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
Today, I (Dannah) noticed someone.
She was a sweet older lady sitting on a park bench, and for some reason God drew me to her like a magnet. I didn’t know why, but I was supposed to make a beeline for her.
After awkwardly talking about our nails, I told her I thought God wanted me to encourage her with hope. She began to weep. She was, in fact, a believer in Jesus but was really discouraged. She had just been asking him if he saw her.
He did. And I got to tell her so.
How often do I walk by people in need and ignore them? How often do you?
Our verse for today is God’s simple instructions. He tells us what true religion looks like (the word the writer James uses for religion refers to the outward practice of religion observable to others—how we act). Again God keeps things simple for us. Through James, God is saying, “I want you to take care of the downtrodden, and I want you to avoid the pitfalls of this world. That’s what it looks like to love me and to follow me.” It’s no easy thing to meet the needs of other people. People have a lot of needs! Would we even have any time for a job or sports or to get our homework done if we were constantly dropping everything for someone in need? Probably not. But we can keep our eyes and hearts open to find the person (or people) God wants each of us specifically to help. God has a way of showing us when we ask him to!
The other way we show God we love him is by avoiding the corruption of this world . . . and that’s not easy either. Cheating, lying, tricking our teachers or parents or friends, stealing, violating any law, escaping our responsibilities. . . . The list of how this world’s corruption can be tempting goes on and on. But the bottom line is that we’re called to avoid those pitfalls. It’s simple, but not easy. That’s how God rolls. And that’s why we need to stay close to God to receive the help we need to show genuine religion.
Take the first step: notice someone in need.
BIG ACTION STEP: Do something about it.
Written by, Dannah Gresh
This adapted except is from The One Year Devos for Teen Girls. To learn more about this resource, click HERE.