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Chili Peppers By Tim Gustafson

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1 Chili Peppers By Tim Gustafson on Fri May 20, 2016 7:57 am

LesBrewer

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Chili Peppers By Tim Gustafson







Read: James 1:22–27


Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27

“My mother gave us chili peppers before we went to bed,” said Samuel, recalling his difficult childhood in sub-Saharan Africa. “We drank water to cool our mouths, and then we would feel full.” He added, “It did not work well.”

Government upheaval had forced Samuel’s father to flee for his life, leaving their mother as the family’s sole provider. Then his brother contracted sickle cell anemia, and they couldn’t afford medical care. Their mother took them to church, but it didn’t mean much to Sam. How could God allow our family to suffer like this? he wondered.

Then one day a man learned about their plight. He got the essential medicine and brought it to them. “On Sunday we will go to this man’s church,” his mother announced. Right away Sam sensed something different about this church. They celebrated their relationship with Jesus by living His love.

That was three decades ago. Today in this part of the world, Sam has started more than 20 churches, a large school, and a home for orphans. He’s continuing the legacy of true religion taught by James, the brother of Jesus, who urged us not to “merely listen to the word” but to “do what it says” (James 1:22). “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (v. 27).

There’s no telling what a simple act of kindness done in Jesus’ name can do.





Sometimes the best witness is kindness.




INSIGHT:

James’s letter to the churches was likely written from Jerusalem sometime before his death in ad 62. As a Jewish Christian, James wanted to be sure that both Jewish and non-Jewish Christians understood and obeyed the heart—not just the letter—of the Old Testament law. When the book of James was written, the best mirrors in the world were made of Corinthian bronze. While they were quite inferior to our modern glass mirrors, they served the same purpose—they reflected reality so the person peering in could become more presentable. James wanted his readers to know that the Scriptures are like mirrors in that they show us what is really going on inside so we can make the necessary changes.


...............................................





James 1:22-27 King James Version (KJV)

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

27 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.

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