JAMES 1: 27 PURE RELIGION AND UNDEFILED BEFORE GOD AND THE FATHER IS THIS, TO VISIT THE FATHERLESS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR AFFLICTION…

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Welcome/Bienvenue/Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD.

Today we will be looking at James 1: 27, where James says that pure religion is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction- in other words, to show mercy and compassion.

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 (James 1: 27 KJV).

Pure and unadulterated religion is simply this: ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world’. This is Christianity, pure and simple. Thus, there is no more to Christianity than mere ‘religion’. In Matthew 23, JESUS criticises the Pharisees for several things. Many of them include the fact that they are proud, very self-righteous, and they create so many rules that burden people, yet they are not holy themselves. The tip of the iceberg is where JESUS tells them:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former (Matthew 23: 23 NIV- emphasis mine).

JESUS essentially is saying that religion, specifically Christianity, is incomplete without justice, mercy and faithfulness. Without these values, religion is empty, useless and vain. This is why JESUS attacks the Pharisees in Matthew 23 for being vain, but having no substance in their religion. They are merely religious, but they are not Godly. There is a vast difference between being religious and Godly. They do not mean the same thing. This is why I don’t refer to myself as ‘religious’. Nevertheless, this blog post is a response to certain things that have been happening in my local community lately, which makes me to question if there is still true Christianity on earth, and if yes, ‘where is it?’. Even I daily ask GOD to help me be a better Christian.

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When you talk about change, it has to start from the individual, and from the local church. You and I have to start showing the three basic values of Christianity- justice, mercy and faithfulness, so that they can resonate in our local churches and our local communities. Ask yourself, ‘Have I truly been exercising the basic values of Christianity?’ Look into yourself to see if you truly exercise these values. Beloved, it is easy to just go to church, focus on your own spiritual growth, and mind your own business. However, it takes effort to not just go to church and be a bench warmer, but to also exercise these three: justice, mercy and faithfulness. I therefore implore you to make that extra effort and show justice, mercy and faithfulness to your fellow believers and neighbours.  One of the prayers I regularly pray for myself is, ‘GOD, give me the Grace to be a Christian according to your own standards’. There are some things that happen to other believers, and you wonder where you could have come previously in to prevent the tragic event from happening.

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These values: justice, mercy and faithfulness, only exist in a heart that is full of love. And remember GOD is love (1 John 4: 8). If you are truly born of the Spirit, you should have these values at the very top of your heart, so that you can be able to ‘dispense’ them when needed. The Mercy of GOD is what triggers the Love of GOD in your heart. If you let the Mercy of GDO reign in your heart, the Love of GOD will overshadow your life.

Furthermore, I want to encourage you to steer of something my dad calls the ‘coffin syndrome’. There are some people who are so selfish that they wait for somebody else to be dying or dead before they do anything to help that person out. Somebody does not have to be dying before your compassion or sympathy is aroused. For instance, say there is that distant cousin who is having a hard life, or sick or suffering. You hear about them every day, but you don’t give them a cent to better their lives. Then, you come back home one day, and hear they have died, and you are asked to contribute money to give them a decent burial. If you contribute anything, GOD is still not happy with you, and your money would not result in any blessing. When the person was alive, you did not help them have a better life. Then, when they die, the money that would have saved their lives is what you use to bury them. Thus, rather than wait for someone to be dying or dead, show mercy and compassion to them. Even if it is only a little you can afford, you can make a world of difference.

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Finally, you do not have to be rich or have a lot in order to show mercy or compassion to your neighbours or fellow believers.  When I was growing up, I used to think, ‘GOD, make me very rich, and nobody will be hungry around me’. Later I realised that I had to start with the little I have to make a positive difference in any way I can, rather than wait to be ‘rich’. Moreover, you are not a true Christian if you don’t exercise justice, mercy and faithfulness. You don’t have full claim to the title, ‘Son/Daughter of GOD’. I did not say it. JESUS did. GOD wants to use you to bless somebody in your local church, local community, at your office or home. Just open you heart, and HE will use you.

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May the LORD bless the study of HIS Awesome Word in JESUS’ Name!

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GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

© AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and/or owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Crown of Glory International Ministries, with specific direction to the original content at dauntingfactsofchristianity.wordpress.com.

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Giving Luke 6: 38

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38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (NIV).

