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.

PRAYING FOR OUR DAILY BREAD

“Give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3).

Daily means occurring every day. The Israelite’s day lasted from one sunset to the next (Gen 1:5; Ex 12:18; Acts 2:14-15; Mat 20:1-6). When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Mat 6:11; Luke 11:3), He was telling them to trust God to provide their food every day-one day at a time.

We are to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread;” that is, “Give us each day the bread which our bodies require, as we pray for it.” We are to depend upon our Heavenly Father in the same way the Israelites depended upon Him for their manna (Exodus 16:27-33). We might pray, “Let us have enough bread today,” because in this way we continually depend upon Him, as children upon their parents.

The Lord wants His children to trust Him and depend upon Him, and He often has given only a portion of “bread” at a time. In Mat 10:5; 9-15, Jesus first sent the apostles out two by two to preach to the Jews (not the Gentiles or Samaritans). See also: Mark 6:8-11; Luke 10:4. At that time He told them not to take anything for their journey other than a staff. Later we see in Mat 6:11; Luke 11:3, He told them to pray for their daily bread. They were dependent on God as much as the birds, for they did not know who would receive them and who would not.

Later, the Lord asked them if they lacked anything when He sent them out without a wallet, and they acknowledged that He had cared for them (Luke 22:35). Obviously they did not lack because they had prayed and had faith in His promise to provide. Finally, when it was time for Jesus to be crucified, He gave his disciples yet another commission (Mark 16:15; Mat 28:19-20) and told them to provide for their journey and also to purchase a sword (Luke 22:36). These were not conflicting directions but directions for different purposes and different situations.

There is another sense in which we need to request our daily bread. We may have an abundance of food and every other convenience, but if we don’t have the health and strength to make use of it, of what value is it? (Eccl 6:1-2) A few verses prior to this passage (Eccl 5:18-19) He spoke of the blessing of God-not just the food in the pantry, but the ability to eat it.

Today, when our pantries and cabinets are so full of food and most of us are so healthy, it is difficult for us to see God’s hand in providing our needs (Mat 6:34). We must trust His promise to provide if the seek the kingdom first (Mat 6:33) and not be anxious for tomorrow (Mat 6:25: Luke 12:22, 29). We must not desire to be rich (1 Tim 6:10), nor should we be slothful in business (Rom 12:11; Pro 30:8) but we should always pray the Lord will provide what we need to live to serve Him (John 6:27-33).