PURE RELIGION (part 3)

KEEPING OURSELVES UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD

“Pure religion and undefiled before (the) God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

We should always be aware of impurities in our lives and be seeking the Lord to show us how to get rid of them. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).

Continue reading PURE RELIGION (part 3)

PURE RELIGION (part 2)

HELPING THE NEEDY

“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Prov. 31:9).

A second necessary characteristic of those who seek to have a pure religion is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction. “Pure religion and undefiled before (the) God and the Father is this, to visit (1980 – literally to inspect) the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

Continue reading PURE RELIGION (part 2)

PURE RELIGION (part 1)

BRIDLING THE TONGUE

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:26-27).

Continue reading PURE RELIGION (part 1)

Great Expectations

Tell us about one thing (or more) that you promised yourself you’d accomplish by the end of the year. How would you feel once you do? What if you don’t?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/great-expectations/

My goal has always been to be a better reader.  In college I wanted to read the assigned books with discernment, but ended up skimming to find required information.  I made good grades, so continued that “skimming” habit far too long.  Now my goal is to read more and genuinely search into what I read–dig deeper and mine the gold nuggets.  This would especially apply to my Scripture reading.

A domestic goal is to finish a quilt for each of my children and grandchildren–surely not all of them this year, but at least one a year.  Most quilters quilt so their offspring have a remembrance of them, but my quilts are geared to a specific need the receiver has or to a specific memory.  I have been trying to make the patterns fit the person so that they would be timeless.  A sample of my work and philosophy may be found here:

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Johnson/Edna/Elizabeth/1939/quilting.html

If I am blessed with good health, I hope to continue my present schedule, following my husband everywhere.  It is easy to see that human lifespan is limited and life is too short to miss a minute with my mate.

FATHER TO THE POOR

“I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not
I searched out” (Job 29:16).

What was wrong with the religion of most Jews under the Old Testament Law?  They observed their own traditions and forgot to consider the more important things like judgment, mercy, and faith.  They surely ought to have followed such things as tithing, washing of pots and vessels and the offering of sacrifices, but not left the other undone (Matt 23:23).

When the scribes and Pharisees saw Jesus’ disciples eating without washing their hands, they were indignant.  After all, the law said that a man was unclean after coming from the market and he should wash himself before eating (Mark 7:1-13).  So what is so bad about being a strict adherent of the law?  Shouldn’t we obey all that we have been told to do? They claimed to do many good works such as giving large amounts to the temple, but they would not support their own parents in their old age.  Even today members of the church should support family and extended family members (1 Tim 5:4- 16).  Keep in mind that verse 8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

But Job went beyond just what was expected of him.  He sought out the cause of the fatherless and was father to the poor.  When we see helpless children today who are neglected by selfish, ungodly parents, do we seek out their cause?  Do we offer to be “˜father”™ (or mother) to those needy children or to the poor?  Do we see to it that they have nourishment and sufficient clothing, or do we just talk about how pitiful they are?  Sometimes we are deterred from doing good to these children because we know the parents are actually taking advantage of us.  But can the child be held responsible?  Even if we cannot take them into our homes, we can at least find time to be with them and teach them the things about God that they need to learn.  Feeding their souls as well as their bodies and searching out their needs should be our priority.  Remember: it isn”™t just children who need a father.  Many poor need someone to love and care for them and to protect them like a father would.

By inspiration, King David tells why Solomon was to be great.  It was because he would judge the poor in righteousness (stand up for them).  Read slowly and carefully Psalms 72:4-17.  “He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor” (Psa 72:4).  Then after all the blessings are given in verses 5-11, the reason for his greatness is given again in verses 12-14.  Finally verse 17 says it again, “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.”

“He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor” (Pro 28:8).