When you give, it shall be given unto you. Who shall give unto you? First, Awesome JEHOVAH Himself. This is why when you lend to the poor, you lend to GOD. And GOD will surely pay you back (Proverbs 19: 17). Second, people will give back to you. This is pretty obvious. If you give to me now when I need help, I will gladly assist you or give to you when you need help. How will you receive the reward for your kindness? A good measure of help or assistance we would receive when we need help. And you will receive a measure of good things that are more than enough. Because the help you would receive when you have the habit of giving generously will overflow or run over. If you give sparingly, you receive sparingly (2 Corinthians 9: 6). If you give generously, you receive generously (Proverbs 11: 24-26).

Thus, it is the same measure you use in giving people, people will use in giving you. For example, if you think giving one cup of rice to an hungry family is good enough, you won’t receive enough when you need help. If you think however, giving a bag of rice with some oil and meat is good enough for this hungry family, you would receive more than enough when you need help.

Here is a very good exposé on Luke 6: 38 by Andrew Wommack Ministries. There are four important points I want to emphasise in the article.

  1. The law of sowing and reaping applies in the physical and spiritual worlds/realms.
  2. The law works on positive or negative things that we sow.
  3. Good things we sow can be wiped away if we do not persist in doing good. Galatians 6:9 says that we should continue doing good we would reap our good reward if we do not give up.
  4. If we are late in our giving we would be late in our supply. If we give grudgingly, people would give to us grudgingly. The converse is true. If you always quickly rise up to occasion when someone needs help, and you give cheerfully, the same gesture would be reciprocated to you. If you always give your tithes and offerings late, do not expect GOD to quickly jump to action when you are in trouble! GOD treats you as important as you treat HIM in your life.
  5. When we pray for Divine Provision, we should believe that Awesome JEHOVAH JIREH has answered our prayers. However, we should also pray for the helper or person GOD will use to deliver our answers.

Copy and paste the link in your browser. GIVING is SO IMPORTANT : http://www.awmi.net/bible/luk_06_38

Giving Proverbs 11: 24-26

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24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell (NIV).

Vs 24: the person who gives liberally gains more. The one who withholds and does not give becomes poor.

This is very true. And is one of the ironies of life. When you give you gain more. Why? The rule is that you reap whatever you sow. Thus, if you sow kindness, you reap kindness. Even the law of Karma says that whatever goes around comes around. If you are kind today, someone else or the same person you helped will be kind to you tomorrow. The Bible even confirms this. GOD cannot be mocked. Whatever you sow, you reap (Galatians 6: 7). Also, if you give to the poor, you lend to GOD (Proverbs 19: 17). All the silver and gold that exist belongs to GOD (Haggai 2: 8). When HE pays you back, HE will certainly ‘overpay’ you.  

If you are kind to me today or you give to me, I would feel obliged to something in return for you even though you do not require payment. You give to somebody, they are touched. They will also feel obliged to give you help too when you need it. You do that to three more people today. Say, you need help tomorrow. Five of us are willing to help you out and give freely to us. Because you have been a blessing to our lives. Then, instead of getting help from one person, you get from five different persons. You gain more at the end of the day. This is how life works.

Also, during Christmas or Easter, you buy gifts for your boss(es) and his family, your colleagues and so on, you will definitely gain favour in their eyes. At the end, you will gain more when the time is right. This is not a bribe. This is simply giving to let someone else keep you in their good graces. And when you need help or are considered for a promotion, everyone will vote in your favour.

At home, if we freely give our time, effort and love to immediate family members, you earn respect. Gain favour in their eyes. Thus, when you need help, they will gladly help you because they are happy to do so. Not because it is a point of duty.

In our relationships: marriage, sexual, parental, platonic, whatever: if you freely give, you freely receive. Period. No two ways about it. If you freely give your time and effort and love and care to the other person(s) in your relationships, you would reap the same. If you are ALWAYS sensitive to the needs of others, they will be sensitive to yours to. If you ALWAYS work towards making others happy and doing or saying what will make them feel better, they will reciprocate the same towards you. If you are in a relationship that is not working the way you wish it, go back to the drawing board, and decide to do and say and give EVERYTHING that will make the other person(s) happy or feel better. It may not be the devil at work. Maybe, you only need to spend more time with your spouse and/or children. Study their needs. Try to understand what makes them tick or what puts them off. Don’t just buy any kind of gifts to pacify them. Rather, GIVE THEM PERSONAL ATTENTION. Not just giving them the necessary basics! Give more of your time and love and care in understanding the needs of your loved ones, how to respond to them appropriately, and RESPOND APPROPRIATELY. If you want to buy gifts, buy those that will really touch their hearts. Not the ones you deem appropriate. Gifts may not even be necessary. Rather, give more of your time and love and care.

