The Father’s Heart
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 heard your Dad ask the family to help out around the house? Or maybe assist someone who was sick and needed help? James refers to God as “Father” to remind us that we are all part of a big family of faith. The Bible refers to all those who are believers in Christ as a family. Through Christ, we are brothers and sisters, we may not share blood, but we share a common faith and common Father. For Jesus himself identified His family, not only by blood, but by common faith. (Matthew 12:49)
In the Old Testament, God is referred to as a father to the fatherless (Psalms 146:9). Fathers back in that day served as the family’s financial provider and protector. Here, James is reminding Christians, who are part of God’s family, that God is a father who loves and cares for the fatherless children and lonely widows.
In Judaism, it wasn’t uncommon for the community to pull together the necessary resources to help those in need, especially the orphans and widows of society. Here, James reminds Christians that these actions are still very important to God, and He sees them as necessary demonstrations of their faith.
As Christians, we need to remember that God the Father has adopted us all as sons and daughters by giving up His one and only Son, so that we might experience freedom from sin and have eternal life. Because of the Father’s love, we were purchased (I Corinthians 6:20), we were adopted (Ephesians 1:5), and called a children of God (John 1:12). In light of this, how do you think we can reflect the father heart of God to others?
Read: Isaiah 1:17
- What does it say we need to learn to do?
- What are a few ways we could start to do that?
Prayer: Lord, help me to learn more and more about how to do good for those in need. Specifically, Lord please open my heart to care for the orphans and widows, not simply with my heart, but with my hands, so that I can do something for You! Show me Lord, what to do next! In Jesus name, Amen!