Week 13, Day 4
Week 13, Day 4
March 31, 2022
Scripture: James 1
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
Care for others and care for your soul.
This scripture has been a guiding light to me for many years. It’s this incredibly important challenge to be pure in heart and loving in action. It is the careful balance of helping the hurting and keeping our hearts from the corruption and pollution of the world.
I like to think of the Boardman river with this passage. My family home is the first house on the northern branch of the river. I wouldn’t recommend it, but we could drink from it if we needed!
The Boardman winds its way through Kalkaska county, off over to Grand Traverse County and then into West Traverse bay. By the time it reaches the mouth of the bay, it is so polluted that nothing lives or grows in the water there, not even muscles. The last I checked, it was some 200ft of death.
James’ call is outward and inward. Express a love for God in a love and care for others. Express also a love for God by keeping your heart pure. The river provides a nice reflection for my own life. Am I polluted by the world that love can’t grow within me? I can’t be the blessing to others I am called to if I am polluted by the world.
Jesus teaches us that it is the overflow of our heart in which our mouth speaks. I’ve always liked that for getting a good sense of my own heart. What’s in me, comes out of my mouth. What have I been saying lately?
Anyways, some things for you to reflect upon today. Love God. Love others.
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Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.