Monday, May 23, 2016

We have all been orphans

For our text, let's look at what the Apostle James has to say about ministering to orphans in 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.

Things to think about:

  •  I've been conditioned to think of "religion" as a bad word.  When speaking with non-believers who might ask if we are religious, we may have been coached to say we are talking about a relationship, not religion. Or it could be a set of rules and regulations one must abide by in order to be saved, to be in good stead with God, etc. Or it could be speaking incessantly about one's particular dogma or theology, try to win arguments with those who don't share the same views. 

o   The religion that God finds acceptable is wholly (holy) different
  •            Three of God's most important qualities are found in His definition:

o   grace - giving generously to those who have nothing to offer as repayment
o   compassion - seeing those in distress and taking positive action
o   holiness - good works coming from a pure heart
§  otherwise we can deceive ourselves and others; good works from an impure heart are filthy rags in His sight
  •  we must never forget that we too were orphans, separated from our Heavenly Father until adopted into His family

o   and each of these qualities was on full display when He rescued us
  • Our duty is then to live out these qualities for the sake of others and ourselves, all to the glory of God

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