Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 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 1:19-27)
Today's Morsel: Why has religion, which was supposed to be something very good, taken on such a bad name? I have come to realize that it is because many who say that they are Christians, and many who say that they have a relationship with Jesus, really aren't who they say they are. Jesus cautioned us that many false witnesses would come in His name (Matthew 24:5;11). He let us know that we will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:20). I often hear people say that they don't want religion. I wonder what are they looking for? And maybe this is why many Christians aren't who they say that they are. They aren't looking for pure religion. There must be something about having pure religion that differs from just having religion, for James to write to us and to warn us that, "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." If we as Christians do not learn self-discipline with our mouth, we can give religion a bad name. Remember, loose lips still do sink ships and they also destroy the character of the church of God. But James doesn't leave us hanging. He tells us what pure religion really is. "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." We who are the church and the called out ones, must not allow ourselves to be drawn into acting like and looking like the world and its ways; for if we do, religion will always be given a bad name. Are you the real deal? Do you have pure religion, undefiled.
Sing: It's real! It's real! I know it's real, its this Pentecostal blessing and I know, I know it's real. It's real! It's real! I know it's real, its this Pentecostal blessing and I know, I know it's real!
Thought for Today: "Pure religion is like pure gold, it's the real deal." (Parker)