Friday, December 06, 2019

The Rest of the Verse

You may or may not know that across our nation there is an “orphan care movement” that began over 15 years ago.  The essence of this movement is that it is not the job of the government to care for the orphan, but the responsibility of the church.  There are thousands of people across our nation who are dedicating their lives to making sure that the church wakes up and accepts their God-given mandate.  

Because I have been a part of this movement in several capacities, personally and professionally, in the past couple decades, I have read, written, and quoted James 1:27 on multiple occasions.  But only this week as I was processing all I learned at the Care Portal Deep Dive (warning, I am fired up about this game changing tool!) that I was able to understand the rest of the verse.

Part one says:  
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress 

Makes sense, right.  And is a wonderful quote if we want to get others involved in doing this work.  If James called it “pure religion” who doesn’t want to be part of that?

But here is part two of the verse:

and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

How do those two go together?  What’s the connection?  I think this week I may have figured it out as I listened to story after story of real, ordinary people, like you and me.... meeting the real needs of children and families, I finally get the connection.  So here are my conclusions:

1) If your focus is on meeting the needs of others, it’s pretty hard for the things of the world that pollute us to grab hold of your mind space.

2) If you take these verses to heart and you are moved and filled with compassion for those less fortunate and you have them in your heart, then the things of this world can’t take hold of your emotions and pull you away.

3). If your free time is filled with thinking about, praying for, and doing for families and children in need, there isn’t enough extra time for the things of this world to take over.

If we as Christians take heed to part one of this verse and make part one a central focus of our lives, part two won’t be a concern.    Let’s do this!

(By the way.... I would LOVE to tell you about Care Portal (or you can check it out for yourself by clicking on that link!  Or you can do both!)

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