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.
In the 1970s I grew up in Dundonald, a small mining village in Fife. I was an idyllic life as I remember it; there were few cars on our street, and everyone knew you – it was a safe place. This didn’t stop mum asking where I had been and with whom. Occasionally the news who I had been playing with was met with a scowl and the words “stay away from him, he is bad news.” These words were based on experience of the family in question, and invariably were accurate. In mum’s point of view it was about keeping me out of trouble, “unstained from the world” so to say.
That final phrase about being “unstained from the world” jumped out at me when I read it. I could see two pillars of our Christian walk in the verse; first our faith in action sharing God’s love with others in need and, secondly keeping ourselves unstained by the the company we keep. The Epistle of James is famous for it’s guidance in taking care with our tongue; in Psalm 39:1 it says “I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
so long as the wicked are in my presence.” [emphasis mine]. The point being that we must exercise the greatest care in our company, and if they are not believers be even more careful in our speech. It is too easy to be careless and bend with the wind of the world, being conformed to worldly ways which is not what God wants from us.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Dear Reader, the pure religion that we are called to pursue as children of God can only be found through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Holding firmly to Him and the Word of God will keep us from the vices of this world we live in; indeed a study of the Word will guide us to be in the world but separate from it. While we are in this world amongst unbelievers let us take the greatest care with our tongue, that we remained unstained from the sins surrounding us.
- An Encouraging Testimony!
- Psalm Sunday Recap – He (119:33-40)
- Psalm Sunday (119:40)
- Lost Sheep
- Stumbling Blocks