Good morning my bloggy friends!! Yesterday, out of the corner of my eye, I saw our dog Cooper jumping up and down in the backyard. Wondering what he was doing, I looked out the window to see that he was utterly terrified by a large tumbleweed blowing through the yard. His sister, Grace, was sleeping and right in its path. He immediately started barking at her until she woke and saw this strange thing that neither had ever encountered. He stood guard and watched it until it blew through the yard and out into the field.
I thought about how this is probably how God views us at times. He can see the big picture - He knows that the things in front of us are going to work out and that we have no reason to be afraid. Just like I laughed at our puppies for being so afraid over a tumbleweed - I'm sure God shakes His head over our fears. God is in control - we have no reason to fear!!
Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in the mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetfuul hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. 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. 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.
These 6 verses are more than we have been studying, but they all go together and have an abundant amount of meat to them. Here's my thoughts:
The Word of God is able to save our souls - when we realize that Jesus died for us, that His pain and suffering was caused by me, in thankfulness and devotion to Him - we must hear and do His will. So many times, we pick and choose what portions of the Bible we follow and obey by what we think we can and can't do. When we obey - we are blessed. Blessed by a strong spiritual connection with our Lord and Savior. It doesn't get any better than connection with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. I am so unworthy - but so thankful.
In the last verse, James gives us more direction: religion = loving on others and being unstained by the world. Amen and Amen. Like I said the other day - why do we make it so difficult when God makes it so simple??!!
Have a great day
Living fearlessly in Christ