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James 1:27 (NLT)

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

When did “purified” drinking water become all the rage? And when did we start paying more for drinking water than we do for gas? As soon as we discovered just how nasty a regular glass of tap water can be, that’s when!

God wants our faith to be free of pollutants like self-centeredness, apathy, and worldliness, and this passage in James makes that abundantly clear. A “pure and faultless” religion is both inward and outward. It deals with the condition of our hearts and minds as well as the way in which we interact with the world around us. Here’s a James 1:27 test for you:

Would you take a widow or an orphan into your home for a week, or a month, or a year? Would I? Well…I’m not sure we could afford it. Our house is pretty small. We already have some issues with one another, let alone adding a stranger to the mix. What if they are rude or dirty? I could go on and on with a list of pretty good excuses, but what they really are is a look into the state of my religion…and it could use some improvement.

In terms of keeping ourselves from being polluted by the world, well…that one’s just too rich to be handled in the last few lines of today’s devotional, so I’ll keep my powder dry until we meet again.

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