Monday, July 1, 2024

How Unstained are You?

How Unstained are You?
by David Brenneman 

‭"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27.

It is a question worthy of serious thought and interest. 

In a world that is ever pushing the envelope of what constitutes truth, echoes of Pilate bounce off the walls of our minds. "What is truth?"

The world would have everyone believe that individual truth is where it's at.  Interestingly enough the Bible says this is the epitome of selfishness and self-centeredness. 

We can't look at our phones, our computer monitors, televisions, digital billboards, newspapers, podcasts, streaming videos, YouTube, Facebook, X (Formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, Tik-Tok, and any other form of interaction with the world and not come away with the stains it offers in exchange for interacting with the world. 

We aren't immune to any of it.  It's a core reason to spend more time, energy and effort living the Christian life as the Spirit directs than we do on ourselves. 

Our sin nature will always have some devious, twisted, distorted, disturbing plan to thwart whatever we have in mind for living life, always, always, always contrary to the will of God for us in Christ Jesus. 

Many churches consider footwashing as Jesus did it to His Disciples as optional. To be something more thought about than done.  Interestingly these same-said churches neglect to acknowledge the very words of Jesus when He said for us to do as He did to them.  

Our lives, even if we tried to be completely self-sustaining, are going to be stained by the world. 

We will have varying degrees of thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to.  Bible says so. 
We will have varying degrees of thinking less of others than ourselves. 
We will have varying degrees of giving into fear over walking in faith. 

We will waste time, energy and effort given to us daily as a gift from God all for lack of considering it for what it is.  Every day we wake up is a gift of grace from God to each of us. We are not promised a today. 

For those who are in Christ...remember the parable of the talents.  We are entrusted with the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not to keep it to ourselves but to pass it on.  We are part of the body of Christ and have a God-given  job to be doing in Christ. 

The Word of God shouldn't be distant to any Believer.  It shouldn't be what we pick up only when life has fallen apart, such as when we are trying to build or do something and as a last resort use the manual. 

How intentional are your days?

How intentional are you in regards to your living life in the best way possible according to the will of God for you?

God's will for all who are saved in Christ Jesus is our sanctification.  This is beyond measure more important than possessions or prestige or public opinion.  It's possible even to call it the antithesis of pride and self-centeredness. 

Our world is wrapped in self-centeredness, self-willed, people.   In his letter to Timothy, Paul wrote "‭But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

These listed here are the hallmarks of the stains of this world. We need to approach the Throne of Grace daily to ask for forgiveness of our sins to what end?  To cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Cleanse.  Clean up. Wash. Remove stain and soiling.  

We can easily look back over a day and proclaim "That was a good day!" The reality is, would Jesus really agree with you?  I try to remember, much as Job did, to ask for forgiveness for my intentional and unintentional sins.  Those things that I am aware of and those that I am not. 

Even if you lived life in a bubble, you still wouldn't be unstained by the world. King David knew his sins would find him out.  Where could he go?  

It's important, daily, to be clean, not just physically, but spiritually as well.  We need to be reminded of our needs in Christ.  We need to remember we are not in a religion with God but a relationship with Jesus. 

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you isn't a strong suggestion.  

So think about that unstained by the world are you?  How much effort are you putting into growing in Christ?  How much of your time, energy and effort goes to the ungodly things of this world?
How much of your time, energy and effort goes to living life for your Savior and Lord?

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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