Monday, January 30, 2012

Pure and Undefiled Religion

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27

I'm working through Beth Moore's Bible study on the New Testament book of James and I got to the above verse. Here's a few sentences written by her in references to the verse, "You don't live this kind of life accidentally. You make up your mind who you want to be and daily die to the rest. You surrender yourself to living in the tension where you'll always be stretched and often be broken. Religion pure and undefiled is grit without the grime. You accept that far easier ways to live exist, but you were born for nothing less."(James: Mercy Triumphs, 86)

I've been thinking about that this morning. I admit, I do have an easy life. No doubt. I have an amazingly wonderful family, a comfortable home, plenty to eat, more electronics than I even need to keep me in touch with the world, a really great church, and awesome people around me to share life. I see so many opportunities around me to serve others, to give of my time and resources, and I know God is calling me to give and to go. But it's not hard. Seeing people living in poverty is hard but doing what I can to help is not. Hearing someone pouring out their heart in absolute sorrow is hard but being there for her is not. Hearing statistics about abortion and STDs and unplanned pregnancies is hard but giving a few hours every week to be there for women making major life choices is not. Hearing about someone in need is hard but giving is not - I have more than I need.

I totally get what Beth Moore meant when she wrote the above. And, yes, sometimes I feel the pull of culture and worldliness. And sometimes I am sucked in. But, for the most part, I feel so over-abundantly blessed that I have no choice but to give, to go, to be there. I don't know why God chose to bless me. But I do know what He's called me to do as a result. And it's not too hard because whatever He calls me to do He equips me for that task. It's not the life I chose but the one He chose for me. Maybe the hard part is the obedience, walking faithfully. Praying harder, studying more. Yet, even that feels like a privilege.

I'm thankful for the privilege.

Serving the King,


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