Listen:  113.5

The Word of God teaches us in James 1:27 that, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  I appreciate the words of William Macdonald in his book, “The Believer’s Bible Commentary” concerning this verse.  He says, “The practical outworking of the new birth is found in acts of grace and a walk of separation.”  Both of these are so essential in the life of the believer to serve and please the One who loved us and gave Himself for us.  While we may not like to use the word religion, we see here that there is a pure and undefiled religion before God.

The idea of visiting the fatherless and widows shows us that it is good to minister to those who cannot repay us.  The Lord Jesus instructs us in Luke 6:35, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”  The Lord is not saying that we are saved by doing these good deeds.  Rather, He is saying that we give evidence that we are saved when we do these things.

Lives of devotion and service to Christ in separation from the world are not just for Christian leaders.  It is the responsibility of every believer to live lives that honor the Lord.  Let’s consider King David’s attitude towards the Lord in Psalms 63:1, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”  David’s desire was to be in constant fellowship with the Lord.  He realized that there was no sustenance in the world to sustain the Christian life.  In fact, all that is in the world are only detriments to the Christian life as we read in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

The Apostle James tells us in James 4:4, “…know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”  It is just impossible to love the world that hated and crucified our savior and be in a relationship with the Lord at the same time.  Does this mean we are to reject and avoid all unsaved people?  Absolutely not; how would we ever win them to Christ if we separated ourselves from others?  What we are to separate from is the world’s ungodly attitude, attractions, and behavior.  While we are to be witnesses in the world for Christ, we need to stay away from the sins and pleasures of the world.

Let’s consider the attitude of Moses in Hebrews 11:24-26, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”  Growing up in Pharaoh’s palace, Moses had access to anything and everything he could every want.  He realized that what the world had to offer would only tend to separate him from the Lord.  He chose to identify with the Lord’s people and endure the suffering that came along with that.

May we all, as believers, have hearts to love and serve our Lord and separate from all those things which dishonor Him.  (113.5)