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October 12 – Pure religion before the Lord

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. – James 1:27

Scripture reading: James 1:26-27

In our world today, many claim to be religious or spiritual. During the time James wrote this letter, many people claimed to be religious. He uses the word religion to indicate how a person worships the Lord. James emphasizes that for one’s religion to be real, it must affect a person’s everyday life. He tells us, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that if we claim to be religious, but do not bridle our tongue, our religion is worthless. If you come to church to worship and honor God with your words but are careless in your speech, God does not see your religion as worshipping Him or honoring His Name because it does come from a heart that has been changed by the good news of Jesus Christ.

When a person trusts that Jesus has washed away their sins, and that they are pure before God, they will worship God and give offerings not only on Sunday, but will seek to help others throughout the week. They will not only guard their speech, but keep themselves unstained from the world. Instead of seeking the fleeting pleasures of this world, they will be people who find comfort and joy in serving the Lord every day.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that our religion would come from a thankful heart that seeks to please our Lord and bless our neighbour with our tongue and actions.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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