Just When You Think It’s Clean
Saturday - January 23rd
Devotionals from the Book of James
Scripture to Read Today: James 1:26-27
Religion that God our Father accepts as
pure and faultless is this...
to keep oneself from being
polluted by the world.
Besides the full-time, hard work my dad put in at a local factory, while my brother Troy and I were growing up, Dad had a couple of part-time jobs. He drove a school bus in the mornings for a few years. For several years Dad worked as the custodian a few days a week at our home church in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Troy and I both assisted dad with cleaning the church each week. We learned to clean toilets, vacuum carpets, wash windows, and mop floors at an early age. When I got into high school, our church added a small gym and classroom wing. Dad needed an assistant. I got hired for the job.
Saturdays were the days we cleaned the three main sets of double, full glass entrance doors. They were not easy, and dad's standard for clean glass meant there could be no streaks or smudges at all when we finished. I came to take pride in my window cleaning skills. While pride was a part of it, I also wanted to prove to my dad that I was just as good at cleaning glass as he was.
If you have cleaned windows, you know that they rarely stay flawless for more than a few moments. Dust, a bug, a bird, or a human cause them to be easily tainted. The world is full of stuff that can contaminate or corrupt a recently cleaned window!
As we seek to live our lives dedicated to Christ, God calls us to live lives of personal holiness. But, our world is full of contaminants that so easily corrupt us. The lust, pride, and greed of our world can quickly seep into our thoughts, attitudes, words, relationships, and behaviors. James 1:27 teaches us that true, authentic dedication to God is not only marked by how we care for the poor and powerless, but by how seriously we deal with our sin. James says that a genuinely dedicated Christian will "keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
The word translated "polluted" speaks of the smallest spot, smudge, or speck of contamination. We do not keep ourselves from being polluted by the world to gain our salvation. BUT, we keep ourselves from being polluted by the world because of the salvation God gave us in Christ. When we understand His grace, we want to please Him in every way. We take seriously any smudge, stain, or spot that compromises our testimony for the Lord.
It can get easy to let small, unnoticeable-to-others, particles of impurity remain in our lives. God, however, calls us to keep ourselves from being polluted by the filth of this world. Are you taking your righteous living seriously? Are you seeing your sin, confessing it, and moving forward without it?
Those serious about serving God are also serious about dealing with their sin!