When reading James 1:27, his last words struck a chord within me.
“Pure and undefiled religion 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.”
Society or the world loves to hold onto acts of kindness or to be “Humanitarian.” While these things are good and what the Lord would want us to do, such as visiting orphans and widows, let us not forget the second part or the verse; we are to keep ourselves unstained by the world. James says that both of these things together are what make up a “pure and undefiled religion.”
In the NIV version it says, “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” This command is not something we can achieve on our own, but it is one we MUST continually work toward. The Holy Spirit and having a relationship with Him will be our sustainer and our help as we strive to stay pure in this sinful world. I pray each one of us “Draw near to God” and we know “He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8). When we have more of Him, we have less of the world in us. He is our ONLY way we can live out James 1:27.
Pastor Emily Christenson