Friday, November 11, 2011

Digging Deeper (James1:26-27)

Digging Deeper 9 James 1:26-27

How often do we say or at least think,  if I just knew what God wanted, where do I go, what do I do that my life? Truth is what separates us from God’s direction is our arch enemy pride; we can’t get out of our own way. God gives us direction, He guides us with His Holy Spirit and has given us His Word, but the trouble is His direction may be different than where we want to go or what we want to do or even what we want to believe. How does our direction in life change when we consider where we go, what we say, and what we believe in the light of I Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. To live for God, we must seek the heart of God in the riches of His Word. Let’s dig a little deeper.
James 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart; this man’s religion is worthless. Let’s start with the last phrase “this man’s religion is worthless. Religion, “threskos” in the original language means ceremonious in worship. This is harsh statement to say that one’s ceremony or conduct of worship is worthless. But James is very clear in what makes ones conduct of worship worthless and it has nothing to do with style or music or the way someone is dressed. An unbridled tongue is what negates worship. Let’s go back to the first phrase If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart… James 1:26a. We will cover the dangers of an unbridled tongue a little later in the book of James but to see the depth of this text let’s look at James 3:5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! When we think of ourselves as being worshipers (religious) but the things we say are not truth and are often self promoting and even hurtful then we are deceiving ourselves that we are worshipping God, our religion is worthless!
          But James says in verse 27 Pure and undefiled religion (ceremony or conduct of worship) in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. Just like James speaks earlier, only being a hearer and not a doer of the word deludes, or deceives, simply talking a big story and not doing ministry deceives man’s heart and renders religion worthless. And we cannot ignore that last phrase “keep oneself unstained by the world.” These precepts, not just hearing but doing, taking care of others that cannot take of themselves, and keeping unstained, all walk hand in hand. When our focus is ministry is for God’s glory, doing the word of God, keeping our mouths closed, the result is an unstained life and a religion that is pure and undefiled in the sight of God.

Now having dug a little deeper what do we believe?
What do we believe about God?
1.      God sees and knows our heart in worship.
2.    God receives only pure and undefiled religion (conduct of worship)
What do we believe about ourselves?
1.      Our tongue reveals a deceived heart.
2.    Our religion is worthless if we have an unbridled tongue.
3.    We are capable of pure and undefiled religion.
4.    When our focus is doing the word of God, ministering to those that cannot help themselves, guarding what is said it leaves little space and time to be stained by the world.

1 comment:

  1. Yep,yep,yep.
    Working on it. Maybe a word fast would be a good idea? anyone care to join me? :)