How I define religion—or how others teach me to define it, may not be how God outlines it all.
I’ve heard and studied the various descriptions of religion. But not all of what I’ve heard and read is an actual definition. Much of it I’ve gathered by watching people’s mannerisms. What they don’t actually say but articulate nevertheless. Things like, “I am a good person.” Or “I think in the end everyone will make it into heaven.” Or even, “I hope the good things I do will outweigh the bad things.” Beliefs I can’t prove from examining the Bible but viewpoints seized by others nevertheless.
At the end of the day, I’m not overly concerned about how others explain religion. I’m more interested in what God says. 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)
Widows and orphans knew nothing of government assistance in the first century. If help was going to appear, it was the church’s responsibility or that of charitable citizens. The fact that both of these groups can now find assistance in many countries through the government doesn’t alleviate the underlying principle. When I show concern for those who can’t care for themselves, I demonstrate my understanding of God’s grace. As he gave what I couldn’t get on my own—salvation, so I demonstrate the true meaning of religion when I do the same for others.
I also live out the true meaning of religion when I rebuff evil and immoral influences. Loving God with all my heart, soul, and mind aids with my intention to do this and brings with it a greater chance of success.
Ask God to help you demonstrate by your actions that you understand what true religion is.
Prayer: Father on high, may our actions and attitudes demonstrate our understanding of how You define religion.
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