Then, see your loved ones reciprocate the same gesture to you. See your relationship(s) grow better. See your loved ones more comfortable around you. See your loved ones express themselves more.

The converse is true. Hoard your time, love, care and gifts. And reap frustrated and difficult relationships.

Vs 25: if you are generous, you will prosper. If you refresh others, you will be refreshed.

The word ‘generous’ according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD) means giving freely. In other words, giving without limit. Not giving sparingly. Willing to give without limit. It also means giving more than is necessary. Giving lavishly. Giving in a large amount. Moreover, you are generous if you are kind in the way you treat people. If you are willing to discover the good in every person and in everything. In other words, being kind is being generous.

If you are kind/generous to others, you will prosper. Why? You will make a lot of friends in the process. Thus, when you have a need, there will be many people willing to help you out. You will be overwhelmed with love. If you are into business, you will have many more clients. Obviously, if you always give your customers the best deal, they will ALWAYS come back for more! If you are kind to bosses & colleagues at your workplace, you will have many allies when you are presenting a proposal or being considered for a promotion or whatever. Even your bosses and colleagues will always want to listen to whatever you have to say and value your input. Thus, you have to be generous to prosper in your business and career.

If you give more than is asked of you or do more than is necessary in your relationships with others, those relationships will prosper. Your marriage will become sweeter and better. Your children will respect and obey you more. Your siblings and cousins will listen to you more. Even elders in your family will always want to have your input. Your fiance(ée) will love and respect you more. The rewards are endless. Thus, going the extra mile for everyone around does not hurt. It is so beneficial! People appreciate you more and value your presence in their lives more, when you go the extra mile for them.

If you refresh others, you will be refreshed. You refresh someone when you give new strength or energy to someone. When you reinvigorate someone else (OALD). When you make someone feel better or energised or empowered to deal with a certain situation. Thus, when you relieve someone in pain or distress by giving your time, love or care generously, you refresh them. Sometimes, you do not need to spend money. Just giving your time, love and care generously to that person can make a positive difference in their lives. If someone is lonely or depressed, encouraging them with Scriptures to cheer them up, and spending more time with them, can bring them out of depression. And so on. Every day, let us look for whose life to make a positive difference in. AND LET’S DO IT. May the HOLY SPIRIT empower us in JESUS’ Name.

Vs 27: if you seek good for the sake of others, you find Divine Favour. If you seek evil, you will find evil coming down on your head.

If you work towards relieving others in distress or making them feel better you will receive Divine Favour. Why? First, the second greatest commandment in the Word is: Love your neighbour as much as you love yourself (Mark 12: 31). For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS Only Begotten Son…(John 3: 16). When you give to the poor, you lend to GOD (Proverbs 19:17). If a man claims to love GOD and hates his brother, he is a liar (1 John 4: 20-21). If we obey and serve the LORD, we will spend the rest of our lives in prosperity; the rest of our years in contentment (Job 36: 11).  It takes Divine Favour to be contented and happy in life. It takes Divine Strength to live long (Psalm 90: 10). Thus, if we obey GOD in working for the good of others, all the blessings attached to obedience in the Bible are ours! Remember Exodus 23: 25-27:

25 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span. 27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run (NIV).

Second, when you always work towards the good of others, everyone loves and respects you. If you need only one thing, everyone will be offering you the same thing and you will end up having more than enough! If you call for only one help, everyone will be rushing to help you! This is a result of Divine Favour!

Of course, the converse is true. If you are selfish and conceited, and you never want others to succeed, people will only hate you. And when you need help, you won’t get any! If you get any help, it will be because they are doing out of a sense of duty to GOD or some principle. It won’t be a gesture from their hearts. If you always make evil come to people, evil will only ever be your portion. GOD cannot be mocked. Whatever you sow, you reap (Galatians 6: 7). If you sow evil, you reap evil (Proverbs 22:8).

We have looked at giving and sowing & reaping. The golden rule remains the same: Do unto others as you want them to do unto you. If you want help when you need it, give it to others when they need it. If you want people to always go the extra mile for you, go the extra mile for them first!  Then, they will reciprocate the same gesture to you.

Prayer: Thank you LORD for the study of YOUR Word.  LORD, help me to become addicted to giving in all areas of my life. Help me LORD to be able to give to the poor and the needy. Help me to give more of my time, care, love and gifts in all my relationships: with my spouse/ children/ colleagues/ clients, etc. LORD, find somebody for me in whose life I can make a positive difference, today and everyday from now on, and empower me to make a positive impact in their lives. Amen.

GOD bless you all ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Please leave a comment below 🙂 🙂 🙂

AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

Pretoria, July 2015

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