Apr 19, 2009

Pure Religion

Inside of all of us is a desire to be connected with something outside of ourselves; a god, a person, a creator or “higher being”.

As a Christian, I believe that this Person is the LORD, (‘Adonai) or YHWH (“YAHWEH”) or JHVH (“JEHOVAH”). He is the One who revealed Himself throughout the Holy Scriptures through His prophetic voice, personal visitations, and through His Son, the LORD Jesus Christ; and continues today through His Holy Spirit.

We search to not only find God, but to also do whatever (we think) pleases Him. We all want to get it right so we search for the perfect religion. We join this group and that group; wandering from church to cult to religion in search of God. We try eating or not eating certain foods. Celebrating or not celebrating certain days or festivals. We add items to our “to-do-lists” and “not-to-do-lists” in an attempt to find “pure religion”.

Unfortunately, most of what we do is “impure religion” Fortunately, God has already revealed in both the New and Old Testaments what He wants us to do; what “pure religion” is in His eyes. In the Book of the Prophet Micah the prophet asks the question:

Micah 6:6 “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” God clearly answers the question as to what He wants us to do: Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” JUSTICE, LOVE MERCY, WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD. But for some reason we think that He is looking for something else and we don’t do what He really wants us to do. In the Epistle of James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

VISIT ORPHANS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR TROUBLE. Again, we think that He is looking for something else and we don’t do what He really wants us to do. This world of ours will be so much better when we come to terms with what “pure religion” is in His eyes.

Simply put, it is caring for those around us and being concerned with what is weighing them down; being the “hands” and the “feet” of the LORD and meeting needs to our neighbors and co-workers. Loving people and helping to lift burdens off their shoulders. Many stories are recorded through the Bible where God was moved with compassion and reached out to show mercy and kindness.

When Jesus saw the multitudes He was MOVED with compassion. Jesus said in John 14:9b; “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

What we read that Jesus did, we can know that this is what the Father wanted done. Doing what He calls “pure religion” John 8:31 “Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him, If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another.” -All scripture from New King James Version © 1984 Thomas Nelson

No comments:

Post a Comment