It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

09 February 2007

Purity and Corruption

11:26 AM Posted by steve flores 3 comments
Today finally ends the first chapter of James and wow, what an experience the first chapter has been! It has been 15 weeks since I've started this new adventure in my Bible reading and I have to say that God has my attention through a simple snippet, chapter, of His word. From being His slave to taking my personal relationship with God and making it active, this has been one power-packed chapter filled with great memories. Come on chapter two! I can't wait for next week to begin the journey of Chapter two. Who knows how long this chapter will take me?

James 1: 27
"Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us."

After reading this verse, it's as if God had my heart pause on the last seven words of this verse. I took these words as a challenge. I want to make t-shirts, bracelets, and ball caps. What is that corruption? I find it very easy at times to lock my doors, stick my head in the Bible, turn on the worship CD of choice and snuggle up to my Savior. It provides a great sense of awe and wonder to be reacquainted with the love of my life and experience His love towards me. There is no problem in the passion for intimacy with God, but there is a corruption when I become so absent-minded with the world around me and think this is all for me. There is a world out there that needs to see Him, know Him and love Him the way I have the opportunity to experience it.

Loud speaker proclamations of “I AM A CHRISTIAN,” fall on deaf ears if there is no act of service. Personally, I don't care how much you pray, how much Bible you know, how disciplined or regimented your quiet times are if all you do is self-service. Would you? Wouldn't we question whether or not they are grasping the "true" heart of God? I imagine God in heaven saying, "OK Steve, enough about telling me how much you love me and prove it. If you really loved me you would act like me, love like me and serve like me." (Matthew 20:28….the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve) Not that he would stop loving us, but I'm sure He would get frustrated with us.

I have this vivid picture of Natalie (my wife) asking me to take out the trash and I respond,
"I love you. I love spending time with you and you complete me." Week after week this happens, but now I no longer have a job, I'm not contributing to the relationship (financially) and the trash is still in the garage, but I'm still cozy up to her and say, "I love you. I love spending time with you, you complete me, there is no one like you and I don't want anyone else." This doesn't show Nat love--it shows her I'm lazy. My view of love is corrupt. Her view of my love makes her feel taken advantage of.

The people who make we want to love God more and do more for God have been the ones who actively and outwardly love God--give their time, resources, energy, etc. I see their religion as pure and have made a lasting impact. I'm sure you are thinking of those people right now too! Wouldn't you like to be thought of that way? I would hate to be the person people think of when they have one of those "everything that is wrong with Christianity" conversations. So refuse to let the world corrupt you and eliminate these words from your vocabulary, "Well as long as I'm doing okay that's all that really matters," because that's not all the matters.

Let's make a difference with our lives proclaiming the love of a Savior through our acts of service. I love our church. One of our core values is, "Everything is better in teams." We urge people to get involved--get busy loving people and actively loving God through our servant-hood. Choose simple ways to make a difference with the people around you, express care.