James 1:21 New Living Translation
“So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote this letter to the Jewish believers who were scattered throughout the Mediterranean world at that time. Persecution had caused these believers to fall into an intellectual rather than an actual faith, for true faith will produce loving actions towards others. Intellectual faith is kept to yourself inside. James was concerned that they would become a shadow of what they once were due to the pressures of those surrounding them. He wanted them to understand afresh and anew what true faith really is so they do not cheapen God’s grace by living in hypocrisy.
The world believes Christians today are nothing more than hypocrites. Are we? Do we simply put on a show of our faith without truly living it out? It’s fairly easy for outsiders to see when a believer is just going thru the motions. However, non-believers only accept what they can see and that is our ‘do what I say, not what I do’ mentally. Every believers isn’t guilty of this of course, but many are. The remedy is to sell out to the idea of imitating Christ in all we think, say and do. A ‘what would Jesus do’ mentality. If we continue to fill our lives with the filth and evil of this world we become no different than those we are meant to save. Our life raft becomes filled with holes and we begin to sink rather than offer a safe, dry way of escaping the evil of this world.
The ways of God are in direct opposition to those of the world. We cannot relate to them, but we may end up identifying with them if we aren’t careful. Keep your focus on the Lord and not on that which surrounds you. Stay humble and dig into God’s word so as to bolster your spirit man. For a day is coming when you may be asked to stand up for your faith and if you cannot stand up under the heat of persecution where will that leave you? Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing.
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible, published by Tyndale House.