Living Before God or Man?
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Have you ever gotten your clothes really dirty? Maybe a shirt or pair of pants? The only way to get them clean is to wash them.
Did you know that God washes our sin away through His Son? The only thing that makes us clean and pure is Jesus Christ. Here, James describes the works of Christians who have been cleansed by God’s grace through faith in Christ. James depicts the kind of religion that God loves and sees as clean, without any contamination! It’s faith that is pure and undefiled. It’s the true religion -- the Jesus-centered, grace-filled, action packed and works kind of faith that God loves.
James is writing to believers who didn’t remember the importance of caring for people who needed help the most. They seem to have forgotten how to act like a Christian! In the ancient world, orphans and widows were often left helpless and alone. There were little to no opportunities for women and children at that time, and there were no social welfare plans whatsoever.
James couldn’t stand it. He wouldn’t let Christians act like nothing was happening, and challenged the believers in his day to help! James wants us to see what matters from God’s perspective is most important!
He said, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God,” not “Religion that is pure and undefiled before man.” James wants believers to consider the needs of others, not from their own perspective, not from the world’s perspective, not from other Christians’ perspective, but from God’s perspective.
Read: Colossians 3:23
- What does the verse say about for whom we should do work?
- Why do we often do things for the praise of people?
Prayer: Lord help me to live for You. I want to have a pure faith that seeks to do what You want -- not what I want, or others want, but what You want. I will trust You and obey You. In Jesus name, Amen.