Tuesday April 5, 2022
Scripture James 1: 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Life Lesson: Just as those who hear the Word but disregard the message are deceived so too are those who speak religious words but who act in ways contradictory to the Word.
– We have all heard it said, “Talks the talk but does not walk the walk”. Many talk a good game and can blend right in at church service, however when our actions contradict our profession of faith, what we claim to believe is proven to be worthless.
– I used to think that this passage was referring to those who fly off with their mouth saying terrible things and that interpretation does have merit in as much as such behavior can ruin our testimony and bring reproach on the faith we claim to hold. However, in the above text James contrasts speaking flippantly with religion that God considers pure and faultless, which contextually has everything to do with deeds of love and grace.
– You see, what we do is of greater merit than what we say. We can talk about caring and yet act as those who do not care. This is why James exhorts us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and even slower to become angry. Temper your emotions with deeds of love and grace.
– The Bible shows us how God has acted in Creation, Redemption and Salvation. God spoke Creation into order but God did not leave Creation to flounder on its own. God walked with humanity in the Garden, came to our early parents after they had fallen in sin, God spoke words of punishment and redemption over them and then continued to work in and through those who trusted in Him down through the ages. The Bible illustrates for us the forbearance, perseverance, mercy, faithfulness and love of God from the genesis of humanity to the atonement made possible through the coming, the suffering, the death and the resurrection of the Christ!
– The Word of God reveals the actions of God on our behalf! God didn’t just tell us to smarten up and get it right; God came to us in the Incarnation, identified with us as the suffering servant, atoned for us as the pascal lamb, rose for us as the firstborn over the dead, and ascended into glory to intercede on our behalf! God has never stopped working for our salvation!
– Our faith is so much more than mere words or religious belief! The faith we have is in the God who acts on our behalf and is coming again to reclaim His own! We are the blood bought Church! We are the saved, sanctified and soon to be glorified family of God! Now then, as those so redeemed what can prevent us from doing everything in our own strength and what is more, in and through the unlimited strength that God provide us to be a blessing to others!?