July 17, 2018: SOAP #3148: Isaiah 29-31; James 1
Scripture: James (NIV) 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.
Observation: If I want to please my wife, I need to know what she thinks and likes. And If I want to please God, I need to know what God thinks and likes. In this passage, we see something that is very important to Him.
Application: How we treat those who are dependent on others for their livelihood (like orphans and widows in their distress) is important to God. This verse tells me that I need to know those I am helping—know them well enough to help them personally and appropriately. If “their distress” is hunger, I should feed them. If “their distress” is clothing, I should cloth them. If “their distress” is loneliness, I should visit them and spend time with them. Some “distresses” can be helped with money, but all need personal involvement.
AND there is more. Pleasing God means that I “keep myself from being polluted by the world.” How I think, speak, and act is also very important to God! It is too easy to pick up the world’s attitudes. Those attitudes are like the “hitchhiker” stickers that stick to my clothes when walking through a field of weeds. Afterwards I must sit down and carefully pick them off one at a time.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, pleasing you is my daily goal. Holy Spirit help me bring a smile to my Father’s face. Help me bring joy to His heart. Amen
Making friends for time and eternity!