Pure Religion

Do you want to know God’s heart? What he is passionate about. Look no further than those who are hurting. Look at someone in need and you will be looking at the very thing that God’s heart is aching for. See the tears rolling down the face of the mother who just lost her child to a drunk driver and you will see the very tears of God. The widow sitting in her rocking chair staring out the window is not sitting alone. She is sitting next to God who is weeping along with her, holding her. God is so passionate about people.

This goes along a little bit with the Love Others post prior to this, but it is very much its own. I was moved at the response of a young girl, maybe 21, on the screen at church yesterday morning. She lives in Uganda, and takes care of 14 orphans who otherwise would be dying alone outside with no one to care for them. She feeds them, gives them shelter. She very much sees herself as their mother. When she was graduating high school, her own mother and father, did not want her to go into missionary work. “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” Matthew 10:37. She had a decision to make. Does she do what her family wants or does she do what God wants. She chose God. She went on to tell about how people all the time tell her, “you are so lucky to have found God’s calling on your life.” Her response blew me away. She said she looks at those people and thinks I didn’t find anything, it’s in the bible. I am just doing what the bible tells me to do.

How powerful of a statement from a young girl who sees the heart of God. “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12. The bible makes it very clear to us that we are to help those in need. “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. Pure and genuine. Real. That is life. I hate to say it, but how often do we think about the terrible things that happen to people or children across the globe? Most of us americans, if we are honest, just don’t think about it. There are children, mostly in other countries, that have no food, no water, no mother or father, no place to lay their head down to go to sleep tonight. I can just picture some little boy right now, laying down in the dust, with nothing more than an old raggedy shirt, tears streaming down his face washing away the dirt because he is so alone. Without hope.

So what do we do. Not everyone can go out into the world and help these people. I understand that. But everyone can do something. If we aren’t going, we need to be resourcing people who are. Give money to organizations who are giving food to the poor. Give money to people going on missions trips. Give of your time and energy to support these people. If you can’t go, watch the kids or pets of someone who is. You can be doing something for someone who is going. Pray for these people. Prayer is the most powerful thing you can do. God “hears the prayers of the righteous” Proverbs 15:29. There is an old lady who lost her husband many years ago who lives across the street from me and we have stopped by and talked to her a couple of times but as I write this I realize we need to take care of her more than we do. I always think it seems like such a little gesture to stop by and say hello, so menial and easy to us, but to her? It makes her day. You can see it in her face just to have someone to visit with her. She is always so excited and happy. She always says, “oh you don’t have to leave” even though we have been over for 3 hours! But what does that do to God?

“If you help the poor, your are lending to the Lord and he will repay you” Proverbs 19:17. When you are giving your money to a missionary or an organization, you are handing that money to God. When you are giving your time to a widow, you are giving your time to God. When you give your energy to help someone in need you are giving your energy to God. When you feed a homeless person, you are feeding God. Don’t ever underestimate the power in what you are doing. What may seem so menial to you, could mean the world to another. Always remember, “And if you give even a cup of cold water in my name, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42.

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