"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." James 1:27

Why would we do such a crazy thing?

Yes, people ask this question, all the time.  Those who haven't probably want to, so I thought I would share our reasons. 

Not long ago I happened upon a book late at night while wrestling with God.  It is called Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream, by David Platt.  I ordered that book without stopping to consider the cost.  I rarely do this!  When I received the book, I read it cover to cover in .2 seconds or so it seemed lol.  This book started to open my eyes to God's Word.  See, I hadn't ever really read what the Bible says about serving Christ.  I had been taught, and fully believed, that as long as we accept Christ as our savior, we were finished.  It didn't matter any more.  This didn't give us an excuse to just go out and sin away, but if we did sin, it was already covered, and a quick prayer would bandaid it.  What I learned from Radical is this...the Bible is clear, and I had NO idea what it REALLY said.  What God really asks of us, what Jesus really calls EVERY ONE of His followers to do. 

John 3:16 is arguably the most well known verse in the Bible..."For God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life"


Have you ever read just a bit further down the page to John 3:36Take a look..."And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”  

wow...ok so what do we have to do to obey God's Son?

~ Go and make disciples of all nations...

Matthew 28: 18-20  18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

~ Care for the poor

Matthew 25: 41-45  41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’  45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’...Sobering thought, huh?

2 Corinthians 8: 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal

2 Corinthians 9: 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God

~ Love the Lord and the neighbors

Mark 12: 29-31   29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

~ Do good deeds

James 2: 14-17  14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?  17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

~ Die to self

Matthew 10:  39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Matthew 10: 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!...doesn't sound like much fun huh?

~ Listen and obey

James 1: 22-25  22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

~ Care for the orphans and widows

James 1: 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Now these are just a few that stick out to me.  So when I think about all Jesus says, all He has commanded, I realize I have been wretched.  I was living as if I had my grace card and that is all that mattered.  There is a problem with that line of thinking though...it leads to dead faith, which leads to death! 

So when someone asks me "Why would you do such a crazy thing?  What do you have to offer them?  You can't save them all!"  My response is, "God told me to.  He opened my eyes, and He led me through His word.  I don't ever want to stand in front of God and tell Him, "I didn't know..." because I do know and  Proverbs 24:12 tells us "Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve."

I pray Romans 12: 1-2 into my life consistently 1  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

I ask the Father, to please allow me to be His hands and feet, to be His voice, to live my life as a living sacrifice.  This is the picture of obedience for me in this moment of life, to adopt.  What will tomorrow look like?  Only He knows.