdom of God and our attitude and thoughts change from carnal to spiritual ones. The peace and joy of God flood our life.

We leave the world of dark, destruction, influenced by sin and Satan’s lies; and we enter the brilliant light of Christ, our ultimate Truth.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for planting our feet firmly on the Rock of Christ, so that neither temptation from the devil nor the storms of life can shake the bedrock of our foundation on Your Word and Your Spirit.

You removed the weight of sin from our shoulders by the righteousness of Christ, which You freely provide for us. Thank You for revealing to us by Your Spirit what Christ actually did for us on the cross, and how this revolutionizes how we view life and the activities we enjoy both now and in eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Faith in Christ impacts our daily life now, as well as determines our eternal destination; it is practical and influences the peace and joy in which we live our life.