“Pure…religion before God…is this.” Jas 1:27 NKJV
Jesus said about every act of kindness you show toward someone who’s hurting or in need: “You did it to Me” (Mt 25:40 NKJV). Wow! Maybe next time you’re too busy to show concern, that’ll make you stop and think. In answer to the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told one man, “Sell what you have and give it to the poor…[then] follow Me” (Mt 19:21 NKJV). This man could have blessed many others, and even been numbered among Christ’s disciples, but it didn’t happen because he was self-focused. Jesus told another story about a rich man who died and went to hell. Now, he didn’t go there because he was rich. The only sin he was charged with was selfishness. He allowed a poor man to sit on his doorstep with his wounds untended, his body ill-clad, his stomach empty, and did nothing about it (See Lk 16:19-31). On the other hand, Zacchaeus, who overcharged others in order to enrich himself, saw the folly of his ways, renounced selfishness and made a decision to follow Jesus (See Lk 19:1-10). The story’s told of an angel visiting a wealthy man who happened to be on his deathbed. After the man listed all the things he’d like to take to heaven with him, the angel informed him, “You can only take what you have given away.” Don’t wait until the eve of your departure to give; experience the joy and reward of it—now. “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble.” So today, practice pure religion!