SOAP Devotional 2014-02-19
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. (James 1:27 NLT)
True pure religion will lead to a life of practical benevolence and it will keep us unspotted from taking part in worldly activities. If both of these things are a part of how we practice our faith, they demonstrate we have a true relationship with Christ. If they are not, then we do not have a true relationship with Christ.
Two components of true pure religion: practical benevolence and pure living. Practical benevolence is demonstrated by “caring for orphans and widows in their distress”, but these two are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this lifestyle and attitude. Those who would do these things from a true heart will also reach out to others in need. They look for genuine opportunities to serve in their community to meet the needs of others. There are also those who will do the mechanical part of “caring for orphans and widows in their distress”, but then turn around and live an ungodly life touting their actions on benevolence as their proof of true religion without a true change of heart. Works without faith is just as dead as faith without works.
Father let me be motivated to be a servant from the proper attitude of my heart. Let my motivation for benevolence be driven by a desire to please you and by compassion for the needs of others. Never let my motivation be from just a logical viewpoint, but rather driven by a heart changed by you.