Ask in Faith, Don’t Give Up | Religion
“A religion pure and spotless before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to protect oneself from the world. “James 1:27
According to Google, religion is defined as “the belief in one or more gods and the activities that are related to this belief, such as praying or worshiping in a building such as a church or a temple. A religion is a particular system of belief in a god or gods and the activities that are related to that system.
Merriam-Webster defines religion as “the state of being religious; service and worship of God or the supernatural; a commitment or devotion to faith or religious observance.
Individuals and religious institutions are daily confronted with problems such as the rising tide of violence and homicides in cities across the country; the ongoing battle between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated; the reality of COVID-19 and its associated illnesses and deaths has not gone away; and the policy taking center stage on how best to deal with the omicron surge.
The apostle James wrote a letter to the 12 tribes scattered abroad to the Israelites. He wrote to these believers as a true servant of God, sending greetings. He urges them to count everything with joy and to be patient. They have to endure the trials they face. He reminds them that if you need anything, ask God who is the ultimate source and provider of all our needs.
When we ask, we must ask in faith and not by waiver. Do not be double-minded, for a double-minded person is unstable in all respects. He encourages them again to endure temptation, for a crown awaits those who endure.
The Apostle then makes a powerful and poignant pivot in his commentary.
“Therefore…” he notes, “be slow to speak, be slow to anger, put aside wickedness, and be actors of the Word and not just listeners.
Here’s why this pivot is powerful. Here is the central message. This is how we apply James’ biblical definition of religion, specifically “pure religion and undefiled religion.”
First, “pure religion” helps those who are in distress. If our religion is pure, if our devotion to Christ is pure, if we really want to represent the Christian faith well, we have to help those in need. And who are those who are in distress? Orphans (orphans) and widows (whose husbands have gone to glory).
Finally, “pure and unblemished religion before God” means that we are to keep ourselves intact from the world. We have to subdue our passions, and that means we have to walk straight and get around our sinfulness propensity. We work daily to conquer our flesh. And we must remember that the immoral, illegal or illegal activity of a believer is reflected directly on all believers!
Pure religion is obtained through submission to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If we really want to please God, we have to practice a pure religion here on Earth. Then, and only then, will we hear our God say to us: “Well done, good and faithful servant.
Preston T. Adams III is Senior Pastor of Amazing Grace Christian Church in Indianapolis.