Jesus Saves: Defiled Religion Destroys
by Pastor Mike Robinson
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:22-27).
How to avoid defiled religion:
1. Worship God daily and focus your week on the coming Lord’s Day: plan, pray, and focus on the goodness of Jesus. Yes, many times we do not feel like we are sincere and that feeling may bother us. Nonetheless, all Christians, at times, feel we are just mouthing words and it bothers us.
When you feel insincere in your devotion to Jesus:
* Always remember the reason it bothers you: God put in your heart to be open and honest and sincere before Him. Accordingly, in one sense, it’s a good sign that your insincerity troubles you.
*When I first came to Jesus, a friend invited me to a false church and I did not participate in its ceremonies; my lack of involvement did not disturb me because it was not a godly service. On the other hand, within Christian worship, Christians will not feel right when they lack sincerity and focus.
*When you feel bad, a bit troubled, by a lack of heartfelt worship; pause and then focus on Jesus: His person, His attributes, and His work. Soon you will regain a genuineness and zest for worship.
*Do not base your faith on your feelings; your feelings change and can often flow from sinful dispositions.
2. Reach out to others (especially widows, orphans, and the needy): be a servant for King Jesus. James the half-brother of Jesus named himself a servant of Christ.
3. Guard your tongue. Disavow ungodly speech and gossip.
4. Keep yourself unspotted from the world. Turn away from the sinful ways of the world.
5. Obey God’s Word. Jesus said in John 14:15: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
All for Jesus
Xerxes the king of Persia once boarded a boat. Later it began to sink because there were too many men aboard. The ship started sinking; sinking more and more; it appeared that all aboard would drown. But an officer called out to the shipmen: “Are you not willing to sacrifice and die for your king?” Suddenly almost all the men leaped out of the boat into the water and drowned in order to save their king.
The question for Christians: How much will you sacrifice for your King? Most Christians will not be called to forfeit their life for their faith, but how much will you sacrifice in order to serve others for your King?
We should aim to serve King Jesus and love others since James calls an undefiled and pure religion one that helps the widows and the poor.
Jesus Came and Gave Himself for His People
Jesus comes to His sheep by His glorious grace through His Word and Spirit to save us. Jesus “gave Himself for me” (Titus 3).
Christians ought to ponder:
· Trouble comes—but Jesus came.
· Failure comes—but Jesus came.
· Problems and pain come—but Jesus came.
And Jesus Christ comes to bring peace, joy, hope, and cheerfulness to all who trust Him (Romans 5:1 & 15:13). Today give Jesus full swing of your heart as He declares to you that He will pardon every sin; heal every wound; and overcome every trouble. Christ comes, swiftly, in a full gallop upon His victory horse to triumph for His people. Yearn for Him and you will find peace for your soul no matter how things unfold.
As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for you, O God (Psalm 42:1).
For more see my book Jesus Is Calling You to Himself HERE on Amazon
WE BELIEVE THAT THROUGH JESUS’ WORK ON THE CROSS we can live under the blessing of the Lord. We have a covenant in Christ and because of this the blessing of God and His favor are upon our lives. We are not cursed, but blessed because we belong to Christ.
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